ecommerce-window-shoppingWhether Cyber Monday is the biggest ecommerce day of the year for you or not, you should always be thinking about how you’ll go after those shoppers who browse your site for several minutes but leave just before buying. Maybe you think you’ll see enough revenue on the day without worrying about the window shoppers, but if that’s your way of thinking, you’re missing the big picture. Each of those buyers you let slip through the cracks could have been a customer for life and not just for Cyber Monday. That’s why, this year, you’re going to go out of your way to recover those shoppers who pass you by. What’s more? You’re going to make them love you forever.

The best way to keep your Cyber Monday shoppers around is to not let them leave in the first place. If your shoppers still navigate away from your page without making a purchase, here are some techniques for bringing those who abandon back into the fold.

Social Media Monitoring

You can keep an eye on visitors’ social media mentions after they visit your site. Picture this scenario: Penny Lane, @LuckyPenny on Twitter, viewed a cranberry coat. Then, for some unknown reason, she left without putting the coat in her shopping cart and completing the checkout process. Two days later, @LuckyPenny tweets “Found the cutest cranberry coat online the other day but can’t remember where. Wish I’d bought it when I had the chance.”

Aha! Here you come with your helpful “Hello, @PennyLane, we have a beautiful cranberry coat in stock, and a cart with your name on it.” Sale completed.

Exit Lightbox

Some simple coding could introduce a lightbox with a convenient reminder for anyone who places items in a shopping cart but then tries to navigate away from the page. Popups aren’t very popular, but many will appreciate a simple “Hey, would you like us to save this shopping cart for you?” Especially if they’ve got a shopping list a mile long and almost left without buying that amazing potholder for Aunt Millie.

As a bonus, if someone wants you to save that cart for future purchases, they’ll need to hand over their email address. That means you’re primed to participate in the next tactic on the list.

Some people find this particular feature annoying, but that's ok. Give people a chance to opt-out and avoid the creep factor.

Email Reminders

One reminder sent by email within 24 hours may be all many of your visitors need to complete the purchase. Consider how many sales consumers will see on Cyber Monday and realize they might just become overwhelmed. It’s easy for these shoppers to place something in a shopping cart and forget to complete the checkout process. Even if the visitors don’t get as far as the shopping cart, their browsing history will tell you which items interested them the most. Your email offer can focus on these first.

Just in case that one doesn’t do it, make sure you have a campaign ready with reminders for one week, two weeks, a month, and even three months later. Sure, the holidays will be over by the time that final reminder goes out, but your ultimate goal isn’t to make a holiday sale, is it? You want customers for life, and that means people who buy throughout the year and not just this December.

Targeted Ads

Cookies are pretty amazing things if people know you're using them to make their experience better. They take note of a shopper’s browsing habits and, together with information that buyer provided you upon registration, make tracking them down later possible. If a visitor spends a few minutes drooling over a pair of shoes but leaves without buying, you can still talk them into making a purchase. Next time that consumer is on Facebook or any other page that supports ads, they might see your ecommerce site’s ad, along with an image of those shoes, and remember to go finish the checkout process.

Now, once you’ve recovered these customers, your job is not finished. Congratulations on making the sale and all that, but why go through the trouble of bringing them back into the fold if you’re just going to let them go again? With the new year, you’ve also got a whole new set of responsibilities: delighting that customer you worked so hard to save.

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Originally published Nov 21, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016

Topics:

Ecommerce Holiday Marketing