Abandoned Cart Retargeting

As an e-commerce entity, you have noticed a drift in the behavior of your customers lately. More and more people are abandoning the cart? Have you assessed the situation? Do you feel it's affecting your business and you can't figure out the reason why?

The impact of shopping cart abandonment is vast on e-commerce sales. It is found that for a 1% increase in abandonment, there is a 2% decrease in sales. First off, let's find out why is this happening? What Are The Reasons For Cart Abandonments? ‘Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics’ and many other statistics have shown that customers exit in the early stages due to bad on-site experience and more reasons explained below:

Product Information

Information plays a significant role in buying a product. If a person feels the information provided is not sufficient or is vague, he may abandon the cart.

What should be done?

The product description should be descriptive enough to speak about itself and persuade the shopper to buy the product.

The Price

Most of the shoppers who abandon the carts at the checkout page cite a similar reason – an unexpected price. While taking the last plunge, it is frustrating for a buyer to see that the listed price didn’t tell the whole story (for instance, the price shown was for one shoe). Unfortunately, it is the price of the product which shoos them away and not the product. Hence, it is necessary to do some research on the competitors and the price quoted by them.

The Device

With the world shrinking down to handsets, it is only wise to ensure that your e-commerce site is working at its optimum on a smartphone. Just see if the checkout process is working well on mobile devices? With the forms becoming smaller, a customer is required to do a lot of zooming and clicking on a handset; this leaves any potential customer frustrated prompting him to abandon the cart. Be the marketer who sees an opportunity in abandoned carts to retarget the probable buyers who are just one click away. A few more reasons for cart abandonments include looking for coupons, looking for reviews, looking for better deals, approval from family (spouse or a parent), conducting research to buy later, a new user account required, no express shipping available, high price, shipping cost, complex checkout, not enough payment options, slow or crashed site and distractions.

Why Retarget?

Retargeting is a process of reaching out to a potential customer who for some unexplained reason abandoned the cart.  There are more chances (76%) of a retargeting ad to be clicked than a standard ad. Let’s understand it a bit more in depth. employs a highly effective remarketing strategy in its campaign to win over everyone who leaves the carts abandoned. When someone shops on the site, but leaves before completing the purchase, he notices ads showcasing the items he had viewed on his Facebook page.

UX Improvement

The basic idea of sales and marketing is to target customers. But targeting them aimlessly is of no use. Therefore, the demographics must be considered before pitching the product to a specific genre as these are the people who are most likely to buy. It should be the first strategy (if not implemented yet) to make faster sales. A big mistake made by e-commerce business is that they target a market, arouse interest, request a call to action and the process ends there. They don’t pay attention to check as to how many customers showed interest, did they spend time on the website, did they make any purchase or not. It is presumed that the visitor turned customer will return. But did you follow up? Unfortunately, this is a small percentage of people who could have turned into shoppers but chose to move away. Furthermore, a large number of people never converted leave alone abandoning or starting the checkout process. To put it briefly, there is nothing wrong with the strategy. It is just the implementation which needs more attention.

Retargeting for Ecommerce

The main focus of retargeting is to reach out to people who visited the site but did not make a purchase. Henceforth, the probability of them returning and making a buyout is far more than those who did not visit the site. The rate can double if they have already saved some products in their cart. There are two ways to do so:

1. Advertise

Add a Javascript or pixel (as it is called) to the site. ‘Cookies’ get added to the visitors’ browsers when they come to visit it. This cookie can be monitored with a retargeting application. As and when the visitor goes about searching for a product similar to yours, a banner or your PPC makes an appearance. Therefore, if they are familiar with the site and the product, they might not waste time searching more and click to buy.

2. Emails

Email marketing is still a favorite medium to retarget customers. Different mediums like social media may have emerged, but email marketing is still found to be effective. Social media doesn’t attract real traction with customer acquiring, though it cannot be denied that it takes the top spot by acquiring 16% of the online customers. However, emails lag behind, and they contribute to 7% of customer acquisition. Retargeting is turning into a popular medium of checking abandonment. As per an emailing group, the number is growing and is expected to grow even further.

Treat Every Shopper Differently

Every customer has a different reason for cart abandonment. Every reason should be addressed separately. Treat every one of them differently for a personalized shopping experience. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

1. Product

Design a retargeting campaign for every product abandoned. For instance, if more and more abandonments are taking place for a specific product, then it’s time to monitor that page carefully. The page may be in need of some optimization at your end in terms of layout to persuade the abandoners to return and buy.

