August 14, 2009, 12:00 AM

Most e-retailers let the easy pickings go by, says a Listrak study

Barely 10% of the Internet Retailer Top 500 online retailers send shoppers an e-mail reminder that they still have merchandise in their cart, according to a test by e-mail marketing company Listrak.


One of the easiest ways to save a sale is to send a reminder to a shopper who has abandoned a cart that there is still merchandise in the cart waiting to be checked out. Yet barely 10% of the Internet Retailer Top 500 online retailers give shoppers the chance to retrieve an abandoned shopping cart, according to a test by e-mail marketing company Listrak.

At 398 of the Internet Retailer Top 500, Listrak researchers registered with an e-mail address, put an item into a cart and then left the site. Only 42 sent a reminder. And, interestingly, only 11 sent the reminder within 24 hours.

Researchers were unable to shop and abandon carts at 102 sites because the sites either required a credit card number to put items in a shopping cart or did not require an e-mail sign-in, meaning abandoning a cart could not trigger an abandonment e-mail.

"Not asking for an e-mail address before asking for a credit card number limits an e-retailer`s ability to maximize their reach-back opportunities and contributes to missed ROI potential," says Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak.

Other data that Listrak reported:

  • Only 36% of e-retailers sent personalized messages using the shopper`s first and last name despite all of them having collected this data. 60% of retailers that offered an incentive in their abandonment e-mail personalized the message.
  • 10 e-mails out of 42 linked directly to the shopping cart (23.81%)
  • 19 of 42 offered an incentive (45.23%)
  • Average time to send reminder was 75.1 hours. Four speedy sites sent it within an hour. 17 retailers took more than 72 hours to send the e-mail. Some e-retailers took more than two weeks.

Listrak says it is not clear why more e-retailers are not using automated cart abandonment e-mails or personalization. "It may be that many e-retailers, even among the Top 500, still consider that automated cart abandonment e-mail messages or automated marketing conversations are too difficult or too costly to set up and manage, or because their infrastructure doesn`t support it,” Kramer says. "This is largely no longer the case.”



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