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Email retargeting & cart abandonment

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday September 17, 2010 )

Are you retargeting folks who abandon shopping cart sessions with a follow up email? If not, the chances are good your competitors might be over the next year.

Shopping cart abandonment can be reduce but not wiped out; it just comes with the territory. People abandon their shopping cart at the checkout for all sorts of reasons – quite often they are just comparison shopping.

One of the reportedly most underused strategies for coaxing these people back and through the checkout is retargeting or remarketing.

Basically, the shopping cart software detects and abandoned cart and after x time, generates an email to that person offering them a discount or a bonus if they return to complete the purchase. Sometimes retargeting is carried out via phone.

According to data posted on eMarketer, retargeting is going to become quite common over the next year with 74% of marketers surveyed intending to utilize the strategy.

Imagine this scenario – an online shopper visits your site and gets as far as the checkout process, then scoots. The shopper then goes to a competitor’s site and does the same thing and moves on to yet another site. All other aspects being equal, if the first competitor is using remarketing, they have a far better chance than you of picking up that sale – the shopper may not even remember who you are.

The other thing we’ll see happening with this I think is that consumers will become conditioned to abandon carts in the hope of the follow up email offering a better deal – so timing could be important. Using the same scenario as above, but this time you have implemented email remarketing, if your competitor has his email to the shopper before you, you may still miss out.

Conditioning consumers to hold out for remarketing emails isn’t necessarily a positive thing. However, if the data from eMarketer is accurate, it seems resistance will be futile.


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