Browse Abandon: Why Every Retail Website Needs an Automated Browse Abandon Programme

Every minute of every day across the world, there are millions of active consumers browsing e-commerce websites. These browsers will visit site after site, some with every intention of making a purchase, others not. Many of them will be anonymous to the websites they visit; that is, they won’t ever log into the sites’ e-commerce platform. Others will. Some will have clicked through to the site from an email, search, or social media campaign.  

It is those consumers whom your website recognizes, either through your e-commerce log-in or tracking links back to your email campaigns, that are potential goldmines for your email marketing program. 

Why? Because you know who they are.

You know their email addresses. But most importantly, you know exactly what products they’re looking at on your website right now. You have the means to contact them, and you know exactly what they’re interested in at the exact moment in time they are interested in it! 

A Browse Abandon program is an automated email triggered by a customer browsing products on your website without progressing on to the shopping cart.

Think of it as a virtual sales assistant, carefully approaching shoppers as they pick up and browse your products, giving them information on sizing, pricing, and any related offers. 


Why should you set one up?

Consumers spend a lot of time browsing websites. Often they are researching, checking out various offers and weighing up their options. Your website may be one of a dozen that they visit when looking for a particular product, so the odds of them returning after they’ve navigated away aren’t particularly high. That’s why it makes a whole lot of sense to send a timely email to those consumers about the product they’ve just browsed, with a gentle nudge back to your website.

Think of it this way: If you can offer that customer something of value, let’s say, free delivery, some sort of discount, or even something as unassuming as more information on that product or product category, the customer is incentivised to go back to your website rather than to your competitors’, and convert.

 What makes a good Browse Abandon programme?

As mentioned, you should think of this programme as a virtual sales assistant. It’s like a knowledgeable, friendly staff member who takes the time to understand what someone is looking for and offers the right advice.

Key points for an effective program:

  • Time – Ensure your email reaches the inbox at the right time. The best way to find out what is the right time is to test the timing until you optimise the most effective send for your business. This could be 10 minutes after the customer navigates away, or it could be a week!
  • Content – Look at ways of bringing the customer back to your website through engaging and relevant content related to the product or product category he or she was browsing.
  • Offer  – Use special offers, discounts, or even cross-sells to draw the customer back onto your site and into the shopping cart.

Have you had success with a Browse Abandon program? Please share your examples and tips below.

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