One of the most frustrating aspects of running an online business is losing a customer during the checkout process. This is often referred to as an abandoned shopping cart and is similar to an offline shopper heading to the checkout, then dumping their basket and leaving the store empty handed. In an offline environment it is relatively easy to analyze why that shopper had left empty handed. But what about the online environment?
Shoppers abandon the online process for a number of reasons. Sometimes they haven’t even abandoned the process, they may have just lost their Internet connection. Other situations include unsuitable payment options, expensive delivery fees, or self doubt. Trust can also be an issue – not so much trust in your business, but a lack of trust when it comes to revealing credit card information.
Ideally, your shopping cart process should request an e-mail contact early in the process. If it does, don’t ignore that information. It could be vital to winning back that customer, and perhaps completing the transaction. Combine your e-mail marketing and customer service skills and make contact with that lost customer. Don’t spam them and don’t add them to your e-mail marketing list. Rather, send a personal e-mail asking for feedback on the checkout process. Your aim should be two-fold – to gain feedback as to why they abandoned the shopping process, and to regain their business.
The first can be gained by simply asking a series of questions. The latter can be achieved by making an offer of some description. You may want to leave the offer to a follow up e-mail – hopefully addressing their issues. E-mail marketing isn’t always about promoting your business aggressively. Sometimes, it be used as a valuable customer service tool.