Retargeting

The Importance of Recapturing Cart Abandoners

Written by Tim Edmundson

Jan 16, 2018

You are losing customers. Every day, around 9 out of 10 people who come to your site and fill up their shopping carts will abandon them. In fact, most of us have probably abandoned a cart before. There’s something satisfying about filling up an online shopping cart with items. But for whatever reason, the majority of us will leave that cart behind.

Why Cart Abandoners Matter

It’s no secret that cart abandonment is inevitable for most online retailers. An average of $4 trillion worth of merchandise is abandoned a year. But cart abandoners are actually the most expensive customers to lose. When you consider the consumer decision journey, cart abandoners are about as far as one can possibly go down the funnel before converting. They have already seen your ads and visited your site, and have even looked through your offerings to find purchases they would be interested in. But rather than converting, they abandon those products and leave the site.

Reasons for Cart Abandonment

There are many reasons that a cart abandoner may choose to leave a site before purchase, but the top two have been narrowed down to price objections and timing issues. Price objections can include anything from high shipping costs to hidden taxes or fees. And of course, no customer wants to spend much time in the checkout process. So if your site requires them to sign up for an account or includes multiple pages to get through, it becomes less likely that they will stay and purchase.

There are of course other reasons for shoppers to abandon your site, including slow delivery options, the site crashing, and a lack of trust. But if you are able to address just the top two reasons, it could make a significant impact on your sales.

So what can you do?

Luckily, there are a number of ways to reach those cart abandoners or even prevent cart abandonment from happening in the first place!

> Site changes | The first and easiest way to prevent cart abandonment is to make some changes to your site. One of the most important factors to consider while optimizing a site for conversions is the click-count. The more pages a customer has to click through in order to make a purchase, the less likely it is that they will do so. Your site click-count includes your checkout process, so consider having just one page for all of the necessary checkout fields. And forcing your customer to create an account before checkout can also decrease their interest in following through with their purchase. You will find it is much better to present it as an option after purchase so they can track shipments or write reviews after delivery.

> Free Shipping Threshold | Another way to optimize your site is to implement a free shipping threshold. Many sites today will do this as an incentive for the customer to fill their cart to a certain price. And the customer will feel happy about the free shipping, which may end up satisfying their price objections. Shop.org found that 77% of customers said they would be more encouraged to purchase if a site had free shipping.

> Make it Legit | It can also be hard to get a new visitor on your site to trust the legitimacy of the check-out process. According to Forrester, 18% of customers leave because they don’t trust a new site with their credit card information. By including verified product reviews and testimonials, those doubts can hopefully be assuaged. Credit Card Verified stamps can also help a customer feel more comfortable providing your site with their financial information.

> Retargeting | While fixing these site issues can keep a customer from leaving your site, it is still important to get back those customers who have already left. That’s where retargeting comes in. Finding ways to appeal to customers who filled their cart and left the site is even more valuable than getting new customers. Again, this is because you have already led them down the consumer decision funnel. And retargeting can be extremely successful! One study found that while 8% of cart abandoners return to complete a sale organically, through the use of retargeting 26% of those customers came back and converted. SteelHouse helps businesses achieve their retargeting goals by allowing them to understand what made cart abandoners leave in the first place. And if you aren’t sure what kinds of targets you should be trying to achieve, check out our retargeting goals guide.

> Dynamic Ads | One of the most effective times to use retargeting is right after the potential customer has left your site, because that is when they have the most continued interest in the contents of their cart. This is when dynamic retargeting can be extremely useful. Dynamic retargeting uses the actual products cart abandoners selected to purchase and left behind in their carts. When a customer leaves the site, dynamic retargeting ads show them those products and reminds them of their interest in them. You can even provide timed discounts on the products as an incentive to return. SteelHouse has an option in our ad builder to include a countdown timer, which can add a sense of urgency to the customer’s return to the website. This can also lead into progressive retargeting, which allows one to get more aggressive about discounts on products as time passes and the likeliness of the customer returning decreases.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, cart abandonment doesn’t have to be the end of the road for your relationship with a potential customer. Just by making some tweaks to your site and retargeting with dynamic ads, you can reduce the number of customers who leave all of those products behind. And considering the money you have already spent on those cart abandoners, it would be a waste to let them go.