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Abandoned shopping cart follow up

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Wednesday March 16, 2011 )

More merchants are following up on abandoned shopping cart sessions than last year.

According to research by The E-tailing Group Inc., reported by Internet Retailer, 23% of merchants surveyed were sending follow up emails to customers who abandon their shopping carts just before checkout. The rate is up from 20% last year, the report says.

Cart abandonment awareness rates are also improving, with 23% of merchants knowing how many sales they are losing to the issue – an improvement from last year’s figure of just 18%. The period of time from abandonment to an email being triggered is also decreasing and some merchants are sending a second follow up email if the first doesn’t trigger a sale.

There are all sorts of reasons for abandonment – some folks get sticker shock when charges such as freight are added to totals, some are just comparison shopping; others might get skittish because of a perceived security threat.

While abandonment can never be totally wiped out, it can be reduced and strategies such as the follow up email can act as a last ditch effort to save a sale.

Depending on the shopping cart software you have, the application might be able to handle this feature on its own; or if yours doesn’t and you have a decent email marketing software package, you can set up sequential autoresponders (drip marketing) and run them on details extracted from your shopping cart’s back end about those customers – assuming of course you have been able to grab an email address before the session is abandoned.

This approach is more of a “cure” of sorts than prevention – it’s preferable to secure the sale rather than have to chase after it, a situation where you may need to offer additional incentives that eat into your bottom line. Pick up some tips on reducing shopping cart abandonment.


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