Cart abandonment – some of you may have heard about it, some may not have. Interestingly though, this opportunity to get back lost customers is in play since the time e-commerce started.

What is cart abandonment?

If you are the owner of a shopping cart website, you are perhaps aware that about 10% of total visitors to your site actually transact.

The question is what happens to the rest 90% of the visitors. If you start tracking the activities of visitors to your site, you will surely learn interesting facts.

One fact which is of interest to us, is the number of people who add products to your cart but do not complete the order. This is what we call cart abandonment.

Their numbers are sizable. We can state examples of sites for which we track such data.

How can tracking cart abandonment be beneficial?

Among around 3000 visitors to a holiday rental website, only about 50 actually transact. On tracking we found that, on an average, there were about 20 cart abandonment each day.

There are various reasons for which carts are abandoned by customers. In most cases, customers tend to get busy with other important work. The cart is forgotten.

Perhaps the 60-year-old lady did not feel safe to complete the transaction. There are others who said they wanted to defer the decision.

Many more valid reasons exists. Whatever the reasons, the carts remain abandoned.

In brick and mortar stores, such abandonment is rare. The salesman helps the customer to reach a decision and complete the purchase.

How about an online salesman trying to help complete the sale? Such a feature can actually lead to more sales for the online shopping companies.

You can contact the customers who did not complete their sales. It helps you in three ways.

One it increases and enhances your customer service.

Two, you come to know the reason behind the sale being not completed.

Three, you can help them complete the sale, thereby getting them back as customers.

Issues with cart abandonment tracking

The usefulness of cart abandonment tracking are many. The actual implementation though poses practical problems.

Contacting such clients is only possible when you know their contact details. So you need to devise methods to get their contact details.

To know their contact details mean, you need to ask for it.

You never know during which step of your ordering funnel the abandonment will occur. So the earlier you get their details, the better.

This requires changing your ordering funnel and steps within it. Actually there are several ways that this can be done.

Pundits still maintain that the ordering process should be as simple as possible. Normally the customer is asked to fill in their details during checkout.

For cart abandonment to work, we need the customer details once they add the products to the cart. That is the starting point.

It is not necessary to ask them to fill up their entire contact details. You can simply ask for their email address, when they add the first product to the cart.

Depending on your site, its existing ordering flow, cart abandonment tracking can be added to it accordingly.

The aim is to make things easy for your customers, while intelligently taking their details.

How to add cart abandonment tracking?

For e-commerce sites built on custom developed systems or on WordPress, OsCommerce etc, cart abandonment tracking can be easily done.

Developers can easily add tracking or make the necessary modifications in the ordering funnel.

Sites which are built on Shopify or BigCommerce, the tracking poses a challenge. This is true for all such proprietary systems, which are not open source.

For such shopping sites, you need to use external third-party scripts such as Google Tag Manager. GTM can be configured and scripts can be added to it to track cart abandonment, user behaviour and data.

Such data can then be stored in a database or Google Firebase for further processing.

How to contact clients with their cart abandonment data?

For the holiday rental company, we talked about earlier, we save their carts. The data from the cart is then mailed to the customer. The e-mail contains a link to their abandoned cart.

Customers can simply click the link on the e-mail to complete their ordering process.

This is just one of the methods. There are many more methods which can be devised.

Today there are many e-mail marketing service providers who provide you with basket tracking features. The details of the basket is passed to the service provider through an API.

The actual mailing is handled by such service providers.

The results are very promising

These clients would never convert to sale unless they did it on their own. With the ability to contact them and provide them with an offer to complete their sale, you actually end up with more sales.

For our holiday rental client, they simply contact their clients with a link to complete their sale. They convert around 5 of the 20 abandoned carts.

More clients. More sales. Better customer service.

Even if the customers do not convert, you know a lot about them – you know their choices. Send the email newsletters from time to time with your offerings. Make the offerings based on their choices.

You actually start a great process of lead generation and thereby increase your sales.

If you want any help on implementing cart abandonment on your site, please do contact us.