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Unabandon Shopping Carts With Direct Digital Marketing

April 27, 2010 By Brian Deagan
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The fact is consumers abandon shopping carts. An unexpected phone call disrupts the shopping experience, shipping costs are way too high, a child spills milk, the dog gets into the trash — there are millions of reasons why consumers may abandon a shopping cart. But if online shopping is a convenience to the consumer, then that convenience must be managed on their terms, not the brand’s. In this situation, direct digital marketing reaches peak value. Simply put, direct digital marketing provides myriad opportunities for consumers to unabandon shopping carts.

There's a great deal of information in the marketplace and media about direct digital marketing. By now, most marketers realize what direct digital marketing is — targeted marketing communications addressed to individuals via email, web and mobile channels — and why it's popular with conversion-hungry e-retailers. The general mechanics of effective direct digital marketing — sending targeted emails, rotating dynamic website content, sending targeted SMS messages — are more widely known and are becoming increasingly adopted.

Given an inherent reliance on targeted and personalized content, direct digital marketing is a proven and effective approach to lifting key online retail metrics. But a reasonable question persists: How does an overall direct digital marketing approach to customer communications impact real e-retail challenges like shopping cart abandonment?

Customer feedback to marketing communications comes in a variety of ways. An overlooked form of feedback is when consumers choose to abandon their shopping cart. Consumers may abandon because of a distraction or because they believe the value exchange isn't in their favor. Direct digital marketing allows marketers to listen and react to that feedback by extending the purchasing process over a longer period of time rather than scrambling to capture a sale within a finite window of time, or overcoming value-oriented objections with real-time targeted content.

Because of direct digital marketing’s cross-channel scope and database foundation, many existing programs can be deployed to avoid lost sales with abandoned shopping carts.

The buy-flow is a crucial part of the purchasing process, where proactive content targeting overcomes traditional customer objections. If your data shows a consumer in the buy-flow has sensitivity to high shipping costs, offer more aggressive shipping costs during the process to prevent abandonment. If the consumer still abandons the cart, send a triggered email containing the items that were left in the cart along with some less expensive shipping options.

 

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