Published by RIS News
Written by Bryce Marshall
In the e-commerce universe few metrics are as deeply scrutinized as shopping cart abandonment. There are as many experts, agencies, and consultancies working on optimizing shopping cart performance and conversion rates as there are reasons for online consumers to mysteriously vanish mid-transaction. Eventually shopping cart optimization reaches a point of diminishing return. Why?
Many shoppers want to conduct research online yet make final decisions and purchases in-store. Consumers already embrace this multi-channel behavior. It is marketers who too often lack both the initiative to optimize marketing and operations in of support this consumer preference and the tools to measure its impact on the bottom line. Do not fight reality. Recognize that some online shoppers who create a cart have no intention of buying online.
These are five ways to leverage Web, mobile, and brick-and-mortar assets - working in sync -that optimize shopping experiences for multi-channel customers and measure the bottom-line benefit.
1. Mobilize the Web shopping cart with "send to phone" options. A simple call-to-action invites the researching visitor to input their mobile phone number to receive a text message that includes a link to their personalized shopping cart, easily rendered for viewing in a mobile browser. Now the online shopper can refer to the details of their selections -- such as size, color, brand, item number or SKU -- and not miss a beat (or an item)when in the store.
2. Create incentives for adoption and frequency. Provide a discount code in each text message to encourage in-store redemption. Not only does this ensure the cart is completed at the store, but it may persuade shoppers to add additional items and accessories. Best yet -- redemption of the discount code means it is possible to track the business benefits of excellent multi-channel experiences.
3. Deliver a white glove experience. Use APIs to tap into backend services like in-store stock keeping databases, to let shoppers verify the items they have selected are in-stock and ready to buy. Tap into the existing locations finder on the website to make finding a store -- and getting directions -- a snap.
4. Take multi-channel experiences to new heights with highly interactive mobile phone app experiences. Invite shoppers to download a dedicated iPhone, Blackberry, or Android app that pulls up a personalized version of their saved cart in a highly interactive mobile interface. Apps can support satisfying shopping experiences, whether the purchase is made online or in-store.
5. Change the way you think about marketing metrics. To paraphrase one e-commerce manager I spoke with recently, "Why would I spend one dollar of my online budget to drive a shopper to the store? I don't get credit for in-store sales." Why is it a bad thing for online spend to drive offline sales? It is a defiantly narrow view that is a symptom of silo'd business units. Focus the online and in-store business units towards common goals and establish key metrics to measure the business benefits of supporting seamless multichannel-channel shopping experiences.
Bryce Marshall is the Director of Strategic Services for Knotice. Bryce works with new and existing clients to define strategies and plans for more powerful and profitable application of direct digital marketing programs. Contact Bryce at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Knotice visit www.knotice.com or their blog http://lunchpail.knotice.com.