  • First Timer or Repeater

A repeat customer should see this as an ad copy and recognize it. It should convey the message clearly and tell them how valuable they are for the business. You may add an incentive to a repeat customer. Expanding the same to a new customer is your choice.

  • Cart value

Retarget every abandoned cart differently. For example, a person who abandons a cart with higher value should not be sent the same ad copy as someone who made a small purchase such as a $10 smartphone case. The incentives to the two should differ hugely.

2. The Platform

A lot of e-commerce platforms have inserted an inbuilt cart abandon email function. Though emails are useful they are a small part of the retargeting process. You can put up some other third party platforms:

  • AdRoll- Manage the location of your retargeting ads. This includes Facebook, Google, third-party sites and apps.
  • Facebook. With Custom Audiences feature, import lists of cart abandonment for retargeting in the Facebook news feed.
  • ReTargeter. It can also target a lot many social media platforms and websites.

3. Create-Burn Pixel

A lot of retargeting platforms provide an option of creating a burn pixel. This facilitates marketers with an option of end displaying the ad after a shopper has bought the item. It is just similar to Facebook ads. Therefore, it is essential to build a relationship with customers. This strategy can help in gaining more repeated sales. Make sure your burn pixel is up in time and functioning correctly.

4. Appropriate Time and Frequency

Time is an important factor in a retargeting plan. If the ad pops up often, you will trouble the buyer far too much and he may abandon the cart. Simultaneously, too much time gap may propel him to think of your competitor. Apart from the above, the sale will depend on the behavior and demographic traits of the people, the products and the industry.  It is recommended to showcase an ad only 16 to 20 times a month. Also, one should test various combinations of ad frequencies to check what is working and what isn’t for a particular company.

5.The Ad Copy

Amongst thousands of ads created every day, it is important to make a mark. These should be written with a goal in mind, well optimized, well-written and engaging. You must take care of the language. It should talk to the people who abandoned the cart who did it for a reason. If the conversational style can hit the chord with the people who didn’t proceed for the checkout, it increases the probability of converting that abandoner into a customer. Simultaneously, if your ads are garnering low click rates, it is advised to get the analysis done by a third party. There is no harm in it.

6. Testing

If you are just beginning with cart abandonment campaign, you should make two ads instead of one. Test one of the ads and see what elements lead to more conversions. It is not one, but multiple factors that make an ad successful. These include the headline, image, image placement, and call to action. These components should be tested over a period of time. Retargeting can turn effective only when it is made to be a part of a more significant content strategy.

7. Paid search

As an e-commerce entity, you don’t want to lose your esteemed customer. The potential customer may look towards your competitor and get distracted easily. Anyone who leaves at the checkout page without making the final cut is most likely to buy from your competitor.

What should you do?

Don’t let them buy from another place. Start remarketing. The best way followed by many is offering a special offer or discount to make the people find your product interesting again. It is simple: display a PPC (pay per click) add in front of the abandoned. This will persuade the abandoner to return to their shopping cart and proceed for the final checkout. This holds importance as most of people don’t check their email inboxes often. In such a case PPC ads can be the most effective remarketing strategy to reach out to the customers. Also, PPC ads ensure that all the potential customers who abandoned the cart do not forget their brand. If you can execute it well with the right strategy, you can gain most of the shopping cart abandoners back in the fray. With Google Adwords, you can retarget in two manners: static ads and dynamic ads.

How Long Should You Target Cart Abandoners?

Since customers shop different products for different spans of time, it is but natural to consider the extent of a retargeting campaign. For instance, customers consider items with a higher price (electronics, furniture, etc.) or a longer period than items with a lower price (cosmetics, apparel, etc.) As someone who doesn’t want his customer to buy from another site, you should reach out to them as soon as possible. The sale and the consideration cycle are the two most important factors in determining the time for which the ad should run. Google analytics can help in this regard. There are reports of lengthier purchase cycle with a whopping increase of 12% sales taking place after two months of the first visit.

Summing up

Improve your conversion rates and prevent cart abandonment. Just follow the steps above to be successful in an abandoned cart retargeting campaign. Offer them a lucrative deal they can’t refuse and then see how they come back running. You must work on improving your conversion rates as an e-commerce site. Retargeting the customers who left the carts behind is simple. This strategy provides huge profits as against new customers.

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