online shopping cart web engagementAfter having spent decades in marketing, I know the primary question that drives marketers is: “what can I offer customers to get them to buy?” Essentially, what is the perfect combination of items, what is the right time to present them with an offer, and how do I close the sale? It’s a mystery retail marketers have tried to solve in numerous ways.

Some retailers look at past purchases and predict (i.e. hope) that the customer might buy something similar.  Others do so by sorting through piles of demographics and data for someone who will self-select for their product.  The advent of the online shopping cart, however, has changed all that.

How could a potential customer be any clearer about what they want than by putting items in their shopping cart? The customer has provided the all the clues: the exact item, color, size, make and model. It’s like buying a Christmas present for your husband after he has driven you to the store and told you the SKU number of the item he wants. How can you go wrong?

Yet, retailers are going wrong by not taking advantage of contact center software to reduce shopping cart abandonment.  A recent survey conducted by Genesys of the top 75 retailers in North America discovered that only one retailer actually reached out while their customers are in the process of abandoning their shopping cart.  And worse, the overwhelming majority of retailers failed to reach out — even after a week — to a registered customer who had abandoned their shopping cart.  Would a marketer worth their salt leave leads languishing for more than a week? Doubtful.

Examples from the Genesys survey on shopping cart abandonment:

  • Only 8% of retailers proactively offered a click-to-chat box on their site that could have prevented her from abandoning the shopping cart
  • 81% of the retailers had no visibility into the abandoned shopping cart when the customer called and asked the call center agent questions about items in the cart

The most frequently cited reason for the contact center’s inability to help with shopping cart abandonment is that the contact center is only given data on transactions, not interactions. In other words, agents only have visibility into people who have already purchased a product. By then that ship has sailed.  This sole reliance on CRM data essentially eliminates the ability of the contact center agent to close a sale, to up-sell, or cross-sell; they lose the highly valuable and sought-after information on exactly what a potential customer wants to buy.

Learn more in our webinar discussion on the survey results. Learn what you can do to rescue your shopping cart abandonment rates. Watch the webinar.