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Category: Marketing

In talking with my clients, there is a topic that kept coming up in regards to Ecommerce, and the topic was Shopping Cart Abandonment. The questions were: What is it? Do I have this problem? What should I do about it?

Lets start by briefly outlining “What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?” Shopping Cart Abandonment is when a customer comes to your site, browses for a period of time, and adds items to their cart. Then, for one reason or another, they end up leaving without checking out and without purchasing any items in their cart.

How prevalent is this problem, and is it something I should be concerned about? Turns out, over 65% of shopping carts are abandoned. That’s a lot of lost revenue!

If you have an Ecommerce site then you have Shopping Cart Abandonment.

So what do you do about it? That depends on why the customer is leaving. There are a number of reasons that can interrupt the checkout process from customer indecision to site design flaws and technical problems. 

The number 1 reason shoppers abandon their carts is because shipping and handling costs are too high. Lowering this alone can have a major impact on your sales. Other major reasons for abandonment are customers who are not yet ready to purchase, customers who are still price shopping on other sites, and customers who think that your individualized pricing is too high.

Design and trust level are two more reasons why customers will abandon their carts. Design needs to be inviting and the amount of work a customer should do to checkout must be minimal. If your site is outdated, running slowly, and confusing for a buyer, the customer will be less likely to purchase anything and thus, abandon their cart. This is the “trust level” or, the level of confidence the buyer obtains from your site while browsing.

There are two ways to go about reducing your abandonment: You can try to stop it before it happens, or you can try to encourage a customer to come back and complete the checkout process if it has already happened.

Some popular options for preventing abandonment are:

  • Offer Free or Reduced Shipping
  • Don’t force registration to checkout. Allow Guest Checkout.
  • Simplify your checkout process. Unnecessary steps allow for more options to leave.
  • Ensure your checkout process is Safe and Secure and uses SSL
  • Requiring unnecessary information. People typically don’t like filling out forms. Do you?

Even after the above actions have been taken you can still recoup some of the abandoned carts.

Remarketing is a clever technique that allows you to display advertisements on other websites to users who have previously visited your site. If used correctly, you can remarket shopping cart items that have been abandoned. Google AdWords is a good example of a way to implement this technique and of remarketing has been shown to increase conversions by 18%.

Another very powerful tool is sending an email to customers letting them know they have a cart and promoting the products that they have abandoned. Surveys have shown that 13% of leading Ecommerce sites target their customers within 3 hours of an abandoned cart. An automated waterfall campaign of three emails sent over an increasing delay such as 3 hours, 24 hours and 7 days has been shown to work well.

An analysis of one of my customers revealed thousands of dollars in potential revenue from their customer’s abandoned carts! What was even more impressive was that their Magento Ecommerce platform tracked the email address of all of those abandoned carts. Having good analytics and a strong Ecommerce platform can provide you with many useful bits of information if setup properly.

According to SeeWhy, which has analyzed data from over 600,000 abandoned carts, 54% of all carts that are successfully recovered are won back within the first few hours after abandonment. An additional 10% can be recovered within 48 hours, and at the end of 7 days, 82% can be recovered.

One final thought, Don’t reward abandonment! If you decide to send coupons in an abandoned cart email, mix it up and only send them on occasion. Sending out coupons after someone abandons their cart every time is training your customers to wait and come back later to receive a discount.

If you run an Ecommerce site, now is the time to look into your Shopping Cart Abandonment. If you need help with analysis of your site or implementation of any of the suggestions above, contact Sysgen Media’s Ecommerce Consultants and let us help you recover your lost carts!

So after a brief blogging hiatus to get some actual work done (which it turns out is necessary to run a business), I’m back on the blogging bandwagon. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration however, so expect to see posts a bit more frequently again!

Which brings me to a conversation I was having with a new client a couple of weeks ago in which he asked my opinion on pop-ups on websites. To be honest, as a website user they annoy me, and I said so. He completely agreed and gave me a great analogy that I’d like to pass along.

What’s great is that it’s an analogy that applies not only to popups, but also to excessive use of Flash transitions on a site and to those silly entry pages that have a “Skip Intro” link on them.

To roughly quote the client: When I see popups, it feels like I’m walking into a store and getting rushed by 5 salesmen.

And he’s right. It’s annoying. What I thought about myself when he mentioned this was walking through the perfume / jewelry / makeup section of department stores where there seems to be a person every 5 feet with a perfume trying to get you to make eye contact so that they can suggest you try their perfume / jewelry / eyeliner. How frustrating is that when you just want to get to a different part of the store to pick up what you actually want?

We just want information!

If someone is visiting your business’s website, they’re most likely there for information about your product or services. That Flash intro / transition or popup is just delaying that process. Avoid the temptation to use them on your website!

If you want to highlight something on your website, design the site so that area draws your visitors’ eyes.

Don’t annoy them with unnecessary delays. Remember: Sometimes Less is More.

As always, if you have any questions or are interested in help getting your website started or improved upon, feel free to get in touch with me either at nlandis@sysgenmedia.com or (631) 343-2211!

But I thought Twitter was just for teenagers and self-centered adults?

Not anymore it’s not. Twitter is a tremendous business tool.

