Capturing Lost Sales Opportunities - 3 Ways to Bring Visitors Back to Your Site
Imagine walking into a busy, high traffic grocery store. Despite the large
number of customers in the store, you notice something strange. Strewn about the
aisles and checkout lanes are dozens of shopping carts. These shopping carts are
full of products, yet they’ve been abandoned by the customer. For many
businesses, this example illustrates perfectly the predicament many online
retailers find themselves in. A customer visits their site, adds a few products
to their cart, and then leaves for some unexplainable reason. There is nothing
more frustrating for a business than to miss a sale opportunity. Is it possible
to somehow bring these customers back to the website and save the sale? The
following article will suggest 3 easy and creative ways for capturing lost
1) Create a Discount Pop-Up Window: One creative way to decrease your
abandonment rate is to launch a popup window anytime a customer exits your
website while the shopping cart is still full. The popup window can say
something like, "Complete your order now, and receive an additional 10%
discount." Hopefully, the customer will re-consider their action and stay to
finish their purchase.
2) Add a "email me when in-stock" feature: This feature is a no-brainer
for sites that frequently sell out of their inventory. However, it's amazing how
few websites actually do it. Here's how it works: Anytime a customer visits a
product detail page that displays an "out of stock" notice, give them the option
to be emailed if the item becomes available again. This serves two purposes.
First, it gives you an opportunity to capture their email address (opt in, of
course). And second, it gives you the opportunity to save the sale if you
re-stock the item. Now wait a minute, you think, most websites don't allow
people to visit pages of items that are out of stock. That's true, but keep in
mind that search engines will keep these pages indexed for some time. In
addition, people frequently bookmark pages of products they would like to
purchase in the future. This feature is even more useful if you sell a product
that comes in multiple sizes or colors. For example, if you sell widgets that
are available in both green and blue, and the green widgets are out of stock,
your customer's can be emailed when that color is re-stocked. Just like that,
another lost sale is captured!
3) Email Customers Who Abandon Their Shopping Carts: Another smart tactic
to bring back lost sales is to checkup on those people who never complete the
checkout process. If you have already captured the customers’ email address, you
can easily send them a friendly message informing them that you’re currently
trying to improve your checkout process, and you apologize if they found
anything confusing. In addition, you might want to give them a coupon code as an
additional incentive for bringing them back. In my experience, customers greatly
appreciate these emails, and it helps to identify some otherwise unknown
problems in the checkout process.
Although the above ideas will likely succeed in bringing back lost sales, they
are only a Band-Aid and do not solve the real problem. The important question to
answer is, "Why are people leaving your site in the first place?" Do you have
enough product in-stock? Are your pictures and product descriptions sufficient?
Is your shopping cart and checkout process efficient and easy? Questions such as
these must be addressed before you can expect to see a decrease in abandoned
shopping carts. Until then, the above suggestions can serve to bring back as
many sales as possible.
About the Author: Justin Palmer is the website administrator and marketing director for C28 Christian Gifts and Not of This World Clothing. You can contact Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.