4 Steps to Converting the Online Window Shopper.
Recent data have shown that the average ecommerce conversion rates range from 2 to 5%.Yet, many retailers are reluctant to automate browse recovery emails because they have these questions:
- How will consumers respond to emails generated from an online shopping session?
- Will they view the emails as intrusive? Will that increase my unsubscribe rates?
- Will automated browse recovery emails really get shoppers to come back and buy from my website?
According to Monetate’s Q4 2016 Ecommerce Quarterly Report, more than 95% of visitors leave your website without making a purchase.
If you haven’t started using a browse recovery strategy, or if you use it but haven’t seen the same ROI, you’re in the right place. Here’s the four-step game plan from the Oracle team based on customers who have been the most successful in applying a browse recovery strategy.
STEP 1: TRACK EVENT DATA
This first step is critical. Without successfully tracking all product views, you’ll never send all of the emails you should send, which will keep you from seeing the best possible ROI.
Most retailers stop here. They worry that tracking browse activity and sending messages to shoppers after a browse session will be invasive. But that perception doesn’t match reality.
In fact, Oracle Retail 2025 revealed that 56% of consumers now recognize that sharing personal information can improve their shopping experience, and in Winning in the Age of Personalization, a study by Mindtree, 76% of consumers say they believe personalized promotions would encourage them to purchase relevant products they’ve never purchased before. Translation: Consumers want personalized experiences. So collect browsing history and use it to send them the personalized product recommendations they’re asking for. And, when you pair browse recovery messages with a product recommendations engine, the products you recommend in your browse recovery program will be highly personalized and even more likely to be appreciated by consumers who shop your site.
Configure your selectors to grab that product ID and identify all possible places an email address might be provided by a visitor.
Your browse recovery programs and product recommendations should draw on more than simply the last viewed items for a browse session. It should track and provide a long-term view of browse activity to set rules for prioritization and triggering.
STEP 2: CONFIGURE RULES AND SETTINGS
With browse data now flowing in, it’s time to examine your configuration. How you configure your rules to trigger messages will determine the value of your campaign. And yes, it’s a campaign. Don’t think about browse recovery as individual email sends, but rather as a campaign to move your visitors through the buying lifecycle.
When configuring your options, be sure to consider the following:
- Set up each rule so it doesn’t overlap with others and prevent them from sending the appropriate emails during the campaign.
- Send emails shortly after abandonment. Time is of the essence. According to Deloitte, the majority (76%) of shoppers who conduct a local search from their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
- Allow different rules to send frequently to ensure visitors moving through the buying lifecycle receive the entire campaign of messages, even if you decide not to target them again on the same rule for a longer period of time.
Use the Recently Viewed trigger to bring back visitors who are just starting to interact with your brand and the Category Threshold trigger to bring them back when they begin to narrow their focus. The Product Threshold can help you convert them on the specific product they’re deeply engaged with – before they buy it from someone else.
STEP 3: DESIGN YOUR EMAILS
Even with perfectly timed sends, a poorly designed message can negatively affect your results. Here are a few tips for creating a quality browse recovery message:
- Use personalized, relevant content. Make sure the visitor knows why they are receiving the message and that it isn’t just another basic marketing message. Remember: You are tracking their browsing history. Use that data to improve their experience with your brand.
- Remind shoppers what they were browsing. Display product images, user reviews and other related content. And give them a clear call to action, such as a button or links to return to those products.
- Help shoppers find what they’re looking for. Integrate your messages with our Recommendations Premium app, so you can offer other product recommendations.
STEP 4: OBSERVE AND OPTIMIZE
Once you’ve completed the first three steps, give yourself a pat on the back! You’re tracking data and sending out meaningful messages to shoppers. But don’t stop there. It’s time to keep an eye on your work and consider optimizations based on your results.
As you review your campaign, consider these questions:
- Are your metrics for a particular rule significantly lower than others? Your settings may be overlapping with the settings for another rule, or the settings for allowing another message to send could be too restrictive. Consider adjusting them to identify visitors earlier in the buying lifecycle and send additional emails as the visitor becomes more engaged.
- Are your overall open, click or conversion rates lower than expected? Revisit your subject lines and message content to make sure they deliver clear and relevant content.
- Is revenue lower than you’d like despite positive open, click and conversion rates? This likely means your campaigns are actually doing well, but you aren’t sending enough emails. Capture as many emails from visitors as possible so you can add them to your targeted browse recovery campaigns.
- Lastly, are your loss rates higher than normal? You could be sending too frequently or your emails may be leaving contacts with a bad impression. Think about using the same rule less frequently and altering message content to provide more value to visitors in their shopping journeys.
You’ll Need Deep Reporting Capabilities
What reporting metrics does your commerce marketing automation vendor provide? Be sure you can go deep. For example, it’s helpful to see your revenue per email, revenue by link clicked and the type of device your message recipients use to open your messages.
How will you engage the 95% of visitors who leave your website without making a purchase? If you’re like most retailers, you won’t do anything. But that strategy (or lack of one) leaves money on the table – our customers have shown you can convert 20% of abandoned browse sessions.
Want to see results like that and convert more of your website traffic into revenue? Start planning your browse recovery strategy today.
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