I just finished my second meeting this week where using Twitter to drive traffic to a website was one of the main topics. Is Twitter going to be the magic solution that you need to increase traffic to your website? No, probably not. But if used properly (and yes that means actually learning the community, spending time finding people to follow and building your followers, and having meaningful things to tweet)  it can be a huge boon for your business.

Excuses

I’ve heard a lot of excuses to stay away from Twitter, and can counter them all (have any reservations that I missed? Comment and I’ll get back to you!):

  • I don’t have anything to say. Be creative! Tweet a quote of the day. Tweet links to blog posts (more on Blogging For Your Business in an upcoming post). Tweet random advice. Tweet links to useful articles related to your business. There’s no end to what you can do if you put some thought into it.
  • I don’t understand how it works. Learn. Seriously, it’s worth it. Take some time to look over the Twitter pages of businesses that you know. Sysgen Media, for example. Or contact us if you’re looking for a more guided tour. We can talk to you about all of our Internet Marketing packages.
  • There’s no way I can fit anything useful into 140 characters. You’d be surprised how much info you can stick into two sentences if you try. Check out the tweets of businesses you know of for examples. And use a url shortening service like http://www.bit.ly to shorten urls for your tweets. For example: http://www.ultimateathletemagazine.com (38 characters) can become http://bit.ly/3nnh6V (20 characters).

Connect With Your Clients and Customers

Just as important as Tweeting however, is connecting to other Twitterers. The search feature of Twitter is amazing. Once you’ve created your account, search for people with similar interests. Find existing clients and follow them. Find potential new clients tweeting about products or services that you offer and connect with them. The possibilities are endless.

Brand Your Twitter Page

This goes beyond just filling out the basic information that Twitter asks. A plain twitter page is boring. Make sure that you grab the eye of anyone who visits your site with a custom background. And make sure that this background is consistent with the look of your site and any other promotional material you use.

If you want to display more information than the basic twitter fields allow (and you should!), make sure that that background includes all of this extra information on the top left-hand side of the screen.

Let Us Help!

Still unsure if Tweeting is right for you? Need help figuring out how to get started? Contact us for help with your Internet Marketing and Branding! We’re working on this type of work for a few clients now, and are always looking to help more people.

As always, if you have any questions or are interested in help getting your website started or improved upon, feel free to get in touch with me either at nlandis@sysgenmedia.com or (631) 343-2211!

Last week, as I was browsing various websites that I frequent, I stumbled upon an interesting blog post titled: The Myth of the Rational Buyer: How Too Much Thinking Can Hurt Your Brand. It was an interesting read, and to sum up the relevant portion of the article,  it states that many buyers don’t think rationally and that sometimes saying too much gets them thinking too much… and then they don’t buy your product.

From personal experience, one of our biggest points of delay when setting up a new website for a client is getting content from them about their business, product, or whatever they else they want to talk about on their website. Perhaps they are just thinking about it too much.

Take the iPod packaging for example. iPod

It’s sparse, with just a bit of detail of the product and the iPod itself. In short, it’s brilliant.

While an approach that’s this sparse probably won’t work for everyone, perhaps it’s a good model to follow to a point.

On the other end of the spectrum, check out this youtube parody of what would happen if Microsoft created the iPod package.

My Point

If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly what to put on your website, just keep it simple. Especially in this age of information overload, many people really don’t take the time to read more than the first few things they see. Instead, as a starting point, just get the facts out and get your website online.

As always, if you have any questions or are interested in help getting your website started or improved upon, feel free to get in touch with me either at nlandis@sysgenmedia.com or (631) 343-2211!

Just a quick update, which I meant to write about yesterday but ran out of time.

I’ve been attempting to actually be active with our Twitter account (follow us!) recently for various reasons, and in doing so, I stumbled upon a message from someone I don’t know, and who doesn’t appear to be working directly in the web design industry.

To quote lacefaced:

When a company doesn’t have a website (and myspace doesn’t count), I don’t want to give them my business.

This is the point that I’ve been trying to get across to all of the businesses (and just about everyone else) that I’ve spoken to lately, a point which many simply don’t seem to understand. I’ve heard a lot of excuses, everything from “I don’t have the money right now” (somewhat understandable, given the current economic situation) to “I’m just a small business, I don’t need a website.”

But let’s re-read the quote, just so that it can completely sink in:
When a company doesn’t have a website (and myspace doesn’t count), I don’t want to give them my business.

This is the attitude that’s being adopted by more and more people of all ages. It’s not just the youngsters anymore. It’s not just the 20 somethings that, when they go looking for a company and find either just a MySpace page or nothing at all, simply won’t give that company their business. It’s almost everyone.

Not having a website makes it look like you don’t care about your company. And if you don’t care about your company, how can you care about your product?

Having only a myspace page is like you having your 3 year old niece decorate your storefront with cardboard, crayons, glue, and macaroni noodles.

Businesses need to realize that their situation online is now going to affect their business whether they want it to or not. Even if you aren’t selling on the internet, be sure to have a website for your business, and that it properly reflects your business! Let people know who you are, what your products and services are, when you’re open, and how to contact you!

Ignore the internet at the peril of your business!

Contact me today at nlandis@sysgenmedia.com or (631) 343-2211 to find out how I can help you build the website that will recapture the business that you’re losing without it!