October 27, 2011, 11:21 AM

How Dungarees.net kicks up conversion rates

Personalized e-mails help bring back shoppers who abandon online shopping carts.

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When shoppers abandon the shopping cart on Dungarees.net, a retailer of work wear and accessories, more than half of them open a follow-up e-mail offer and nearly a fifth who receive the offer click through to make a purchase, says e-commerce manager Darren Baldwin.

Dungarees worked with iGoDigital, a provider of product recommendation technology, and Bronto Software Inc., the retailer’s e-mail services provider, to develop a system that sends customers e-mail offers triggered by cart abandonments.

After initially deploying the new marketing system earlier this year, Dungarees experienced an e-mail open rate of 56% and a conversion rate of 18.4% on the e-mails triggered by abandoned carts, Baldwin says. That compares to a general e-mail open rate of 15% and an average conversion rate on Dungarees.net of 5%, he adds.

Although he didn’t have updated figures on those metrics, Baldwin says Dungarees has been able to further improve open and conversion rates on the abandoned cart-triggered e-mails by adding more promotional content to the e-mail messages, such as a free flashlight with the purchase of a jacket. “We generally make these extra promotions unique to the e-mails,” Baldwin says.

The e-mails triggered by abandoned carts are generating a huge increase in revenue per shopping session, Baldwin says. “A customer on the site coming from one of these e-mails will generate 490% more revenue than the average customer on our site,” he says.

Dungarees, No. 544 in Internet Retailer's Second 500 Guide, operates on a web site built in-house on the PHP programming framework. It took about two weeks to set up the triggered e-mail program, Baldwin says.

To acquire customer e-mail addresses, Dungarees asks shoppers to enter their address on the first checkout page to receive an order confirmation and to see the status of their order. “Most customers have no problem entering their e-mail address,” Baldwin says.

Going forward, Dungarees plans to work with Bronto and iGoDigital on additional target marketing projects, including automatically segmenting shoppers for targeted e-mail campaigns based on their purchase history and clickstream data, and using data on customers’ past shopping behavior to automatically determine when to send an e-mail offer.

Dungarees also operates two bricks-and-mortar stores of the same name in Missouri; it opened them after launching its e-commerce site in 2004.

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