Last week we hosted a Revenue retention webinar with UpSellIt which highlighted how to keep customers in from leaving at all stages of the sales funnel.

Here are some of the Cart Abandonment questions Rick and Max answered following the webinar.

acting on cart abandonmentCart Abandonment FAQ

1. Which type of abandonment should I focus on most?

Max: That’s a great question.You know, unfortunately it’s also kind of a broad question. All types of abandonment are very important. You can look at it in different ways.

Somebody abandoning early in your flow is perhaps less qualified than somebody deeper in the funnel. But at the same time, once they leave, you don’t have an opportunity to engage them further with probably the great content and offerings that are on your website.

That’s, again, why we encourage looking at each step of the funnel, individually, and working with us, because we try to address abandonment holistically, not just from the front of the funnel, but even at the very end, as we explained today.

2. What’s the best chat to use?

Max: Well, it’s important to distinguish what type of chat we’re talking about. So to distinguish what we’re offering, versus others. LiveChat has become quite a popular tool, for a lot of different online retailers.

The difference between a traditional live chat that is user-initiated and powered by a live human agent, on the back end of the retailer’s side of things, is that that is typically used as a support tool. It’s usually initiated by the user.

It can often be somewhat of a cost center for the retailer, because the live agents need to be available, no matter what the question is. And the questions may be very detailed.

Our chat is different. Ours is an automated, artificial intelligence based chat, so the value offering is totally different in the sense that we’re only getting paid on performance, when our automated chat agent closes a sale. And we’re only engaging users the moment they abandon.

It’s a very different type of audience with whom we’re trying to interact, and it’s a very different value proposition for you, the e-tailer.

3.What’s up with Google’s new Trusted Store widget?

Rick: Google Trusted Stores, I don’t know to what particular widget you are referring, but I do know that the Trusted Stores have helped a lot of our clients to increase their conversion rates, site-wide.

I think they also lowered, when they initially came out with the beta program, the threshold to become a Google Trusted Store, was extremely high. I think 1,000 orders per month. So, especially if you have a high average order value, that was hard for a lot of retailers to get there.

I think they have since lowered that threshold and it is available to all retailers. In terms of the specific widget change to which you are referring, I’m not exactly sure. So if you want to reach out to me, you can. Just send me an email, Rick@CPCStrategy. I’ll follow up with our analyst team, and then get back to you.

4.What is your view on abandonment browse programs? Any recommendations?

Max: I guess I’m going to try to answer with what I have as far as information. If you mean “abandonment browse” like sending browsing emails, we have that capability. It’s a wonderful way, if I’m understanding what you are asking, to engage users who are already part of your CRM, or perhaps already logged in, but did not take any type action, like actually adding something to the cart.

UpSellit’s email re-marketing platform, like I mentioned, is quite sophisticated. We can send browsing emails. Meaning if you go back to one of your sites that you like, and look at a pair of sneakers, but don’t even add it to the cart, we can then followup the email promoting that type of sneaker, or perhaps related products.

We think it’s a great way to engage abandoning visitors. It’s just a matter of segmenting the engagement so you are not annoying people. That is why we offer a very robust set of business roles you can customize.

5. Is there any way to capture an abandoned cart when a person chooses to shop as a guest?

Max: Yes, absolutely, and that’s a really great question. Again, as I mentioned, we glossed over things pretty quickly. So this may not have been evident in the presentation.

But if you saw it in those last slides, I talked about a feature we offer called “Precapture”, this is a perfect way to grab email addresses when somebody is checking out as a guest.

If they put sneakers in their cart, go to the checkout, pay it as a guest, Precapture will allow us to capture an email address simply as it’s being typed into the email field. Even if they don’t register, even if they don’t hit “Submit”, we can grab an actionable record through that Precapture.

Conversely, the other feature you saw at the beginning of the presentation, Exit Capture is a great way to make sure that, even if somebody checks out as a guest and doesn’t get a chance to begin typing in an email address, when they try to abandon your site, we can still engage them upon exit, and ask them for an email address as a back tool.

Both of those tools are really wonderful ways to address guest checkout abandonment.

6.What is the best way to build site trust?

Max: Wow, this could really be answered by both companies. We’ve seen, obviously, a lot of the things that we just talked about. I guess the short answer from our end, is if you’d like to go to Upsellit.com and download our e-book.

The new e-book that we published about reducing site abandonment covers that topic, in addition to many others. So as far as our side, that’s my answer.

Rick: Everyone knows what to do to build trust. You just provide a good service and sell legitimate products. Follow up with your customers on time. Be available for them when they try to contact you through social media or email.

I think that on the slide where I was talking about building an experience, trust is probably the crucial component to building that site experience. If you understand your customers, and you are responsive to them, and you provide products and services that are set up directly for them, you are going to build trust.

The seller reviews will come in and they will be positive. So if you’re not getting those reviews, and not building trust, it’s probably because you need to step up your customer service game a little bit.

7. Should I offer free shipping?

Max: Yes, it’s a great question. And as I mentioned earlier, yes, you should offer free shipping whenever possible. It really depends on your internal margins, and what sort of experience you want to offer your visitors.

Most visitors are accustomed to the notion of getting free shipping. So fortunately, or unfortunately, a lot of e-tailers have capitalized on this and try to roll shipping costs into the price of their product subtotal, itself. So that it is perceived to have no additional shipping cost.

