Who abandoned the cart? Your customer or you?

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by Farook Noor Mohamed

September 11, 2017

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Where marketing is concerned, omnichannel and retail seem to make perfect bedfellows, given the boom in e-retailing globally. That’s the good news for e-tailers. Online shoppers abandon their shopping carts somewhere in the range 67 to 78 percent of the time depending on the source, which translates in billions upon billions in potential lost revenue per year.

So who’s really abandoning those shopping carts? Leaving aside operational issues such as payment modes and charges, if you’re not doing enough to win back these drop-offs, recover those lost-cart revenues, and earn these straying consumer’s loyalty – the answer could actually be, “You.”

As an e-tailer, you could follow the current hygiene practices of sending a follow-up email promoting the items in the abandoned online cart or you could take a more creative-and potentially more profitable-omnichannel tack. Imagine a scenario, where you can not only detect when this drop-off consumer enters a brick-and-mortar store-presumably to shop for items from the abandoned cart-but also push a mobile app notification with an irresistible, exclusive online offer for those same items. (Some research indicates that shoppers would purchase abandoned items at a reduced price.)

Such an effort might not result in a purchase, but with this pull marketing strategy you will in most cases grab the consumer’s attention and provide a good reason to go back online to shop again. That, in a very small nutshell, is the power of omnichannel marketing and its ability to create new experiences and better results.

Research also shows that conversing with consumers, educating them on products of interest, and recognizing them across every channel helps to personalize your communications, improve trust, and boost conversion rates. While more mature shoppers may see this as VIP customer care, the millennials in your audience most likely already expect this of you.

For example, when they click on a Facebook ad for a seasonal promotion, why stop at displaying a personalized campaign page? Take it one step further and delight them with a web or app notification pushed to let them know that one of their abandoned cart items is available as part of this current promotion.

These kinds of omnichannel interventions, in addition to creating better customer experiences, also yield deeper customer insights, improved brand exposure, and a reduction in operational costs. A truly robust omnichannel marketing strategy, of course, would connect all sales channels -brick and mortar and online stores, kiosks, social media platforms, with your engagement models- to make customers feel individually important, valued, and part of the community.