4 Powerful Strategies That Dramatically Reduce Website Visitor Abandonment

Visitor abandonment is one of the most frustrating obstacles online marketers face today.  70-90% of visitors will abandon your website – never to return again.  Furthermore, 67.89% of shopping carts are abandoned by online shoppers according to Baymard Institute, a web research group.

Those are disappointing statistics – aren’t they?

But don’t worry – there is hope in retrieving lost prospects (opt-ins) and lost marketing dollars (conversions).

In todays essay we cover 4 proven methods to help your ‘7 Levers’ – and reduce your website’s visitor abandonment rate and increase your conversions and revenue:

  1. Retain Abandoning Visitors with Exit-Intent Technology
  2. Present a Perpetual Shopping Cart to Serve as a Constant Reminder
  3. Reduce Page Load Speed for Maximum Conversions
  4. Email Retargeting

Enjoy + Profit!

Pete

1. Retain Abandoning Visitors with Exit-Intent Technology

Exit-Intent technology is the most powerful method in reducing visitor abandonment because it helps to stop visitors from leaving your website in the first place.

Exit-Intent technology is a fairly new marketing tool.  With this technology, visitor movements are tracked and abandonment is detected by visitor mouse movements and velocity.

Once it’s detected that a visitor is about to leave your website – an appealing last second incentive is presented to re-engage and pull them back in.

Even online marketing leader Neil Patel uses Exit-Intent technology to keep visitors from abandoning his site.  In fact, he saw a 46% increase in conversions after implementing it.

Services such as  BounceExcahnge  ExitMonitor, OptinMonsterReelLabs, Popu.ps and newly launched Rooster has developed an affordable Exit-Intent solution using a proprietary algorithm that detects the moment a visitor is about to abandon – and then pulls them back in.

And it has worked incredibly well….

 

Case Study:  XeroShoes Brings Skeptical Visitors Back Onboard

After experiencing a series of running injuries, Steven Sashen developed the XeroShoes line of barefootware.  Although a fairly unfamiliar concept, research has shown that there are benefits to being barefoot – therefore, shoes that simulate being barefoot carry benefits to those who wear them.

XeroShoes knew that there would be skeptical visitors.  In fact, using Exit-Intent technology – just as it was detected visitors were about to abandon – they presented visitors with a research report detailing the benefits of being barefoot.

xeroshoes

Using this tactic, XeroShoes saw 2.5% of abandoning visitors opt in for the report.  And out of that 2.5% – 28.4% of those visitors who otherwise would have abandoned went on to make a purchase.

Now, 2.5% might not sound like such a large number.  But if you think about it – the result is around a 75% increase in conversions.

If your conversion rate is 1% to begin with – you’ve come close to doubling it..

There are a myriad of last second incentives you can offer your abandoning visitors to bring them back in.

Some of these include:

  • Discount codes
  • Social Media sharing
  • Contests
  • Shopping cart reminders

Anything that you think will propel your visitors to take action plays a huge role in turning abandoning visitors into purchasing customers.

Rooster offers a free 30 day trial so that you can first test their tool out to see how it lifts your conversions.

What do you really have to lose?  Besides more visitors…

Exit-Intent technology is the first step in keeping visitors from abandoning your website and reduces the effort required to bring your abandoned visitors back onboard.

 

2. Present a Perpetual Shopping Cart to Serve as a Constant Reminder

It’s really easy for visitors to forget that they’ve added an item to a shopping cart – and then leave that website.  Perpetual shopping carts are carts that always remain visible to shoppers.  This way, they serve as a constant reminder to visitors that they still have items in their cart.

According to MarketingSherpa, 38% of websites are using perpetual shopping carts.  And out of those that use them – 64% deem them as very effective.

marketingsherpa

Surprisingly, according to the survey, perpetual carts seem to have an even stronger effect than Live Chat.

Take a look at how Jabong keeps a perpetual shopping cart in constant view to remind visitors that they have items in their cart.

jabong

Circuit City also takes advantage of providing visitors with a perpetual shopping cart that is always visible to visitors.

circuit-city

Providing a visual reminder that there are still items in visitor’s carts is an effective way to close more sales on the spot – rather than let your visitors forget about their full carts and leave your site.

It’s a powerful way to increase your conversions and keep visitors from slipping right through the cracks.

3DCart is a shopping cart platform that offers a perpetual shopping cart.  But more importantly, they are one of the few that offer persistent cookies.  Persistent cookies allow merchants to set carts as active for any determined length of time.

This is really important because a study by Emarketer has revealed that 56% percent of visitors intend to save their cart for later.

If their carts have disappeared – your visitors may disappear as well.

3dcart

It appears that after researching the 3DCart site – besides offering a perpetual shopping cart and persistent cookies – they also offer some powerful conversion friendly features.  These include a 1 page checkout, automated cart abandonment email follow up, real time order tracking and product reviews to name just a few.

With a relatively low percentage of websites using a perpetual shopping cart – implementing it will give you the advantage over your competition.

 

3. Reduce Page Load Speed for Maximum Conversions

Your visitors have millions of websites to choose from right at their fingertips.

But guess what your visitors don’t have.  Patience.

Studies show that it takes roughly 5 seconds for visitors to decide whether or not they will stay on your page or bounce.

You have a great site.  But if it doesn’t load – your visitors don’t care.  They’ll leave…because they don’t have the time to see whether or not it’s great.

