If there’s one issue that’s still a huge problem for e-commerce companies, it’s shopping cart abandonment. Search Engine Land reports that shopping cart abandonment rates are a staggering 75% across the board, but other research firms have estimated that the number goes as high as 88%. That means that well over 3/4ths of your online customers are putting items in their shopping cart, but failing to purchase, resulting in a huge loss of profit from a segment of website visitors that should be ideal customers.

What’s the Problem?

The first question most e-commerce companies ask themselves when trying to diagnose the reason for the cart abandons is “What am I not providing?” This generally ties in to website optimization – specifically on the checkout pages. Many times, high shipping costs, confusing website layouts, and an overly complicated checkout process can deter customers from finalizing a purchase. And while site optimization does have a large impact on shopping cart abandonment, it’s not always the culprit. In fact, according to some new research, it might just be a lack of persistence.

The National Mail Order Association recently stated that the average time between when a visitor reaches your website and when they make a purchase is 19 hours. There’s a wide variety of reasons that could be holding up the purchasing process: it could be that visitors want to re-assess their potential purchase before they take the plunge, they could be comparison shopping, or they might be waiting to make a purchase at home – as opposed to at the office or on a mobile device. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that unless you’re actively reaching out to these people and giving them a reason to come back to their cart, it’s highly likely that you’ll lose them as a customer.

Re-Engaging Lost Customers

Since many visitors need additional time to finalize a purchase, a simple solution would be to have an automated email sent out after a cart is abandoned in an effort to remind, re-engage and incentivize a shopper to finalize their purchase. One of the biggest reasons we’ve found for shopping cart abandonment, and it’s one that is corroborated by the research, is simply the forgetfulness of customers in the 19 hours between when they find an item and finally decide to purchase. Often a customer will find a product they like, add it to their cart, but forget what website they were using almost a full day earlier. Given the fluid nature of search results, when they Google the product at home the day after they found it while browsing on their work lunch break, your website might not show up and they may end up buying elsewhere.

This is where a reminder email comes in. A quick, simple, and above all unobtrusive reminder that the customer has items waiting in their cart can drastically drop the abandonment rate. Reduced abandonment rate means higher revenue, and all for little more than the cost of an email.

The biggest obstacle to a full implementation of this strategy up until now has been the difficulty of linking e-commerce data with automated email marketing products. That’s why Endai developed SitePreserver™ through their MarketTraq™ email marketing platform. This easy to use service lets e-commerce companies set up parameters for reminding visitors that they have a purchase, and then let the automated service take over, creating additional selling opportunities, re-engaging potential customers and capturing lost sales with no additional work or changes to your current e-commerce platform.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that customers rarely abandon a cart because they dislike a product or company. It all comes down to being in their top of their mind when they’re ready to purchase. Sometimes the easiest way to do that is through a quick, simple email reminder.