April 25, 2015

Tracking Cart Abandonment with Google Analytics

In your physical store, cart abandonment is most likely not a major issue.That is to say it would be quite unusual for a customer to spend their time filling their basket with goods only to discard the basket on your shop floor and then walk out of the shop. It is just not that common. However online, the situation is quite different. Cart abandonment is a massive issue.

According to 24 different studies that contained statistics on eCommerce cart abandonment, the average abandonment rate is 67.89%*. That is over two thirds of would-be customers start but do not complete the purchase.

There are a number of factors at play here…..

When a person places your products in their basket in a physical store, they are often far further through the buying cycle than the equivalent person who fills up their online basket. The person in the physical store is moments away from buying. This is not the case with the online user. The person online has expressed an interest in your products but they may still be in research mode. They might be comparing similar baskets of goods between competing eCommerce stores. Price comparison is incredibly easy to do online. The online user might also not be looking to purchase right now. After all they have just made an expression of interest in your products. They do not have the pressure of the shop assistant’s eyes looking at them as they take time to make up their mind. It might be their intention to purchase in the coming weeks or months. Therefore it is no wonder that cart abandonment rates are far higher online.

However the important thing to keep in mind is that once the person has added goods to an online basket, they have made the first step in the purchase process. You can now take certain follow up actions to help close that open loop and get them to buy.

1.    You can use personalised emails. These emails can be set up so that they are automatically sent out to people who have open baskets of goods. These emails can help bring that person along the sales path by giving extra information on the product features in order to entice them to buy. The emails could also give time dependent price discounts to create some urgency in the potential buyer’s mind.

2.    You can use retargeting. Retargeting is the ability to follow your visitors around the web once they have left your site. By placing a cookie in their browser, you can advertise to these people on other websites reminding them of your products. It is important to keep in mind that you are not advertising to cold traffic. You are advertising to people who have already expressed an interest in your products.
What you can’t measure, you can’t improve. Once you are monitoring your cart abandonment rate, you can test offers through email or retargeting. You can test….

•    Does free shipping for certain products increase conversion to a point where it is viable for you to incur the shipping costs?
•    Can you make the buying process more streamlined and eliminate unnecessary steps?
•    If price is a factor, test downsells.

* http://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate

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