4 Shopping Cart Strategies to Combat Plunging Brand Loyalty

by Greg Shepard on Jun 3, 2015 3:00:00 AM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce

How_CMOS_Image-367840-editedWhile brand positioning will always remain important and an integral part of every brand’s marketing strategy, things need to change a bit moving forward. A recent study from ITSMA found the most important factor marketers must consider in two years’ time will be “understanding buyers” as opposed to “brand and positioning” today.

Consider this additional “ding” against the focus on brand and positioning. According to Accenture, just 28 percent of shoppers have loyalty to a specific retailer or brand. A WSL Strategic Retail Study found 80 percent of Millennials always shop based on price and 60 percent will bypass their favorite brand if a cheaper alternative is available. A recent Ernst & Young study of 25,000 people in 34 countries found brand loyalty to be a determining factor in making a purchase for 40 percent of people, but that number drops precipitously to 25 percent in the U.S.

With these data points in mind, direct response marketers will need to adjust their mindset and approach to developing programs that focus on buyer behavior.

The Internet has dramatically altered the balance between brand and consumer and has handed much of the power to the consumer when it comes to shopping. With an endless number of review sites, forums, comparison shopper sites and social media, consumers can arm themselves with everything they could ever want to know about a product and very easily click around until they find the lowest price.

This is why understanding buyer performance will supplant branding in positioning in the near future. It will be all about understanding the shopper mindset and implementing marketing strategies to address the increasingly fickle nature of today's shoppers.

Let’s take a look at some shopping cart strategies that help minimize shopping cart abandonment and shore up brand loyalty.

The Right Shopping Cart Strategies Can Keep Shoppers Coming Back

Shopping cart abandonment is a serious issue. Upwards of $4 trillion in sales are abandoned by shoppers every year, according to a recent Business Intelligence report. Some of this is due to lack of brand loyalty. Another part is the result of simultaneous shopper searches conducted during checkout. It’s also due to simultaneous coupon discount searches conducted during checkout. And some of this is simply due to interruption or forgetfulness. But all of this can be reigned in with proper shopping cart strategies.

Here are four things that can be implemented to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Dynamic display ad solutions can help increase and drive traffic to merchant sites. By using collected purchase intent data, keyword data and media owner data, merchants can better target traffic that is most likely to convert and retarget those who abandon their shopping carts.

Shopping cart search solutions can help reduce bounce rates on merchant sites by conducting a quick product search that will present the shopper with relevant products from the merchant's database if the customer shows signs of abandonment. This prevents the customer leaving the site, increasing conversions, and improving the ROI on search budget.

Chat, which can activate during any stage of the customer journey through a merchant site, can proactively answer customer questions and offer promotions to keep the shopper engaged with helpful tips that will help steer them towards checkout.

Shopping cart email strategies, when implemented, can offer shoppers the opportunity to have their shopping cart saved for future use and have a reminder email sent to them with a direct link to their cart so they can continue shopping right where they left off.

These tactics and others can greatly contribute to reducing that aforementioned $4 trillion in lost shopping cart sales. Reducing abandonment by just 1 percent would mean $40 billion in returned revenue across the board to merchants. The same Business Intelligence study states that 63 percent of sales (or $2.52 trillion) lost to abandoned shopping carts can be recovered if merchants implement proper shopping cart abandonment strategies.

What does this percentage lift mean for a brand? Let’s say your online business averages 800 cart creations and 250 completed checkouts per day with an average cart order value of $50. So 550 carts are abandoned. By recovering 10 percent of abandoned carts you could recapture about $82,500 in sales per month. What’s not to love about that?

How a Performance Marketing Agency Can Help Capture Fickle Consumers

So now you understand the need for getting shopping cart abandonment retargeting in place but what about tying it all together with your other performance marketing strategies and tactics? Who is looking at all the available data at a 50,000-foot level? Who’s got your best interests at heart? A performance marketing agency can provide the strategic insight, analysis, and transparency a brand needs to reel in those fickle consumers.

So if you are a CMO eager to stem the slide in brand loyalty, do yourself a favor; work with experts who can help increase your shopper loyalty, reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate, and provide the necessary strategic oversight to maximize your marketing activities.

Greg Shepard is CEO of AffiliateTraction.

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