Why does Browse Abandonment happen?
The reasons are numerous. Shoppers abandoning a site might have found searching difficult, or the navigation clunky. Vague product descriptions can send them away, as can confusing, non-existent or difficult to find information on shipping, payment, and returns. Or browsers might become distracted by a phone call, the end of their lunch break, etc.
How can I prevent Browse Abandonment?
Even more so than cart abandonment, browse abandonment can never be completely prevented. But there are factors that can reduce it. Here are some strategies to consider:
Provide a visual shopping experience
Shopping online without being able to touch and try on the product puts eCommerce sites at a disadvantage compared to a bricks-and-mortar retailer. Product description must be detailed (but not long). Explore other options, like 360-degree videos and virtual dressing rooms, to help shoppers imagine how the product will look in real life.
Keep it simple
Ensure that the process of browsing for products on your eCommerce site is seamless. You should review your website’s navigation and search functions regularly. Speedy loading is important. Mobile-friendly design is also essential. Google Analytics data from 2017 showed that 40 percent of online transactions were made on mobile devices.
Be transparent with shipping and payment options
Customers might like what they see but hesitate to cart and buy because they’re not sure about delivery options, costs and return policies.
Is your pricing competitive? Online shopping makes comparing the cost of goods and services very easy. If your prices are higher than your competitors, you must communicate the value of your products and services.
Personalize your messaging
Personalization can be even more critical to reducing browse abandonment than it is for cart abandonment. On your website, use personalization tools to make product suggestions that are relevant to the customer. Add dynamic features, such as countdown timers and shipping cut-off dates to create a sense of urgency. If you sell outdoor gear, consider adding real-time weather updates.
Incorporate ratings and reviews
Another great tactic to discourage browse abandonment is to employ social proof. These can include reviews, ratings, and social media posts from customers. Not only do they create a sense of trust, but can also give valuable information. Customers provide a kind of knowledge base on everything from sizing to the feel of an item.
Research backs social proof as a way to engage customers – 76% of consumers say they believe that content generated by average people is more honest than advertising from brands.
Myths about Browse Abandonment
Some retailers think that the tactic annoys and alienates customers. Research lays waste to that myth. Targeted browse abandonment emails which highlight products relevant to the consumer drive sales and increase brand loyalty.
Retailers that focus on relevant messages – and don’t try to hide why the message was sent – report positive responses from their customers.
Another myth about browse abandonment is that the GDPR rules for the EU have effectively outlawed the practice. The concern is that a browse abandonment message is equivalent to a newsletter and requires explicit consent. Because browse abandonment emails are specific, personalized messages based on the actions of a browsing session, they do not fall into the same category.
You are sending these messages to a person who has an existing relationship with your brand (after all, to send a browse abandonment email you need to have the shopper’s email address). Browse abandonment emails are a legitimate marketing activity and a great addition to your email marketing strategy.