November 19, 2009, 12:00 AM

Personalized product offers cut cart abandonment at ChoppingBlocks.com

By setting automated product offers to appear when shoppers abandon shopping carts, kitchen furnishings retailer ChoppingBlocks.com has sharply increased sales of featured items, site owner Tim Dugan says.

By setting automated product offers to appear when shoppers abandon shopping carts, kitchen furnishings retailer ChoppingBlocks.com has sharply increased sales of featured items, site owner Tim Dugan says.

ChoppingBlocks.com specializes in selling kitchen products including cutting boards priced under $100 and butcher block-topped portable kitchen islands priced at over $2,000.

Some products-such as the Cucina Rustica hard maple kitchen island table from manufacturer John Boos & Co., which is priced from about $1,100 to $1,600 depending on size-get left in abandoned shopping carts more than others, Dugan says.

So ChoppingBlocks is using a dynamic special pricing application from Runa that, at the point when a shopper clicks to abandon a shopping cart, automatically generates a pop-up window offering a price discount if a shopper agrees to purchase carted products instead of leaving.

The Runa application, which is integrated with the Miva Merchant e-commerce platform on which ChoppingBlocks operates, can be set to offer different levels of pricing to suit a retailer’s merchandising strategy. In a test involving the Cucina Rustica table, Dugan set a 10% discount offer and was surprised at the result. “We doubled sales during the test, though I thought we would have to offer a higher discount,” he says.

The Runa application comes with built-in analytics to enable retailers to set up special pop-up offers based on particular customer shopping behavior. Dugan, who also uses Google Analytics to monitor what shoppers do before and after they abandon shopping carts, plans to continue using Runa to better engage shoppers and increase conversions.

By viewing information provided by Runa on which products are being carted but not purchased, for example, he’ll establish additional pricing offers with discounts set at different levels based on what helps to generate sales of particular products. “I may start with a 5% discount, then 10%, then 15%, to see what clicks for each product,” he says, noting that it takes seconds to modify price offers.

Dugan also expects to eventually run combinations of price discounts with cross-selling and upselling offers. “If a shopper is looking at cutting boards but not purchasing, we may present her an offer for a set of steak knives at a discount to complete a purchase,” he says.

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