Paul DesRosiers

Increasing website sales by identifying abandoned shopping carts

Many sales efforts focus on untapped markets and selling to new customers. However, there’s a segment of lost sales that may be slipping past you unnoticed---abandoned shopping carts. These are items selected on your website by customers who then elected not to complete the purchase process. 

Abandonment Rate: As High As 80%

The Baymard Institute has estimated an average abandonment rate of 69.89%, as of June of 2018. (Link here) Other sites reflect a figure just over 80%. That’s 7 or 8 customers out of 10 who have visited your site, added something to a shopping cart and then abandoned it without making a purchase! Some statistics claim that over 60% of these are recoverable. Consider the increase in revenue if even half of those turn into actual sales. 

Reasons Why Carts Are Abandoned

There are many reasons why users abandon their shopping carts. (Link here) Some common explanations include:

  • Shipping costs are too high
  • Requirement to create an account is too time-consuming
  • The check-out process is too complicated
  • Website errors / crashes

How can those customers be identified and encouraged to return and purchase the items that they have already selected? 

A first step is to use Google Analytics to see where in the process the customers are abandoning the cart. The point of the abandonment may correlate to one of the reasons above. Armed with this information, you may decide to adjust your shipping charges or make some changes to improve the checkout experience. In many cases, however, the solution will require analysis and correction on the website itself. 

Ways Advantage Can Help

Another course of action is to simply remind the customer that they have a shopping cart with items in it. This can be efficiently configured in Advantage as an automated process, sent at a frequency that you define. Advantage features tend to build upon one another to provide some very flexible and powerful capabilities. The features that make up the building blocks here include our eCommerce platform’s (Cider’s) architecture, Custom Workflow Events, email server configuration, and Communication Emails. Here’s a brief summary of how these features can be combined to produce a customized email to a web user who has items in a cart. 

Shopping cart information resides in an internal database table, which means that Advantage can query that information to identify potential candidates with valid email addresses.

Workflow Events are extremely powerful and flexible. A custom workflow event can be established that looks for abandoned shopping carts that haven’t previously been selected. 

What Action to Trigger?

With an event identified, we can trigger an action to take place, such as creating an outbound email. Employing the Communication Email feature to produce an eye-catching email, themed and styled to your brand and including rich text formatted text, we’ll highlight to the customer the items that were placed in the cart. A return URL should be embedded to return the user to their cart.

We’re Here to Help

AdvantageCS is dedicated to adding value to your business. Website traffic and sales are an important focus of ours and many organizations rely on Advantage’s rich feature set to help grow their business and delight their customers. 

If there are features that you’re curious about or would like to implement, please reach out to one of our customer service representatives and we’ll assist right away. We won’t abandon you!

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