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Hooray for you! You’ve built a great site, paid attention to the details, guided your customer most of the way through a successful checkout process… but… wait a second, she still left her cart sitting there without finishing the transaction! Argh! Makes you want to pull your hair out, doesn’t it? Other than meet with early onset baldness, what more is a business person to do?
Well, there is one more small detail that can be the tipping point between sale and no sale, and although you’ll never be able to capture every single customer who leaves your site before handing over a credit card, you’ve still got one more trick up your sleeve.
Tip #7: Follow Up
Sometimes, getting a customer back can be as simple as sending a reminder email letting her know that her items are still waiting in her cart. People on the internet can be easily distracted by another website, their boss, their kids, the chicken in the oven.
If a customer has already signed into her account or provided an email address, a friendly reminder email might be enough to prompt her to return and complete the purchase.
Of course, this is only possible for existing customers, or those who have gone far enough to provide an email address. Even so, it’s good practice to retain the contents of a shopper’s cart for a reasonable length of time so that if she does return in an hour, a day or a week, her items are still there waiting, reminding her that she really did want to buy them, if only the cat hadn’t jumped on the keyboard.
Whether customers ultimately make a purchase depends, in large part, on how easy you make it for them to do so. And whether they return depends entirely on your ability to provide what they want. Does your site offer:
- Enough information to make an educated purchase?
- A sense of credibility and security about your business?
- Clear purchase, shipping and return policies?
- A straightforward and functional purchasing and checkout process?
- Good follow up and customer service practices?
A little planning and “thinking like a shopper” can help your ecommerce site be a success. If it drives you nuts when you shop online, it’s going to drive someone else nuts, too. If it makes your life easier, it’s probably going to make your customer’s life easier.
Follow some basic, common-sense guidelines, and don’t forget to do some good old-fashioned down-in-the-trenches research to find out what your customers really think and want.
How successful is your website? Are you facing any particular challenges marketing, selling or managing customers?