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How to Reduce Browse Abandonment

By Laura Taylor • Thursday Aug 13th, 2020

Countless articles focus on basket abandonment, but what about shoppers further up the sales funnel who abandon their browsing sessions?

Browse abandonment campaigns can be just as effective at engaging and converting visitors as basket abandonment campaigns and are targeted towards customers who are already interested in your products.  

An engaged visitor abandoning their browsing session is a lost opportunity. 

To capture the attention of window shoppers, drive them through the sales funnel and convert them into loyal customers requires the use of specific messaging and incentives.

Here we take a closer look at browse abandonment and offer five strategies online retailers can implement to keep shoppers on-site.

What is browse abandonment?

Despite spending plenty of time browsing your products, some visitors don’t get to the point of placing items in their cart before leaving your site. This is a case of browse abandonment. 

With the average eCommerce conversion rate reportedly 2.86%, a significant proportion of the 97% of lost conversions could be recovered through effective browse abandonment strategies. 

If a shopper has spent a good deal of time on your site, you can assume they are interested in what you have to offer, but perhaps haven’t found exactly what they’re looking for. In this case, you’ll want to increase their engagement in your site in a tailored and direct way.

Why do shoppers abandon a browsing session?

There’s a whole host of reasons why shoppers may abandon their browsing session. 

This could be due to online distractions, with different sites and platforms vying for a user’s attention at the same time. Or perhaps offline life means they need to step away from their screen and they forget to return. 

Or maybe it’s less to do with distractions and more a symptom of a poorly optimised site. A confusing navigation or complicated site design can cause even the most committed of shoppers to leave your site for a more seamless experience. Neglecting to display your shipping costs and information or making them difficult to find on your site can also put off shoppers and drive them towards your competitors. 

Shoppers may abandon their browsing session for any of the above reasons despite your best efforts to keep them engaged. But by implementing a range of messaging and incentives at crucial moments in their journey, you can ensure less shoppers are abandoning your site and not returning.

5 Ways to Reduce Browse Abandonment

1. Showcase your product range

With a personalisation tool such as Product Recommendations, you can deliver tailored suggestions based on a shopper’s on-site behaviour. 

Product Recommendations can be integrated into Behavioural Overlays which trigger when a user highlights text on your website or displays intent to exit. 

These Overlays show customers what they’ll be missing if they leave and engage shoppers with products that may more closely match what they were initially looking for. 

2. Create urgency

Nothing re-engages a visitor more than a limited stock notification or a countdown timer for your free delivery cut-off.

These tools instil a sense of urgency and play on the concept of fear of loss, encouraging visitors to make a purchase there and then rather than run the chance of losing out on it. 

By adding Prompts to your pages, you can show customers how many people have looked at a product that day, how many you have left in stock or how long is left for them to benefit from free shipping.

Placed unobtrusively in the corner of a product or category page, these messages are prominent enough to catch their attention, but not so large as to disturb their shopping experience. With the appropriate incentive, Prompts can deter visitors from abandoning their browsing session.

3. Promote company values and USPs

Often shoppers are reluctant to purchase from eCommerce sites that are new to them due to privacy and security concerns. With this in mind, you need to give shoppers every reason to trust you. 

Your values and USPs are what set you apart from your competitors and what your future customers will invest in, so shout about what makes your company special and why users should choose you. 

This can be effectively conveyed through an Overlay. Triggered when a shopper attempts to exit the site or highlights text, an Overlay displaying reasons to stay and shop and promoting your USPs will reassure shoppers.

4. Use social proof

In all aspects of life, people tend to follow the crowd, and eCommerce is no different.

From trending items to word-of-mouth recommendations, people feel more comfortable when they are following the behaviour of the majority. This psychological and social phenomenon is called social proof.

Adding social proof in the form of reviews and ratings can boost customer confidence in your site, and showcasing your awards and accreditations from third party organisations shows you are a reputable company. 

You can integrate these into your site’s header and footer so they appear on every page, or deliver them at crucial moments via Overlays or Prompts to keep visitors on your eCommerce site.

5. Implement browse abandonment emails

Cart abandonment emails are now commonplace in eCommerce strategies as more and more businesses reduce their number of lost sales. Browse abandonment emails are just as effective at re-engaging a different type of visitor.

If a user has not picked out specific products to view or add to their shopping cart, take a more value-based approach to the messaging in these emails. 

Focus on showcasing your USPs to persuade customers who have abandoned their browsing session to return to your site and advance their position in the sales funnel. 

If a customer has viewed a product but hasn't committed to adding it to their cart, you can send custom product recommendations for items related to this product.

Schedule these to send within a couple of days of their visit to your site as part of your wider email marketing strategy.

Recovering abandoned browsing sessions can be just as valuable as basket abandonment strategies.

Engaging with shoppers who have spent time exploring your site by delivering tailored messages will encourage shoppers to move further down the sales funnel towards a successful conversion. 

If you’re looking to prevent browse abandonment, get in touch at [email protected] or call 0204 505 9040 to discuss our Email Retargeting, Product Recommendations and Prompts.

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