Online retail is an important source of income for retailers, and many have invested heavily in their e-commerce sites to make sure that they attract customers and convert them.
However, cart abandonment remains a problem for many companies. According to the Baymard Institute, the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate stands at a worrisome 67.45 percent.
Savvy retailers are not giving up on abandoned carts as lost. Instead, they're trying to reach out to these customers with very personalized messages to try to recover this untapped income. But without the right technologies in place, this can be a very time-consuming and ineffective process.
Like many other retailers, The Land of Nod, a home decor retailer specializing in children's furniture, bedding, and accessories, was experiencing cart abandonment issues which it was trying to address for some time. "We wanted to communicate with these customers," notes Joe Orlando, the company's marketing manager. In doing so, The Land of Nod, which is part of the Crate & Barrel family, was sending generic emails to customers who abandoned their carts.
But Orlando admits that the process wasn't effective. The marketing team was spending time manually searching the company's database looking for the consumers who abandoned their shopping carts. Not only was the process time-consuming, but because it was carried out weekly, it wasn't timely. Orlando notes that the one-time form letter the company sent to customers lacked relevance because it was sent days after the cart abandonment event. Sometimes the email was sent after a particular product had sold out, or a customer had already returned and made a purchase. "We were potentially communicating with people who had already converted," Orlando notes.
Further, the messages were very generic and not personalized to the recipients. Orlando explains that the HTML messages only mentioned that the customer had created a cart but didn't finalize the purchase; it didn't reference the product they'd put in their cart. "Because of the time lapse, there was a risk that they'd forgotten what they'd been looking at," he notes.
The company decided that it needed an automated email remarketing solution and last year implemented SeeWhy's Conversion Manager to be able to send personalized, real-time reminders to customers who abandoned their carts. "Being able to provide customers with relevant messages is the essence of great service," Orlando notes.
Leveraging relevant communications
The new system allows The Land of Nod to immediately send an email to customers who abandon their carts with a simple reminder. If the customer hasn't taken action within 24 hours, the system sends a second message, letting customers know how they can contact the company if they have a question about a specific product. As Orlando explains, especially when it comes to big-ticket items like furniture, customers might want to ask questions before making a purchase, especially an online one. The company follows up seven days later with an offer of free shipping for that particular product the customer had shown interest in.
In addition to creating efficiencies for the marketing team by removing the manual process of communicating with this targeted group, the campaign has also led to positive results. In fact The Land of Nod has seen a 22 percent lift in its cart recovery rate since implementing the solution in late 2012. Orlando says, "We're seeing much stronger click-through rates from the more relevant messages."