Because they’ve entered your URL or clicked a link to your site means that they now show up and register as a visitor in your web stats – even if they didn’t stick around until your site fully loaded.

This can skew your web statistics.

1,048 online shoppers were surveyed in the Akamai Study and some interesting facts were revealed.

40% of those surveyed stated that if a page took more than 3 seconds to load – they would abandon.  In fact, 47% expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.

52% said their loyalty was held by sites with quick page loads.  23% would stop shopping and 14% would go to a different site if page load was slow.

Published in 2010, Why Web Performance Matters, also revealed visitor preferences about page load speed.

75% left and shopped on a visitor’s site if page load was slow at peak traffic times.  Also, 88% were less likely to return to a site where pages loaded too slowly.

Nearly half of those surveyed had a less positive perception of a site with slow page load speeds.  And more than 1/3 relayed their bad experience to others.

 

Mere Seconds Can Cause a Huge Decrease in Revenue

Following is a graph that depicts a study conducted by Tag management supplier TagMan in partnership with glasses e-tailer Glasses Direct to ascertain page load speed and conversions.

conversion-rate

It’s clear that the decrease in conversions as page load speeds climb plays a huge factor in lost revenue.

 

Google Doesn’t Like Slow Page Load Speed Either

Lost visitors and lower conversions aren’t the only way you’ll be hurt by slow loading pages.  Google now penalizes sites with slow loading pages and grants them lower rankings in search results.

Google has added site speed to its algorithm.  However, they state that only 1% of queries will be impacted and focus should still remain on site quality.

Google came to this conclusion after testing the results of its own website speed.  They found that slower page loads resulted in a measurable impact on the number of searches per user.

 

Elements That Could Be Slowing Your Site’s Load Time

There are a number of elements that can slow down page load speed.  Here are a few to pay close attention to:

  • Ad network code
  • Analytics Tags
  • Failure to Gzip
  • Bloated HTML
  • Private data transfer on public networks
  • Images that are not optimized

Where to Test Your Page Load Speed

There are also a number of websites that test page load speeds and then provide a detailed report listing the problem areas along with the type and priority.

A few include:

Here’s a nice example of a page load speed readout on a client site conducted by gtmetrix.com

gtmetrix

With all that’s riding on your website’s page load speed – it’s vital that you maximize pages for the fastest load times possible.

With plenty of tools in place to assist you, you can quickly get a read out of what you need to do to optimize for fast page load speeds.

Lowering your abandonment rate depends on it.

 

4. Email Retargeting

With shopping cart abandonment still on the rise, marketers are reaching for new methods to pull visitors back in.

According to SaleCycle, the average cart abandonment rate was as high as 73.6% in the first quarter of 2013.  The largest number of abandonments occurred between 8pm and 9pm.  The day with the most abandonment is on Thursday.

When visitors do abandon your website – there is still hope.  Email retargeting has been shown to have a powerful effect in bringing visitors back to their carts to make a purchase.

 

Case Study:  Envelopes.com Increases Conversions by 65%

Envelopes.com increased their conversions by 65% using email retargeting and cut their cart abandonment by 40%.

Of those who abandoned their carts – 3 follow-up emails were sent.  The first email had an open rate of 38.01% and a click-through rate of 24.71% which lead to a conversion rate of 40%.

Of those who abandoned the checkout process – an email was sent 24 hours after abandonment.  They received a 39.24% open rate followed by an 18.18% click through rate which lead to a 33.93% conversion rate.

 

Case Study:  Emails Sent Out Immediately Yield Highest Open Rates

Boot Barn successfully retargeted customers by using 3 different emails in their overall strategy.

The first email was sent 20 minutes after carts were abandoned and were focused on customer service and finding out if the visitor had any problems on the site.   This email had an open rate of 46.04%

The second email was sent 23 hours after abandonment and focused on reasons why the visitor should buy from Boot Barn.  It had an open rate of 40.04%

The final email was sent one week after abandonment and let the visitor know it was their final chance to retrieve items and complete their purchase.  It received an open rate of 27.54%

 

Ask for an Email Address Early On

One of the first steps in effective email retargeting is to make sure that you ask for an email address early on in the checkout process.

This way, should your customers abandon early on – you still have a way to communicate with them and encourage them to return to their carts and complete their order.

Since its introduction into the online marketing arena – it almost seems senseless not to implement email retargeting to bring back abandoned visitors.

Smart marketers today are taking full advantage of the lost opportunity.

 

Conclusion

Face it – you’ve invested a lot of time and money bringing traffic to your website.  Statistics show that a large percentage will leave and never come back.

However, as you’ve read, there are very reliable ways to lower your visitor abandonment rate and pull lost visitors in to become buying customers.

Start by reducing the number of visitors that leave your website in the first place with Exit-Intent technology to bring visitors back onboard.

Next, use a perpetual shopping cart so that visitors cart contents are always visible.  It’s easy for them to forget that items are in a cart if they continue to browse around.

Also, be sure to reduce your website’s load speed – because many visitors won’t wait around if your website is slow to load.

Finally – follow-up with those who have abandoned your site through email retargeting.

If you put this strategy into place – you’ll be able to start retrieving your lost visitors as well as your lost marketing dollars with its cumulative effect.

It’s really just a matter of implementing the strategy.

about-pete
Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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