If that is what you have to do, so be it. But I guess, the final answer is “yes”. If you can provide at least the perception of free shipping that is typically going to benefit your conversions.

8. Are there any studies that measure how many customers you lose due to being annoyed by push-type marketing?

Max: I’m sure there are different studies associated with it, but we conduct our own internal analyses to make sure that unsubscribe rates from all of our emails are exceptionally low.

We also have very tight business rules that I mentioned earlier, which really are a great way to avoid any kind of unintended user experience. Meaning, our tools are meant to add incremental revenue for our advertisers.

Obviously, they are sensitive, and in turn, we are sensitive to the notion of irritating the customers. Because of that, we are always going to make our recommendations about how to engage customers in a way that is going to lead to a lift, while at the same time, not alienating anybody.

9. What is the best type of sale to offer?

Max: I guess I’ll just give one quick thought. Going back to the idea of minimum orders, that is a great way to put boundaries around what you’re going to offer. Then, once you have decided what kind of product, or what value of shopping cart, or what kind of customer is eligible for a sale, then a great way to do it is actually to offer dollar amounts off.

Historically, that kind of an offer is a bit more effective than a percentage. You can do your own internal AV or multivariate testing. But once you decide who can receive a discount, if you can present that discount in the form of dollars-off, rather than a percentage, it is usually going to be more well-received by the customer.

Rick: Following up on Max’s point, the best type of sale that you can have is one that gets you more customers. There isn’t going to be a perfect answer. That is why testing, and really understanding your customers, really understanding your audience, is crucial.

If you know your audience, then you should have a good idea of the type of sales that will resonate with them. Once you start that sale, you should test it, and you should see what type of sale they respond to.

Then, 30 days later, or three months later, you can try a new version of that test against the previous winner of that sale. If you approach your sales that way, you are constantly optimizing the return that you are getting from each sale. Each time, you are getting a better understanding of what your customers respond to.

10. Do you ever find that customers take issue with popups when leaving a site?

Max: That is a great question. I guess first I have to qualify my answer with, whatever you have seen or experienced is not necessarily us. We try to really apply those kind of business rules I discussed earlier, to make sure that the user engagement is pleasant.

As far as being engaged upon exit. Again, we can apply very sophisticated rules, not only how and when we engage people, but how often, and with whom. Meaning we are able to make sure that the same unique user, like the person who submitted this question, does not get engaged by one of our solutions more than once on a particular retailer’s site.

While there may be other offerings out there, that is why our clients tend to like what we do. Because we are able to wrap our engagement in so many different rules, that, again, we drive some sort of a lift, but at the same time, we do not annoy people.

Typically, if everything is presented well, it is going to be a real value-add, not only for the advertiser, but also for the shopper.

11 .What is the best way to stay top-of-mind?

Rick: You just have to be freakin’ great. It’s not a very tactical answer, but that’s what you are tasked with. You are competing as a retailer, in a lot of instances, against Amazon. And Amazon is great, but there are opportunities on your product pages, and with your product mix, to be better than them.

Being great starts with understanding your audience. I can guarantee you that ModCloth knows Mary really well. They know her habits. They know what she likes. They know what other brands she would relate to. That all allows them to market directly to Mary. That makes them a great brand to her.

So getting inside of your customer’s mind and really understanding who they are, which products they will like, what type of experience they will respond to, those, long term, if you cannot do them, it will be very hard for you to compete. Because Amazon is only going to get better and better at targeting your customers.

You have to be great, and it is not really an option to be a mediocre e-commerce seller any more. It may have been three or four years ago, but that landscape is changing really quickly. So you pretty much have to be great now. You don’t have a choice.

11. What channels should he be listening on?

Rick: It depends on your long-term goals. PLAs are a great way to drive traffic to your website. If you have a website that converts well; you know what the conversion rates are; you know products that convert well, then PLAs are an awesome option.

If you don’t have a very polished website, and you don’t have a lot of history collected on Google Analytics. You just have products that you want to sell through a marketplace, then Amazon is a pretty awesome option.

Another consideration is, “Do you sell your own products? Are you the manufacturer? Or do you sell other people’s products?” If you sell other people’s products, it’s going to be difficult to scale out in an Amazon Marketplace campaign. You have to be very sophisticated with your repricing strategy, with your relationship to the manufacturers.

And ultimately, Amazon wants to cut you out of that relationship. They would like to work with your manufacturers. So that might be a path to short-term revenue, but to build your business long-term, if you are selling other people’s products, the best option is to create a website and build your own experience. Where customers become loyal to your brand, and to your experience, independent of the products that you’re selling.

So it really depends on what the long-term goal of the business is, and whether or not you are the manufacturer, or you sell other manufacturer’s products.

Other Top Cart Abandonment Questions

  • Why do people leave the shopping cart? 
  • Who are cart abandoners?
  • Why do people leave your site?
  • Whats the number on reason people leave my site?

 

Retailers lose 18 billion in revenue annually due to shopping cart abandonment, and 90% of online leads go cold after one hour. How are you keeping your customers on site?

 

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About the AuthorMary Weinstein is the Director of Content at CPC Strategy, and an expert in Retail Search, Google Shopping and Digital Marketing. A NY native, Mary spends her time educating online merchants, hiking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can also find her work on SEW, SEMRush, MOZ and Practical Ecommerce. See all posts by this author here.