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WEBINAR OVERVIEW A sense of abandonment?

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In a recent Internet Retailing webinar, Lili Boev, group account director at dotMailer , was the speaker in a session concentrating on abandoned carts – and how to convert them into sales. Here’s a brief summary of the webinar.

Some 58% of online shopping carts are abandoned, worth $3 trillion in lost revenue every years. “Retailers are throwing money down the drain if they don’t do anything about this,” says Lili Boev, group account director at dotMailer.

Why do people abandon carts?

• Window shopping

• Choice

• Price

• Bad website user experience

• Cross-device shopping “gives a lot more opportunity to abandon.” “Some people never intend to buy on a mobile device – they finish the purchase on an actual computer”.

Ways of recovering the abandoned cart

• Retargeting: 63% of lost revenue is recoverable (Business Intelligence and SeeWhy study)

• Marketing automation: “making sure your marketing fits around the customer’s buying cycle”

Five stages of marketing automation: where is your business on this journey? From initial, to managed, to defined, to optimized, to potentialised (graph)

“Retailers can forget an online store is an extension of your brand and some of the humanity can sometimes leave.”

How automation can work along the customer journey (graph)

Bringing the bricks and mortar experience online

Making shopping:

• An experience

• Brand opportunity

• Chance to connect: live chat, for example

• A platform for promotion


• Important to treat people differently

“Look at those broad segments and look at the tone of voice in the content of your emails. Be more friendly with repeat customers and treat them slightly differently, look at the way you treat new customers. If you work in an unusual area, it may take them more time to get used to the products.”

• Use past behaviour – only promote sale products to those who buy in the sale. Don’t use discount codes for those who will always buy.

• Unique offers: money off not always right route. One travel client, Newmarket Travel, offers first come, first served tickets to regular customers.

• Consider your persona/introduce personality, whether humour or changing content in the presentation of different messages.

Optimise the timing of your emails

• “Think about where the customer was in the buying process when they abandoned the cart or left the website.” Had they given you their email, was it at the post and packaging moment. This could help to understand the site as well as the customer.

• Best practice still limited, but suggests emails should be sent in the first hour.

• Day/time of the week: one beauty client found that most purchases happened at the beginning of the week, with Tuesday lunchtime the peak time. Having finished their products over the weekend, they were keen to re-order ahead of the next weekend.

• Three step programme

Triggered email 1, sent one hour after cart abandoned, no 2 sent a day later, no 3 a week later, possibly with discount voucher. Figures show such an approach “can raise sales by up to 27%.”


Important to optimise messages for mobile as more traffic comes via smartphones and tablet computers.

Example: teapigs campaign. Important that messages render in a single column, that hotlink calls to action are clearly visible and that there’s a ‘download the app’ link.

Planning the abandoned cart email

• Plan to have shoppers add their email address at the beginning of the process.

• Imagery

• Live stock availability

• Live pricing

• Recommendations

• Customer service detail

• Returns policy

• Call to action to return to the cart


• Science in Sport: calls to action, pictures and details of products in the basket.

• similar products you might like.

• AlexandAlexa: Other products you’d like, contact details, calls to action.

Q&A session

Questions included ways of analysing the number of abandoned baskets, and first steps towards implementing a programme.

For more information about the webinar, or to listen to it at your own convenience, seeing the slides and hearing the Q&A session, click here to visit the dotMailer webinar page.

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