The most effective marketing has to be as tailored as possible, not just to the individual customer, but also to where he or she is in the buying process. Early on, ultra-targeted ads through ad remarketing are a great way to reengage Web visitors, influence them, and remind them you have great offers that may interest them.
When the customer is closer to conversion, about to make a purchase, he often hesitates, and may abandon his browsing session or cart. At this point, it’s no longer time for subtle influences through ads. It’s time to react and apply the best tactics for the situation. In short, it’s time for email remarketing.
I love email remarketing. It’s like the jackpot of client communication. These emails have off-the-charts return on investment (ROI), and what’s more, they’re almost free! No ads to buy—if you have the right solution that leverages Web behavior in real time, all you have to do is send an email!
You can often even get away without offering any greater discount than what’s on your website. To recover an abandoned browsing session or cart, all you need is to send a timely (that’s critical as you’ll see below), personalized, service-oriented email. The reason is that many cart abandonments are not price-related at all. They’re due to bad online experience.
The reason I say “almost free” and not just “free” is that free shipping is still the best way to convince a wavering customer to pull the trigger and buy. With you paying for the shipping, the email ends up as not completely free, but the important thing is that you’ll make the sale.
As promised, here are some stats to convince you this isn’t just me saying this is the best marketing investment you’ll ever make.
How Big an Opportunity Is There in Converting Abandoned Carts?
- About $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned annually in online shopping carts, and about 63 percent of that is potentially recoverable by savvy online retailers, according to BI Intelligence estimates; how much revenue is lost in your abandoned carts?
- As many as 74 percent of online shopping carts were abandoned by shoppers in 2013, according to data shared with BI Intelligence by e-commerce data company, Barilliance. That’s up from 72 percent in 2012, and 69 percent in 2011. What’s your abandoned cart fraction?
- About three in four shoppers who abandoned shopping carts say they plan to return to the retailer’s website or store to make a purchase, according to data from SeeWhy; 8 percent actually do; that leaves 67 percent of abandoners as ready remarketing targets.
When Do People Abandon Carts, and Why?
- Most abandonments happen between 8 and 9 p.m., with Thursday the most common day, according to eConslutancy. This may be related to when most people go online shopping.
- 44 percent of cart abandoners did so because of shipping costs, according to Forrester.
- 25 percent of purchase abandoners said they abandoned because website navigation was too complicated, 21 percent because the process is too long, and 17 percent because of security concerns, according to Statista.
- The top five reasons for abandonment have to do with costs or timing, according to SeeWhy.
How Effective Is Email Remarketing?
- 57 percent of direct shopping cart traffic is driven by email, according to SeeWhy.
- 66 percent of cart conversion comes through email, according to Internet Retailer.
- According to Salecycle, classic marketing email averages 21 percent open rate whereas remarketing email averages 57 percent; that’s almost three times as much!
- Clicked remarketing emails average 30 percent conversion rate, according to Salecycle; compare that to overall average conversion of under 5 percent!
How Important Is Timing?
- The average delay between a buyer’s first visit and purchase is 19 hours, but that’s a misleading number because of the long tail of that time distribution; in fact, 72 percent of visitors will buy in the first 24 hours after they first visit, according to SeeWhy.
- A MIT study found that 90 percent of e-commerce leads go cold within an hour, making real-time follow-up imperative to recapturing abandoned shopping carts—you have to strike while the purchase is still front-of-mind!
- Email sent within 3 hours after a consumer abandons a cart averages 40 percent open rate and 20 percent click-through rate, according to Listrak.
- Most important, according to Marketing Sherpa, contacts reengaged through abandoned cart emails spend 55 percent more than the abandoned-cart total when they return to websites!
Bonus—Cart Abandonment Is Not a Bad Thing!
As mentioned above, SeeWhy found that 75 percent of customers who abandon a cart do so with the intention to buy. No, they’re not crazy, or if they are, they’re crazy like a fox. If you’re like many marketers, you’ve been spending thousands of dollars in visitor stitching and attribution marketing solutions. That’s because customers follow nonlinear journeys. They visit your site, browse, fill up a cart, and then set it off to the side while they compare prices with your competitors, or look for promo codes, or check Facebook.
Not only is cart abandonment not a bad thing, it’s actually a great signal of willingness to engage! The quicker you send these people an email, preferably offering free shipping, the more you’ll convert!
On the other hand, according to SeeWhy data, an overwhelming majority of online merchants, 81 percent to be precise, believe the majority of abandoners are simply wasting the merchant’s time. This attitude leads them to discard the highest ROI marketing opportunity available to them! Now that’s crazy!
So, do you remarket? Are you finding it an efficient, effective, and highly lucrative marketing avenue?
In an upcoming post, I’ll cover some email remarketing best practices and a link to an ROI calculator.