On Feb, 12 2016
Efficiently timing shopping carts recovery is critical to the success of reclaiming a visitor and convert him into a customer. In any business, time is money. In the case of online stores and shopping carts abandonment, however, time is money bears a different meaning. Not all carts are abandoned the same way and for the same reasons. In that regard, not all shopping cart recovery strategies are created equal. The lapse between the moment a visitor leaves without finalizing a purchase and the time you should engage them depends on what they intended to buy, how much they were going to spend and the retargeting channels you use.
Timing shopping carts recovery based on product specificities
One size doesn’t fit all. Before you launch a multi-channel retargeting campaign to convert carts into sales, consider what you sell and your competition.
What is the lifecycle of the product? If it’s short (such as a perishable), you will want to react quickly in case it’s left unattended in a basket.
Is the product seasonal? If you are selling fans and expect a heatwave in the geolocation of your shopper, you need to engage the shopping cart abandoner as soon as possible, lest you lose the sale to another store, online or physical.
Is competition fierce on your market? There again, waiting hours before you send an email to the customers can simply convey you didn’t care enough, so neither will they. Unless your product description or its features are so great that they eclipse your competitor’s product, the email campaign is not effective and you wasted money.
Is the product typically an impulse buy? Is the value of the basket fairly low?
In all those cases, timing shopping carts recovery within minutes can significantly increase your chance of success at conversion. For that matter, you can be sure emails may not be the way to go: half the time unread, half the time read long after the trail has cooled down.
Instead, implement tools that allow you to immediately connect to your customers, while their intention to buy has not faded yet, such as an opportunity to call you or by sending a text message.
Timing shopping carts recovery based on channels
The channels used in retargeting abandoned shopping carts trigger different actions/reactions and don’t produce the same results. Emails, phone calls and text messages are not interchangeable, though they can be used in sequence.
Emails don’t have to be sent minutes from a shopper leaving your store, whereas phone calls occurring days after would be intrusive. Text messages are widely used to communicate nowadays and they carry a notion of urgency. Sending a text message 5, 10 or 20 minutes after an incomplete purchase makes more sense than sending it the next day.
Location, product or family of products, transaction value, time between follow-ups, personalized offers, number of contacts to engage. Virtually, there is no limit to how many scenarios you can implement and test for accuracy and efficiency.
According to the MIT, a customer called within 5 minutes of his leaving is 21 times more likely to come back and proceed with his purchase than one called after 30 minutes. That may seem like a short time (and may not apply to all types of products), but it is logical. The intention of buying that was his when he started is still high right after he left, but decreases as he is not connected with your store and your brand. That window is when you want to engage a personal dialogue and provide the answers he seeks.
Timing shopping carts recovery campaigns is not rocket science, although it may often seem so. There is no universal truth about what the right time is, when do it, how long after the shopper left and how often. Retargeting tools can only be as performant as your parameters are precise. And the only way to know is to test different scenarios and adjust and test again. Practice makes perfect.