Cart Recovery specialists Optilead, who identify over $158m of abandoned carts each week, decided to conduct market research on 100 US based ecommerce stores to see where online outlets are missing out on sales following abandonment.
The results may be pretty hard to swallow, especially if you’re the ecommerce decision maker at one of the tested companies – but, Optilead know from their vast experience in ecommerce that engaging with online visitors who abandon online can see drastic changes in customer loyalty, brand enhancement and ultimately revenue.
So, what was the survey about?
Optilead wanted to establish how ecommerce sites (in particular companies with headquarters in Massachusetts) react to abandoned shopping carts online and how they manage call back requests.
Each of the 100 companies was tested 3 times for abandonment – abandonment was after contact details had been left on the payment pages but before the cart payment was entered. Each site was also tested for a call back where the service was provided.
So – how did they perform?
9 out of 10 abandonment tests ignored
To say the least we were disturbed by the lack of responses! With 300 abandonment tests undertaken on 100 retail sites we only received communication from 41 of the tests. Those 41 responses came from only 20 companies – the other 80 made no effort to engage with us.
In total we abandoned in excess of $379k, our results indicate $344k of that was totally ignored.
Average value of abandoned shopping was $1266.08
We took this survey seriously and loaded shopping carts to a reasonable value on each test that we conducted. The average value of $1266.08 should have meant that the companies would have recognized the potential for business and engaged with us.
We all know from experience that if a sales advisor in a store ignored a customer with a potential order of this value they wouldn’t last in that store very long. So why is it allowed to happen online?
The key reasons for abandoning online are normally long checkout processes, being unsure of shipping costs, shipping time options and issues with payment. But, these can all be overcome by engaging with the prospect.
7 companies responded to all 3 tests
This, for the companies that responded, is some consolation – as they have processes in place to capture abandonment. But, and here is the sting in the tail, only 1 company clearly had an automated system in place because each email arrived on the chime of 2 hours. In the real world, many consumers wouldn’t wait 2 hours for that email, they would have found what they were looking for on a competitors website.
4 companies responded to test 1 but ignored carts in excess of $1000
We don’t understand this… 4 of the 10 companies that responded to our first test, ignored abandonment of a higher value in the subsequent tests – each of which was in excess of $1000. We used different customer details for each test, so, why did they ignore such high value leads, yet respond by email to the first abandonment?
Average response time 1 day, 14 hours and 15 minutes
Of the 41 responses we received following our abandonment tests, the average time for the response was 1 day, 14 hours and 15 minutes and one company didn’t respond for 7 days. Failing to contact, or delaying the time to communicate with someone (who has spent the time to look at products, load them to the cart and fill personal details on the payment pages before abandoning) is costing ecommerce websites money.
In a highly competitive market place, it’s not cheap to have PPC, SEO and media campaigns in place to attract customers to an ecommerce store. But, if you have succeeded in attracting them to your site, the vital element is converting them to customers. On average 3 out of 4 carts are abandoned, so it’s critical that you have a strategy in place that allows you to connect instantly with people that abandon at the payment pages. These prospects are normally serious about buying but need your assistance. Leaving them to receive only a follow up email isn’t going to win you big business.
By adopting a multi-channel approach to shopping cart abandonment, companies can take advantage of calls, texts and emails to engage with customers instantly and be seen as a proactive and supportive company that cares about supporting the end consumer. Assisting consumers and understanding their issues inevitably increases revenue.
98% don’t offer a call back
Only 2 companies of the 100 tested offered us the chance to request a call back. Of the 2 companies only one actually called us back!
You’ve been there yourself, you’re browsing online, ready to make a purchase, but the company you are looking at doesn’t show a phone number on the home page, you can’t find it in their contact pages and they invite you to email them. This gives you no confidence to buy from them so you look at other websites and end up buying elsewhere.
Having a call back feature on your website can be one of the easiest ways of converting more business. After all, you are running an online store so why wouldn’t you want to be there to support your customers?
If you are going to have a call back feature ensure that it is fully automated – calling prospects within the first 15 minutes will ensure you reach 9 out of 10 decision makers. The quicker you engage while the consumer is still in ‘buying mode’, the higher the chance you have of converting the sale.
Our test included 100 ecommerce retail sites within the US. It’s apparent from our findings that all of these stores have something to gain from connecting instantly to the huge number of visitors that abandon their sites each day. Sending an email out might satisfy the needs of a marketer looking to show action is being taken. But, by truly engaging with customers that abandon, while they are still in ‘buying mode’ and before they go to a competitor, will significantly increase sales and enhance your brand.
Our cart recovery experience shows that by applying a real-time multi-channel approach consisting of phone, email & SMS, you can expect to see recovery rates from abandonment of around 47%. But, more importantly by engaging instantly you will enhance your brand and the repeat or referral rates will be expediential.