Commentary - For online merchants now is the time to pull out the stops to attract as many holiday shoppers as possible.
Recent research from the National Federation of Retailers indicates that 44 percent of consumers age
18 and older will shop online for holiday items this year. That’s up from 42.4 percent last year. In fact
researching and shopping starts early. In November 73 percent of consumers had started researching their
holiday purchases while 89 percent of those consumers had started their shopping online.(Source: Google/OTX
Such growth is positive news for online retailers in need of more site visitors. It’s stunning to think that
the majority of visitors will leave without ever buying anything. We’ve all been there, about to press
the “purchase” button when something stops us.
According to recent Forrester research, last year 154 million people in the U.S. transacted $155.2 billion
in sales online. That comes to just about $1000 each. However many more people abandoned shopping
carts than completed their purchases.
Another recent study by Forrester indicates that despite improvements in site design and increased
consumer comfort with online purchasing, 88 percent of Web buyers note that they have abandoned an online
shopping cart without completing a transaction. This percentage is unchanged compared to five years ago.
This suggests that retailers have not yet addressed the primary factors of cart abandonment: frustration
with the amount of shipping costs, unpreparedness to make a purchase, and a desire to comparison-shop
for a lower price; all natural occurrences within the buying cycle.
Enter Remarketing. Website visitors who have just abandoned a shopping cart are your very best
prospects. After all, they almost purchased – just not quite. With highly targeted advertisements, retailers
can in fact reengage with visitors who leave their site because they aren't ready to purchase. These ads
can be specific to the product that they were originally debating, or just a friendly call to action like “Free
Shipping” or “10% off.”
Remarketing reaches out to previous visitors of retailers’ sites as they surf elsewhere on the web and
provides incentives for them to return and purchase. In the experience of some of our advertisers,
remarketing campaigns can bring phenomenal lift in ad response, up to 400 percent. At the same time it’s
curious that a survey we conducted earlier found that Remarketing is considered the most under-utilized
online marketing technology.
This holiday season let’s hope that retailers recognize this disconnect. Implementing a Remarketing
campaign can be the best way to combat shopping cart abandonment rates this holiday season by
converting those shoppers who remain on the fence.
biography Daniel Yomtobian is the CEO of Advertise.com, a premier platform for search and display
marketing that enables advertisers to reach a wider audience through an exclusive network of search
engines and publisher properties.