We all know that I have my hot button issues when it comes to online marketing. And, yes, cart abandonment is one of them. For me, it’s like getting older and having back pain. Yes, it happens as we age, but there are remedies, cures, preventative measures we can take to  ease the pain or alleviate it. So, when I hear from ecommerce merchants that leaving that money on the table is just part of doing business – I have to disagree.

There are tools and techniques that can help reduce that cart abandonment pain.

Let me take a step back and look at a new study that came out this week called Listening to Customers Reduces Cart Abandonment Rates.

The findings from the Bizrate Insights’ site abandonment survey of 61,766 ecommerce shoppers from Jan. 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015 found that retailers can reduce abandonment of customers who visit their website with the intent to buy but did not complete a purchase by listening to their problems and their proposed solutions in comments and social networks.

My first reaction just to the title…yes, that seems obvious. Isn’t everyone doing this? Well, apparently not.

Here are some key finding from the study:

  • 11 percent of ecommerce visitors are what Bizrate calls “True Abandoners,”
  • 50 percent  are visit abandoners who don’t engage the cart
  • 8 percent are cart abandoners who leave after engaging the cart but before checkout
  • 32 percent are checkout abandoners who leave after starting checkout

The study then goes into some of the reasons that carts are abandoned or not engaged.

Twenty-one  percent of True Visit Abandoners had difficulty finding the item, of which 62 percent agree that a merchant offering to locate the correct item, color or size would persuade them to make the purchase.

About 17 percent  say they abandoned the cart because they had difficulty finding the correct size, color or style, of which 77 percent  agree that a merchant offering to locate the correct item would persuade them to make the purchase.

Technical issues  caused many to abandon the sale. The three top issues for those experiencing technical problems were error message (12 percent) ; couldn’t add items to the cart (9 percent) and ; a  link they clicked on went to the wrong page (9 percent).Some 13 percent of True Checkout Abandoners said they would have completed the order if not for technical issues.

Aside from technical issues, the study noted that:

  • 10 percent left without making the purchase because they couldn’t decide whether they really wanted to buy the item
  • 8 percent were unable to redeem the coupon
  • 8 percent  said the desired color or size wasn’t available

According to the study, the 12 percent of shoppers saving items to buy later say the best time to come back and complete the sale is after 6 p.m. Discount and sale notifications could bring back the majority of True Cart Abandoners, with 59 percent  saying they would purchase with a 20 percent or less discount, and 20 percent say a notification of when the item goes on sale would help them purchase the item.

This is all great info that reinforces what we have see over the years, but the key is for merchants to begin taking action of this knowledge.

We have found great success with our customers who chose to address the issue using tools such as Save-a-Sale, which sends optimized behaviorally targeted emails to abandon shoppers in real time, bringing customers back to the site and converting 30 to 50 percent of these abandoned carts.

Our Save-a-Customer  tool  also works to send a behavorially targeted popup that  interrupts the customer from leaving the site providing an offer to get them to purchase a product “right now” or asks them for an email address, Facebook Like or cellphone number. It has been shown bring customers back to the site after they left without buying and convert 30 to 50 percent of abandoned carts.

There is no reason to accept such high abandonment rates, when there are tools to help convert these visitors to customers. In addition, just using basic common sense such as reading the comment about your company on social media or website and addressing complaints head on will drive more conversions.