Are You Dating Your Browse Abandoners?

Businesses often are unsure about browse abandoners. Akin to asking a girl out on a first date, being confident in your communication with these lost shoppers is key when helping your business to more of the profit pie.

There is very little published information on how successful browse-abandonment recovery can be for your business, because most marketing systems don't collect the raw data needed and so they hide the issue (sneaky beggars, marketers!). But with the right real-time system, browse-abandonment can open up a significant new income stream, especially for the businesses who want to leave no source of revenue untapped. Read that as all businesses!

Browse-abandonment refers to customers who can be identified on your website, viewing products, but who have not yet got as far as the shopping cart. These customers are the Internet’s window shoppers; converting them from mere researchers into purchasers can lead to an uptick in revenue. There are many more browse abandoners than cart abandoners, because you are targeting shoppers higher up the purchase funnel, and thanks to this - even though conversion rates are lower than for cart abandoners - there are more than enough of them to make browse abandonment recovery programs very profitable. We find they increase your sales by about 5% (from about 8% for cart abandonment alone to about 13% for both browse and cart).

We get estimated click-through rates of 6.1% for browse abandonment emails - not counting people who return to the eCommerce site by following favorite links etc. - so why do customers like them? Here's one way to look at it - you know it's a good idea to vary your marketing efforts according to the engagement level of each potential buyer: if they have disengaged, you should back off and contact them less, to to avoid being treated as spam. On the other hand, if they demonstrate high engagement by visiting, you should immediately react by increasing your marketing frequency.

Agreed? Well, the simplest, most straightforward way to vary your marketing frequency is to add browse abandonment emails to your marketing mix. Looked at this way, it's a no-brainer that browse abandonment works!

The figures we've seen from competitors offer some ammo to back up this opinion. Experian Marketing Services and Silverpop (albeit from small samples) see click-through rates of 5.6% and 7.4% with a revenue per email standing at $0.77 and $0.44. Our own data from a larger sample shows some more interesting stuff; similar click-through at 6.1% and revenue per email much stronger at £2.08 (i.e. $3.32).

The lesson to take away from this: Don't miss out on valuable revenue by poor or non-existent browse-abandonment recovery campaigns. Just go up to the girl and ask her out!

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11/03/2013 How-tos