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Three-quarters of IRUK Top100 don’t follow up on abandoned carts: study

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Almost three-quarters of the IRUK Top500 didn’t follow up on abandoned carts in a test, betraying approaches that could potentially lose them significant sales, a study has found.

Customer engagement specialists Optilead analysed the leading 100 UK retailers, as defined by IRUK Top500 research, and found that 74 did not follow up on cart abandonment.

Each of the sites was tested three times, with items added to the cart or basket, filling out the visitor’s details, but abandoning the cart before payment details were completed. This, said Optilead, gave retailers the opportunity to retarget the visitor using the contact details provided. In total, researchers abandoned products worth £172,000 – or £574 for each basket. That, says Optilead, is a significant amount, in the context of Centre for Retail Research figures that suggest UK online shoppers will spend an average of £1,311 online this year.

In all, 26 companies responded to the tests – all via email. It received 56 responses from 300 tests. Thirteen companies followed up on all three occasions, and response times averaged 21 hours and 46 minutes.

“After this amount of time in today’s competitive online landscape,” said Marc Pearce, multichannel marketing manager at Optilead, “consumers are highly likely to have visited a rival website – and may have already completed their purchase.”

He added: “Having a real-time solution in place is vital to engage with online prospects immediately. But what’s most important for retailers is the ability to harness the tools available to connect with prospects depending on each opportunity’s value. For instance, high-value leads should be followed up instantly with a phone call, email should be utilised to engage with lower-value leads and SMS is fantastic to touch base, offer discount codes or confirm order and delivery statuses.”

He said that Optilead’s own experience suggested the best time to contact a prospect was within 15 minutes of abandonment. “With the lowest response time in these 300 tests being 29 minutes – and the highest four days and 21 minutes – none of the IRUK Top100 engaged within this vital time frame.” But, he said, 46% of retailers that responded to at least one of the tests did not do so when higher value tests were carried out.

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