Companies with e-commerce sites know just how much distance sits between a full virtual shopping cart and a completed transaction. Compared to physical retail shoppers, online consumers are far less committed to a purchase when they place items in their shopping cart. Online shoppers are liable to let items sit in their cart while they continue shopping and mull over the purchase, with many potential purchases suffering abandonment before the transaction is complete.
You might have the impression that e-commerce companies can't improve their conversion rates, but companies can counteract abandonment rates by using data feedback to inform their marketing practices. For some e-retailers, this might mean simplifying the checkout process as much as possible to shorten the consumer's path to purchase.
When consumers abandon not just their cart but the entire website, it may seem that the purchase has been lost forever. This would be true if not for a digital marketing campaign strategy known as retargeting.
Retarget Consumers to Rekindle Their Interest
For example, suppose a consumer places a pair of hiking boots in a virtual shopping cart but leaves the website without making the purchase. The retailer can retarget them across its ad network by displaying hiking boot advertisements to that consumer — including an ad for the exact boots the consumer considered buying, enticing them to finish their purchase.
In addition, display networks are massive, so e-commerce companies can use these networks to target their consumers on a large scale.
Targeting Multiple Consumer Incentives
The other benefit of retargeting is that, once you have a link to the consumer, you can try multiple approaches to trigger a purchase. With the hiking boots example, you could start by offering an ad for that specific hiking boot, and then broaden the ad to a variety of hiking boots in case the consumer simply didn't like that model. You could even display an ad offering a promotion or other purchasing incentive.
These methods can be programmed into a campaign and automated according to your desired strategy, which takes the grunt work out of retargeting. When applied properly, any business should be able to recover conversions that were once lost to cart abandonment.