E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Up to 70 percent of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts before completing the checkout process, according to SeeWhy, a company specializing in abandonment tracking software. This rate, which rose substantially from 2005 to 2008, is in part a reflection of the intensified comparative shopping that visitors conduct on many sites simultaneously. The ability of consumers to move easily between and among competitive retail sites has increased the likelihood of shopping cart abandonment.
There are a couple of interesting new ideas emerging cto counter the rise of voucher sites. One tactic is to keep them on your site by publishing your own voucher code pages. Macy's are getting a 40% conversion rate visitors to this page. They have a very different approach, and make the promo code box very visible, but show you how to get a promo code on thier site.
I wrote a blog on Macy's voucher program <a href=http://websiteconversion.blogspot.com/2009/09/voucher-codes-website-conversion.html>here</a>
In addition to leaving once I see that others can get a discount via a "coupon", is also having to put an item in a cart to see the "too low to publish price". WHICH most of the time is not all that low. And then, again, the discount/coupon box.
I won't set things up for clients in this manner. I thinks it's rude and unprofessional and have been told by "shoppers" that abandoned their shopping carts through follow up surveys that they think so too.
Usually when I close / abandon a cart it is because the seller is charging a lot more to send me the order. One seller charges X for the item and Y for the shipping. Another may charge more for the item, but the total is less than the first seller's total because the shipping is a lot less. Comparison shopping does exist.
Some very good advice here. One category of cart abandoner is the "Coupon Hunter." These are shoppers who are ready to buy but see the box on the checkout page that labeled "Coupon" and go looking for a coupon.
Although coupons can be a great way to boost sales, it is probably a mistake to have a coupon box visible to every shopper when every shopper does not already know what that coupon is. Why? Because a significant number of people, 27% in the PayPal survey, will be prompted to go find a coupon. About a third of them eventually come back and buy, but still, it's a very risky way to do business.
Far better to hide the coupon box unless it is really needed. We have seen double digit lift in conversions when we do this for our clients.
I'd say it comes down to the purpose of your promotional strategy: Are you using coupons to incentivize new customers to buy at your site or are you trying to increase your share of wallet with your existing customers?
If the former, you probably have general purpose coupons that could be used by any consumer. Most consumers share these coupons with their friends and many do so in online forums (take a look at the forums at fatwallet.com - rife with general purpose coupon information. Needless to say, the internet is viral in spreading information). So, the coupon is what is driving some of the new consumers to your site and you want to make it easy for them to pop the coupon in, complete the order and get on with their life.
If the latter, then you could consider emailing your existing customers and provide them links in their email that they could use to begin shopping and your website could track those and give them the discount at check out. Another option could be you offer coupons when the consumer is back surfing at your site - you want to grab their attention and give them a quick incentive to buy what their eyeing. In my opinion, this kind of consumer behavior is unique to the internet (can't happen in the brick & mortar world ... how often does one go to a bookstore or a shoe store just to browse) and savvy internet marketers can capitalize well on this.
I welcome your thoughts.
scobb99 You make a good point. How then to have our cake and eat it too? How can we economically show the coupon box to only those customers who receive a code in a targeted email campaign or to those who reach us through an affiliate? I'll meet with our programmer next week and discuss this but I'm hoping you might offer some guidance.