I love to shop, but these days most of my shopping is done online. And I’ve noticed that I’ve been using online shopping carts differently recently - I’ll add items that I’m interested in buying to my cart even if I’m not ready to check out.  It’s more of a placeholder for things that I have the intention to go back and buy when the time is right.  

This is especially true for sites that charge me for shipping.  I don’t want to pay to have one thing shipped, especially if they offer flat rate shipping or even free shipping if the merchandise total is a certain amount. I’ll just add the single item to my cart, and I’ll go back a week or two later to see if something new catches my eye.  Then I’ll check out when I’m sure I have everything I need.

The cart really isn’t “abandoned” - it’s just put on hold for a while.

That’s why I love Amazon’s “Save for Later” feature. I’m planning a trip abroad later this year and I’ve been looking for a new digital camera. I haven’t decided which one to buy yet, but I’ve been keeping my eye on this one:

(Any thoughts or advice on the camera? Let me know!)

And yesterday, Amazon sent me this email:

They know I’m interested in buying a digital camera. They also know I haven’t fully made up my mind yet. So they’re offering me other choices. Nice!

And all of this has me thinking about Shopping Cart Abandonment email campaigns. Not every cart abandonment is equal, so all cart recovery emails shouldn’t be the same, either.

We’ve done a lot of testing with offers and we have that down to a science. Three emails - no offer in the first message, small offer in the second, slightly larger offer in the third. And now we’re looking deeper into cart abandonment to figure out how to target customers appropriately.

For example, if someone left on the shipping page, was it because the shipping rate was too high, or were they like me, just using the cart as a placeholder until they could find more merchandise? Knowing why the customer abandoned the sale will help you get them back to complete the purchase.

We’re working on some exciting new research studies and I can’t wait to share the findings! In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions.

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