Retargeting customers after cart and site abandons

Reaching customers after they abandon a shopping cart, or even if they just browse your on-line catalog, is a piece of eCommerce operations that most businesses don’t do. reports that only around 13% of eCommerce sites attempt to contact customers after they abandon a shopping cart. I like to call this retargeting and we most often see this in the form of a follow-up email or through suggested catalog items on a return visit to the on-line store.

Common situations that cause customers to abandon a cart or session include:

  • Price is too high
  • Shipping price is to high
  • Comparison shopping
  • Research shopping

The basis for retargeting marketing efforts is that businesses now know something about the general interests of the customer or their desire for a specific product at a point in time. This information should allow businesses to craft relevant messages to the individual customer. That’s why studies and research show follow-on marketing to be more successful with order conversions. reported some metrics for their cart abandon emails as:

The open rate for’s shopping cart abandonment campaign was 48% higher than any previous campaign and the click-through rate 78% higher. Additionally, the net conversion rate was 129% higher.

I had not previously included site operations in my eCommerce Organization mind map. So I’ve added this as a new area to start including topics related to operational support in my content on The topic of customer retargeting touches both site operations and demand management.

As with most topics, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for this part of the eCommerce operation. Teams should execute, measure, and adjust based on ideas and solutions relevant to the customer base and product.

3 Replies to “Retargeting customers after cart and site abandons”

  1. I completely agree with you – retargeting customers is so important. I find that sending out a chain of emails can work especially well, particularly when timed correctly, and potentially containing an offer or discount code for the customer in the second or third email.

  2. Rich, have you made any correlations between giving a discount code and future behavior for repeat visitors? Do the expect a discount code each time?

  3. There are correlations, but you can set it up so that a repeat visitor will only receive a discount code every, say, five lots of cart abandonment emails you send them, so they won’t “expect” it.

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