March 18, 2010, 12:00 AM

Seeking to salvage sales? Follow up fast and socialize, SeeWhy says

SeeWhy believes a little stick-to-itiveness and social sharing can boost web sales, and it says its upcoming Conversion Manager program can help e-commerce companies do both.

 

SeeWhy believes a little stick-to-itiveness and social sharing can boost web sales, and it says its upcoming Conversion Manager program can help e-commerce companies do both. The company plans to make the new service available within a week.

 

Conversion Manager allows retailers to schedule and time a series of follow-up e-mails to shoppers who have abandoned their carts. This means e-commerce companies can send shoppers an e-mail the instant a cart if abandoned, and then schedule another for the following day and another for, say, three days later, says Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer for SeeWhy.

 

According a SeeWhy study, only 1% of web sites follow up with shoppers immediately when they abandon their carts, 6% send a message within an hour, 15% within 24 hours, 16% within a week and 63% do not follow up at all.

Another new feature in Conversion Manager enables e-commerce sites that integrate with social networks through services through services such as Facebook Connect, to send similar reminders to shoppers’ social network accounts. It also integrates with Twitter and MySpace, Nicholls says.

 

 

The program also offers another method for sending messages to consumers who are fans, friends or followers of a retailer. If a shopper signs in on a retail site with her e-mail and uses the same e-mail for her Facebook profile, SeeWhy can connect the two pieces of data and send her a Facebook message encouraging her to come back and finish her purchase.

 

70% of online shoppers who place an item in their shopping carts abandon it before completing the purchase, Nicholls says. “Think about all the investment you’re putting in to your site-all the pay-per-click and search engine optimization spending-and then you lose seven out of ten,” Nicholls says. Estimates of shopping cart abandonment vary; a recent Forrester Research report put it at 59%.

 

Nicholls recommends following up instantly, but not too often. If e-commerce companies wait 48 hours or a week, there’s a good chance the consumer has already spent her money somewhere else, he says. But, he advises, limit follow- ups to a maximum of three.

 

 

SeeWhy’s fees are based on the number of messages the company sends, Nicholls says. SeeWhy integrates with several e-mail management systems including ExactTarget, Epsilon, Silverpop and Blue Hornet.

 

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