view_from_the_topWhen we’re all done looking through the top-level data for the holiday season and we start digging deeper i think we’ll see a few interesting ecommerce trends emerge.

I’m expecting that many retailers will see a significant rise in cart abandonment along with an increase in conversions from emails.

I attribute this to a couple of factors; Consumers are getting smarter about the behind the scenes workings of ecommerce retailers and so-called online shopping experts were all over the media offering “insider tips” to consumers on how to get the best deals.

Many of these experts were advising consumers to put wanted  items in their carts, then “simply close the browser and walk away”  and wait for emails from those retailers with even better deals attempting to lure them back.

If you’re a consumer this is a great tip, because it works in most instances. Consumers could miss out on hot-seller every now and again, but likely they will get a better deal or at least an incentive to come back. Because the shopper has demonstrated a real intent, retailers consider them highly likely to make the purchase if reminded, hence the email reminder.

And while this cart abandonment strategy is reasonable tip for consumers to attempt to get better pricing, how does it impact retailers? If you’re a retailer and you’ve spent time and effort on a campaign, but now people are finding a way to “game the system”  you need to plan, account and possibly figure a way to combat or leverage the emerging behavior.

The fact is, it is not cost effective for retailers to be offering everyone who abandons their shopping cart an even deeper discount to return and buy.That is reinforcing negative actions instead of rewarding positive ones.

I believe that for retailers this is a zero-sum game. Our recommendations to clients have always been to NOT offer an additional discount in the cart abandon emails.

We feel that offering an added discount during cart abandon demeans and devalues the relationship with the customer. Instead, we advise our clients to send a simple “reminder” email to get shoppers to return. No discount, no incentives.

However, to prompt the customer to take action and buy, we can embed customer reviews and/or product recommendations in the email to make it more compelling. This is often just the push the consumer needs to return and buy.

As consumers get savvier retailers will need to new shopping patterns and behaviors into consideration when creating their marketing campaigns and retargeting plans.