Business Blog

Retargeting the Perfect Way to Recover Abandoned Shopping Carts


If you're like most online shoppers, you've probably abandoned a shopping cart. According to a group of studies collected by Baymard Institute, the average rate of e-commerce shopping cart abandonment from 2006 through 2015 is 68.63%. More than 2/3rds of digital shoppers are putting items in their cart and never hitting the buy button. It's a challenge unique to digital commerce and retailers are using a variety of tools to save the shopping cart and sale.  


Most of us don't fill a shopping cart in a brick-and-mortar retail store and then leave it and walk out. Online shopping makes it easy to add items to a cart and abandon them. There's no stigma. There's no sales associate watching us.  It's a challenge unique to digital commerce. 


And even if consumers plan to purchase, it doesn't mean the sale will happen. People change their minds, most often deciding they really didn't want the product enough to follow through with a purchase. Market Track found that 28% of digital shoppers in the U.S. were in this boat, while 27% held off buying to do more product research.


Retargeting to recover the Outdoor abandoned Shopping Carts | Realtree B2B


So, how can digital retailers save the abandoned cart and get more sales? Retargeting (or remarketing) is one of the most commonly used online advertising strategies to convert consumers. With the help of a browser cookie, businesses can serve up highly targeted ads to visitors who left their website without making a purchase. Because these ads target consumers already familiar with a company's website and products, retargeting is seeing favor with many U.S. digital retailers.


A 2015 study conducted by Multichannel Merchant found that 51.2% of 347 companies in the U.S. used retargeting. A follow-up survey in January and February of 2016 found 44.4% of respondents were using retargeting ads in their digital strategy. 


Live chat is another popular way U.S. digital retailers are combating shopping cart abandonment. More than 19% of online U.S. businesses used live chat in 2015 to communicate with shopping cart abandoners.


Sending email shopping cart abandonment messages is another way retailers are trying to save the cart and the sale. Listrak, a retail email marketing firm, portrayed the rise of shopping cart abandonment messages from 2011-2015. The company looked at the use of such messaging by the Top 1,000 North American retailers. The percentage jumped from 14.6% in 2011 to 35.2% in 2015 - more than double.  


the Outdoor abandoned Shopping Carts Rate | Realtree B2B


Merchants are also experimenting with new tactics for 2016 that they didn't use a year ago to reach shopping cart abandoners. These strategies include pop-up window reminders (used by 15.6% of respondents) and telemarketing (used by 4.4% of respondents).


If your business has yet to adopt tactics to bring shoppers back to their carts, you're not alone. 41.5% of respondents to the Multichannel Merchant study in 2015 were not marketing in any way to visitors who abandoned their shopping carts. 


While shopping cart abandonment could be viewed solely as lost opportunity, outdoor marketers can - and should - review data to learn more about shopping intent and see if there are any technical or other barriers to purchasing. How many shopping carts could your online business push to the finish line with retargeting, live chat, email follow-ups or a phone call? 


Editor’s Note: Be sure to sign up for the Realtree Business Newsletter, a free service for all of our business partners. We’ll deliver news about new Realtree-licensed products, industry research results, marketing trends and much more right to your inbox every month.