Tips for Turning Browse Abandoners Into Buyers
Think about the typical website conversion funnel. At the top is the homepage and at the bottom is the checkout page, every retailers end goal, right? However, not every shopper makes it to the bottom of the funnel. In fact, the vast majority don't. In 2015, $4 trillion worth of merchandise was abandoned in online shopping carts.
Cart abandonment — when a shopper adds an item to his or her cart, but leaves without completing the purchase — occurs further down the conversion funnel. Browse abandonment — when a shopper views a product or category page and leaves without adding a product to their cart, and obviously not converting — happens further up the conversion funnel.
This article focuses on the latter. In a fast-paced technological world, it’s easy for shoppers to get distracted during the buying process online. Jeff Neville, vice president, Boston Retail Partners, says there a few primary reasons for browse abandonment: time, research, lack of information, customer concerns, shopping/technology problems and distractions.
In a recent webinar from Total Retail, “Turn Browse Abandoners to Buyers: Using Marketing Automation to Convert Wandering Shoppers,” Neville and Chris Geiss, director of commerce apps at Bronto Software, explained strategies retailers can employ to win back browse abandoners. (You can still register to view this webinar on-demand!)
Here are three tips to remember when trying to convert a browse abandoner into a buyer:
Mobile and Website Functionality
Neville says customers are the center of the universe for retailers. Seventy-eight percent of customers have smartphones, meaning they're always connected. It's imperative for retailers to be able to give shoppers a more personalized experience through mobile phones, Neville said.
Geiss says there are four different kinds of shoppers — snipers, bargain hunters, window shoppers and researchers. Any customer can fall into any of these categories at any time. Retailers need to be able to reach these specific customers with a personalized experience during the buying process.
When your desktop and mobile sites are functioning at their peak, any of the above customer types will find what they're looking for. For example, if you have customer reviews on your product pages, the “researcher” will be happy. If you have a website that’s easy to navigate, then the “sniper” shopper will be able to find what they're looking for quickly and move on.
Meet Customer Expectations
Sixty percent of customers browse online before making an in-store purchase, and 51 percent of customers browse in-store before buying online. Therefore, retailers need to be certain customers are getting the same experience across all channels — e.g., having the right products available in the right colors, sizes and prices across all channels.
Try a remarketing program to get browse abandoners back. Neville says a remarketing program will touch those customers you’ve lost and entice them to come check your site out again.
Remarketing programs can be done in-house or with a third-party provider. Regardless of the route you choose, Neville recommends including certain criteria in your remarketing tactics — high-quality photos of the abandoned products, product reviews, refund policy and/or a discount/free shipping coupon. A personalized call to action can also be used for tracking and data collection.
Done right, remarketing email campaigns frequently lead to sales for retailers. Geiss reports a $3 profit per browse recovery email sent by Bronto.
However, you want to make sure you're sending remarketing campaigns via the customer’s specific opted-in channel. If a customer opted in for emails, send an email; don’t send a text message or push notification. As mentioned before, you need to be mindful of customers’ preferences to have them come back and make a purchase.