October 11, 2013, 3:37 PM

Top 1000 retailers are lax with remarketing, study finds

Listrak says that only 25% send e-mails after shoppers abandon carts.

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The Top 1000 online retailers in North America are missing out on remarketing efforts that can win back sales from online shoppers who abandoned shopping carts, e-mail services provider Listrak says in a new report.

The report, which Listrak plans to release publicly soon, analyzes how the Top 1000 online retailers conduct remarketing campaigns. The Top 1000 is comprised of the retailers listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 and Second 500 Guides, which rank the leading North American retailers by web sales.

Listrak conducted the study from June through August by shopping on and abandoning the e-commerce sites of each of the retailers in the Top 1000.

Listrak found that, on average, the Top 1000 retailers had e-mail addresses for only 29% of the shoppers who abandoned their sites. Retailers that did have shoppers’ e-mail addresses used strategies such as pop-up windows during shopping sessions requesting shoppers to enter their addresses, often with an incentive such as coupons or offers to enter sweepstakes. It found that 19.8% of Top 1000 retailers use pop-up windows on home pages and other pages to encourage shoppers to sign in with their e-mail addresses. Among that 19.8%, it found that 41.0% send at least remarketing e-mail to a customer after she abandons a cart.

Listrak says that 80.2% of the Top 1000 use product recommendations on their web sites. But it also found that few retailers include product recommendations in their remarketing e-mails. Of the 23.5% of Top 500 retailers that send at least one remarketing e-mail after a cart abandonment, 90.0% of that group also have online product recommendations. But among that 90%, only 12% include product recommendations in their remarketing e-mails, Listrak says.

And it found that of the 25.5% of Second 500 retailers that send at least one remarketing campaign after cart abandonment, 84% of that group also have online product recommendations. But among that 84%, only 4% include recommendations in their remarketing e-mails.

The report also found:

● 24.5% among the Top 1000 send at least one remarketing e-mail to consumers who abandon their shopping carts.

● Among the 24.5% of retailers in the Top 1000 who e-mail at least one remarketing campaign, 73% send one message within 24 hours, and 79% send one message within 48 hours.

● Among the Top 500, 51.3% send one remarketing message, up 18.0% from last year; 20.5% send two messages, up 22.8% from last year; and 25.6% send three messages, up 23.0% from last year. In addition, 29.8% send a promotional offer in the first message; 50.8% send an offer in the second message; 72.7% send one in the third message.

● Among the Second 500, 38.6% send one message, up 38.0% from last year; 23.6% send two messages, up 36.4% from last year; and 33.4% send three messages, up 38.6% from last year. 4.7% send four or more messages. In addition, 32.3% send a promotional offer in the first message; 62.5% send an offer in the second message; 77.0% send one in the third message.

For an example of a four-message remarketing campaign, Listrak noted that goHastings.com, an e-retailer of books, music, games and movies, and No. 906 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000, sends the first message within three hours of site abandonment; the second e-mail within two days of abandonment; the third within five days after the second message; and the fourth within three days of the third message. It includes a 5% discount offer for the abandoned item in the second, third and fourth e-mails.

For another example of a four-message campaign, Listrak found that weight-loss products e-retailer dietDirect.com, No. 581, sends its first e-mail 90 minutes after site abandonment, the second e-mail two days after the first e-mail, the third after another five days, and the fourth after another three days. It includes a $10-off promotion for the contents of the abandoned cart in the third and fourth e-mails.

For a three-message series, Listrak found that home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel, No. 68, sends its first e-mail 30 minutes after site abandonment, the second after another 24 hours, and the third six days after the second e-mail. It doesn’t include any discount offers in the messages.

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