Online Shoppers Can Save Money by Playing Hard to Get

×

Online Shoppers Can Save Money by Playing Hard to GetIf you shop online, chances are you've left a few full shopping carts at the checkout altar.

Researchers estimate that about 70% of e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned, resulting in as much as $18 billion in lost sales.

Some get left in limbo because customers can't find the products or information that they want, or they're unable to successfully navigate a site. But the main reason shoppers shy away from going through with the electronic purchase is that they start checking out prices elsewhere. Some come back later to complete their purchase. Many don't.

Trying to Revive the Relationship

There is a surprisingly easy way to lure shoppers back: Send a reminder email.

A recent report from Listrak found that emails sent about three hours after abandonment had the highest average order values. According to the report, it also paid off to follow up with a second email about one to two days later, and a third two to three days after that. That's three emails within a week -- but they help prevent customers from buying elsewhere.

Surprisingly, relatively few retailers try to reignite sales this way. And many simply empty your cart after you've left it idle for a while.

According to Listrak, only about 19% of the top 500 online retailers send follow-up emails to abandoners (that's 42% more than did back in January), and the vast majority of them only send one.

Hold Out for Something Better

A simple reminder about what you left behind isn't as effective as sweetening the deal. Of the emails sent containing special offers, nearly half offered a certain percentage off, such as 5% or 10%. About a quarter offered free shipping.

These kinds of offers can be effective, but they're not without some problems. For one thing, many retailers already offer free shipping. But if you can hold out even longer, you may get a note offering to knock down the price -- or an alert that the item you wanted went on sale.

As retailers get more savvy about running their electronic storefronts, indecisive shoppers are likely to hear back from them more often with follow-up emails (and even some phone calls) with attractive offers.

So next time you fill your virtual shopping cart, if you're not in a rush, consider abandoning it for a few days to see what happens. But take note of what you've picked out, just in case the retailer decides to empty your cart instead of enticing you back to finish the sale.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

4 Comments

Filter by:
Aivaras Pavarde

We are living in good times, getting things cheaper is so easy. Just go to sites like www.hellocoin.com look for the store you are buying from and use the coupon codes to grab discount up to 50%, it's that easy and free, I wonder what's next

February 13 2013 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RichardsonWilliams

Yeah, anything that takes money regularly, especially if there is a version that is free, is not suggested. Somehow these crepe up on you... they seem like a good idea but never end up that way in the long run.

September 29 2012 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RichardsonWilliams

Yeah, anything that takes money regularly, especially if there is a version that is free, is not suggested. Somehow these crepe up on you... they seem like a good idea but never end up that way in the long run.

September 29 2012 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kenny

Have you heard of Daily Referral? It's a great new site with unbeatable deals at top-rated businesses in your favorite cities. I signed up, and now I'm getting news, updates, special offers, and exclusive deals from businesses I'm following based on my interests. Go to http://www.DailyReferral.com/36879 to get started!

December 20 2011 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Linda

More often than not, when I get these reminder emails, my shopping cart has already been emptied. I just delete those reminder emails now.

November 29 2011 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply