Shopping Cart Abandonment and the Case for Google Display Network Remarketing

Shopping Cart Abandonment and the Case for Google Display Network Remarketing

A May 2010 study by Forrester research yielded some rather sobering statistics on the rate of shopping cart abandonment many eCommerce websites are facing.

Defining Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping Cart Abandonment is simply the act of initiating an e-checkout  without purchasing a product. It’s something we’ve written about before at TechWyse, see Nitin’s blog about how to combat shopping cart abandonment.

The Trend of Increased Abandonment Rates

The aforementioned Forrester study entitled Understanding Shopping Cart Abandonment found that “88% of Web buyers say that they have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction.” This is in fact the same percentage as found in 2005; the study suggests that online retailers haven’t learned much when it comes to improving abandonment rates.

In a blog posted by Forrester a North American survey from Consumer Technographics (an offshoot of Forresters) found the following:

Technographics Shopping Cart Abandonment

How to Win Back Customers Who’ve Abandoned Shopping Carts

For years marketers target shopping cart abandoners with email remarketing but now online retailers have a new weapon to help reel-in customers that have gone astray. Google Display Network Remarketing was introduced in March 2010 and has really picked up steam since its introduction. Here’s a brief video to explain the basic idea of remarketing:

On the technical side, remarketing allows you to drop a cookie on a user’s browser after they have visited a certain area of your website e.g. a shopping cart or lead form. After that you’re then able to target that user with display advertising as they browse other websites that are part of the Google Display Network.

Getting Strategic with Google Remarketing

Say for example you’re Future Shop and you’re clearing out old 50” 3D TVs before new shipments arrive. With Google remarketing you’ll be able to serve display ads to people who’ve abandoned a 50” 3D TV in their shopping cart. Imagine the effectiveness of offering free shipping to someone who’s already visited your site looking for a TV. It’s a very precise and personalized marketing tool – especially if you direct the potential customer to landing page that has a great sales funnel.

In the case above, remarketing addresses the core concern that “shipping fees are too high” – the leading reason why people abandon carts (cited in the graph shown earlier in this post). With remarketing you can make free shipping available only to those who’ve abandoned their shopping carts and not to those who’ve checked out on first visit; simply run a display network ad that directs to a special offer landing page, or present a coupon code for that customer to use at your regular checkout page. The result? An effective remarketing campaign focused on free shipping can prove to dramatically reduce the rate of shopping cart abandonment!

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