InstanteStore CEO Reveals Lucrative Segment Most Often Overlooked By Merchants

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Online shopping figures have been steadily increasing over the years but sadly, so has the shopping cart abandonment rate. InstanteStore CEO - Charles Tang - shares a few tips on how merchants can remedy this situation.

Infographic About Adandoned Shopping Carts

Adandoned Shopping Cart Stats Infographic

research has shown that the average rate of shopping cart abandonment is around 68%

On the back of a record breaking holiday shopping season which saw the 2012 Cyber Monday rake in $1.5 billion in online sales, Charles Tang, CEO of ecommerce software company, InstanteStore, points out that although many online stores enjoyed brisk sales, they could have made more if they had targeted an often overlooked market segment.

“Thanks to the increasing awareness of the availability of fantastic deals available online and the fact that mobile commerce finally took off last year, Cyber Monday raked in more sales than Black Friday for the first time in history,” said Tang. “However, many merchants failed to take full advantage of the mammoth holiday shopping season by neglecting shoppers who have abandoned their shopping carts.”

Various research has shown that the average rate of shopping cart abandonment is around 68%. And the rate is steadily growing. In addition, the average value of each abandoned cart is $99.

According to Tang, abandoned carts are salvageable if proper action is taken within a certain time frame, usually within 24 hours.

“We have seen abandoned cart salvage rates in excess of 18 percent with some stores,” Tang added. “That's a pretty substantial figure to forsake.”

Tang believes that online store merchants can reduce cart abandonment rates by making minor tweaks to their stores. As an example, he suggests displaying estimate shipping charges on the shopping cart page so that shoppers will have an idea of the total cost of their purchases before entering into the checkout process. Shoppers who continue to the checkout process after knowing what the end cost could look like are less likely to abandon their carts.

Once a cart has been abandoned, Tang suggest contacting the shopper within 24 hours to try to salvage the order. This can be done automatically via auto-responder or triggered follow-up emails, a feature available with most shopping cart software.

“It may take more than one email to convince a shopper to make a purchase but a merchant should always try to persuade a shopper with the first email sent,” Tang advised.

Tang also warned against incentivizing the first email sent with an immediate discount as this would encourage abuse. Instead, discounts should be introduced in follow-up emails. The first email should be a reminder to the shopper that he or she could be missing out on a fantastic item.

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