When a buyer browses a few of your product pages, what happens?

If you’re like most ecommerce retailers, probably very little. Nearly all brands respond to cart abandonment with targeted email marketing, but very few respond to browse abandonment. Despite the fact that more customers than ever are window shoppers, browse abandonment campaigns are still treated as little more than a nice-to-have.

This is unfortunate because product browsing behavior provides marketers with a window into each shopper’s desires, preferences, and intentions. Only 10% of customers will add an item to a shopping cart, so if marketers are only paying attention to cart abandonment they’ll be ignoring a huge number of potential customers.

Browsing behaviors create a huge opportunity to understand what specific product your customer wants and leverage that data to better personalize your marketing — from browse abandonment emails to newsletters or any other promotional or triggered message.

If you’re still not sold, consider these three points:

1. 92% of customers want personalized product recommendations as a way to encourage them to purchase.

The above statistic, courtesy of Retail Touchpoints, is just one piece of evidence showing that your customers want reassurance that you’re listening and you care about their experience. Providing recommendations that are related to the specific viewed product is a great way to show your customers that you’re thinking about their needs.

Browse abandonment campaigns that include related products can also give momentum the initial interest that brought your shopper to your site in the first place. And consider showcasing an entire product category rather than one specific item, based on the category that your customer spent the most time browsing.

(If you need inspiration, take a look at a particularly impressive email campaign we received from a catalog ecommerce retailer.)

2. The majority of customers abandon items because the total cost including shipping was too high.

According to research by the Baymard Institute, of the 67% of online shopping carts that are abandoned overall by website visitors, 46% are abandoned due to high shipping charges. Though this typically refers to cart abandonment, this information can also be leveraged within a browse abandonment campaign.

If your customer is at all price-sensitive, marketing should feel empowered to remove this point of friction as early as possible. A browse abandonment email is a great opportunity to provide a time-sensitive discount coupon and encourage a reluctant customer to click through. You not only acknowledge and remove this potential barrier to purchase, you introduce a sense of urgency that encourages your customer to redeem their coupon and buy something ASAP.

3. Customers who abandon an item at browse might not be ready to purchase, but may still want to engage with your brand.

It’s important to understand that there’s a different mindset behind browse abandonment and cart abandonment. While cart abandonment indicates a specific intent to purchase that was halted for some reason, many customers who abandon an item at browse are truly “just browsing” and don’t yet have the same need or urgency to buy.

Marketers can be sensitive to this knowledge by delivering a browse abandonment campaign including more information about the items that shoppers were looking at, to help them learn more about the products they expressed interest in and to drive further engagement and exploration. With the right marketing strategy, a browse abandonment email can turn latent curiosity into a deliberate intent to buy, and drive purchases and revenue more effectively.

Takeaway: Browse abandonment campaigns are a necessity, not a nice-to-have

It’s unfortunate that more retailers aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity to send campaigns based on their browsing behaviors. And if marketers wait until a customer abandons an item in a cart or even makes a purchase before reaching out, they miss the chance to capture those peak moments of initial interest that are so critical to getting a brand-user relationship started off on the right foot. Browse abandonment campaigns are an absolute must-have in your marketing strategy, and have a huge impact on driving revenue, purchases, and conversions – in fact, Zaius customers are able to convert up to 6X more shopping sessions with the help of browse abandonment campaigns than without.

Hopefully, these best practices help you integrate effective browse abandonment campaigns into your current marketing strategy.

Sruthi Narayanan

Sruthi is the Marketing Associate at Zaius. When she’s not writing and editing marketing content, Sruthi spends her time volunteering for a Cambridge-based arts organization, singing in a post-collegiate a cappella group, and reading novels to her cat, Monty.

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