Everyone loves a good promotion. When we are in the customer’s role our decisions seem very simple: if an offer saves us money then it’s a good offer and we should act upon it; but as retailers things can become a lot more complicated. We have different goals than the customer and more often than not the long term value of a customer is much more important to us than a single specific sale. While two different promotions might leave us with a different bottom lines, the conclusion over which one was the better choice isn’t always obvious.
Many of our clients opt to try and recoup visitors who abandon the shopping cart by offering them a promotion. An interesting question came up over which promotion would entice more visitors to come back and complete their orders. Would a customer prefer to get a 10% discount of the total or would Free Shipping sound like a better proposition?
So we tested. Two different cart abandonment email templates were prepared and A/B testing was used to see what works best. 50% of abandoning visitors received an email alluring them to the charms of free shipping while the other 50% were put in the tough spot of saying no to 10% off.
It’s worth noting that this particular test was run on an online shop that sells a wide variety of consumer items but nothing that would be considered a high ticket item. The average order value hovers around $60.
It didn’t take long to see that the competition wasn’t fair and a winner was quickly announced. Free shipping performed 100% better than 10% off. Since the goal of this promotion was to convert people who abandoned the shopping cart, offering free shipping ended up doubling the conversion rate of the campaign.
Considering the items sold, average order value and the segment of visitors this promotion targeted; automatically going for the higher converting promotion was not a clear-cut choice. In some cases the discount was too steep to turn a profit or make the promotion worthwhile for the business. This time our cart abandonment segmenting features really came in handy so after calculating the right cutoff point the cart abandonment campaign was adjusted to offer the free shipping promotion only to customers whose cart total was above the cutoff point. The rest had to settle for a 10% discount. I think both groups ended up quite happy. That’s the important thing, no?
While many online retailers know that shopping cart abandonment is part of the business, not every retailer will experience the same abandonment rate. Since the first step in solving any problem is understanding it, let’s see how we can measure the shopping cart abandonment rate in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics needs no introduction. This extremely powerful tool is used by over 10 million websites and is invaluable for analyzing and making the right marketing decisions. To measure the abandonment rate we will make use of two advanced features: Goals and Funnel.
Goals allow you to define and track conversion rates for various objectives. An objective can be anything: a visit to a certain page, filling and submitting a form or staying on the site for a certain period of time.
A Funnel is the path a visitor is expected to take on his way to completing the goal.
With these two terms defined you can probably already guess how we will set this up: our Goal will be the order confirmation page and the funnel will be the list of URLs a visitor must go through after adding an item to the shopping cart. In most ecommerce platforms when an item is added to the cart the user is automatically redirected to the cart page, so the cart page will be our starting point followed by the checkout page.
Note: To set up goals you must be an administrator of the Analytics account.
- Click on admin, select your profile and the click on the Goals tab
- Enter a descriptive name for the Goal, we’ll call ours “Cart to Purchase”
- In Goal type select URL Destination and enter the URL of your order confirmation page. This page is typically accessed only when an order is completed
- Click the Use funnel checkbox to add the necessary steps to complete an order. In the screenshot below you can see that I added the cart page as step one and the checkout page as step two.
- Save your Goal.
And that’s it! Depending on the amount of traffic on your site it could take anywhere between a couple of hours to a couple of days to see meaningful data.
How can we tell the shopping cart abandonment rate? Using the Funnel Visualization page.
This report contains a lot of interesting data but the one we care about is the abandonment rate. We can see that in our sample data we have a 43.66% funnel conversion rate which means that our abandonment rate is 56.34%.
I hope you found this post useful.
Today we are launching two new features that expand the scope of triggered emails and increase the potential synergy between our different products.
Shopping cart abandonment doesn’t necessarily mean that the experience you provided to the visitor was lacking. Sometimes the visitor is simply not sure about the product he wants to buy. A new feature allows you to use personalized product recommendations in your cart abandonment emails so visitors see not only what they abandoned but also related products and alternatives.
To use the feature simply select Barilliance Triggered Emails as your email provider and paste the html code inside your cart abandonment template.
A second new feature is Post Purchase Triggered Emails. Just as you can target visitors who didn’t complete a purchase, you can also send triggered emails to visitors who recently completed one and ask them to send a review for the product they just bought or send specific offers depending on the purchased item. It’s also a great way to reach out to customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while.
Post Purchase Emails are available as a new action under your existing cart abandonment actions menu.
As always, feedback and suggestions are welcomed !
We wanted to update you regarding new features we’ve recently added :
Send to Mobile using QR codes
This is our first experiment in the mobile space. The idea is to allow your customers to easily switch from their PC to their mobile using the barcode application on their phones. While on your website, customers can click on “Send to Mobile” tab, scan the code and continue browsing from their mobile devices.
Shopping cart abandonment
- User defined suppression value – you can limit the number of emails that will be sent to customers in a given period of time.
- More segmentation options – you can send different emails to different customer segments based on the content of their shopping cart. For example, you can exclude customers who abandoned products from a specific brand from getting an email with a coupon
- A/B testing – you can now test 2 versions of an email and see which works better for you
- You can target customers using iPads, iPhones and Android devices as well as target customers by screen size
- Quick access to reports
As always feedback is welcome!
In April, I abandoned the cart at eBags using one of my “spam” accounts. I recently logged into this account and found out that since that day, eBags has been emailing me every 2-3 days (samples below).
I’ve never opened any of the emails but they keep sending them. If you look at the subject lines they are very similar: discounts and limited time offers.
As an email marketing manager , it’s hard to imagine the individual Inbox of a customer when you’re sending millions of emails on a weekly basis but clearly if you look at the emails below you can see that their email program can be improved. Few obvious steps to improve it include :
1. Reduce the frequency of emails for non engaged customers
2. Try to communicate a different value proposition in the subject line
3. Use personalization to email relevant offers for me
Many prospects will visit your website at least twice before making a purchase. Some might have added products to the shopping cart. If they started the checkout process, you can send them automated cart reminders. But only a fraction of those shoppers who add products to the cart, will move down the funnel to the checkout pages. So most cart abandoners will leave the site without entering their email address.
It turns out that there is another effective technique to reduce cart abandonment rate. When cart abandoners come back to your website after a few hours or days , you can help them complete the order by showing them a “Welcome back, we saved the cart for you” type message. Here is a nice example from hello direct:
One of our customers who setup a similar campaign witnessed 70% increase in conversion rates when measured compared a control group which did not see the “welcome back” message. It’s not surprising. Usually finding the link to the shopping cart is hard, in some cases even very hard…
Thinking about what customers are trying to do next and segmenting them based on their most recent intent can help you win them as this example demonstrates.
As we get closer to the holidays season, marketers who can come up, launch and test these type of campaigns quickly and without IT support, are more likely to win new customers.
As you probably know, one of our products is a shopping cart abandonment solution, which sends triggered emails to people who leave items in online shopping cart without completing the purchase.
A couple days ago, we received the funniest voice mail ever. We just couldn’t stop laughing.
Hear it for yourself here:
Shopping cart abandonment voicemail
By thinking out of the box and adapting to the local market, Tesco was able to dramatically increase its share in South Korea.