Making a website engaging for customers is a skill marketers have been fine-tuning for a long time now. So you would expect some of the major online retail outlets to have some smart tactics to engage their online visitors.

To find out, Optilead tested 48 leading retail websites to see which gadgets and gizmos they were currently using to re-engage with their online customers. We abandoned baskets of different values on each site three times, just before completing the payment process. We also attempted to request call back request where possible, these are often added so customers can find out more information about products and delivery services.

This is what we found…


Retailers ignore 82% of abandoned carts

Incredibly, it’s true. From 144 shopping baskets we filled up and left behind, only 26 email reminders were sent out. For anybody business-minded this does not need spelling out. For anyone who isn’t, this means 118 baskets – worth a total of £159,186 – were abandoned without any attempt to recover them.

There’s more to remarketing than emails though. Despite being given full contact information where possible, not one call or text was sent out either. This means the majority of retailers are missing several opportunities to change a customer’s mind.


1 company (out of 48) had a real person responding to call back requests

All credit to this company too. They responded just one minute after contact information was filled in. Results show that call backs connected within 15 minutes of a request achieve an incredible 96% contact rate; and that those dialled after this period contact just 15%.

Unfortunately the majority of websites didn’t offer this feature at all. Customers are often reluctant to call a number themselves because of the potential costs.


Average price of abandoned shopping was £1,349.04

If somebody dropped goods of that value in a high street store and attempted to leave, any salesperson worth their salt would ask them if they needed help.

The reasons for abandoning shopping online are often similar to reasons for not buying in stores; long checkout processes, problems with shipping, finding it cheaper elsewhere. These problems can all be dealt with, but for some reason online enterprises are often hesitant to do so.


Average response time for abandoned cart emails was 2 hours 53 minutes

This is plenty of time for a customer to close their laptop, leave the room and completely forget about buying all those lovely items you sell. It is important to reach customers when they are in a ‘buying mode’. This means reaching them while they are still sat down with their device, looking to make a purchase.



Our sample group included retail websites from a range of sectors; supermarkets, electronics, fashion, sports equipment and DIY just to name a few. It seems the common factor for all of these companies, regardless of which sector they trade in, is that more could be done to connect with the huge number of people who change their minds when they’re shopping online.

It may simply be a case of offering free delivery, or providing another payment option that could turn an online visitor into a buyer – but if you never get in touch, you will never know.

By adopting a multi-channel approach to shopping cart abandonment, companies can take advantage of calls, texts and emails to develop a complete contact solution and increase their revenue.


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