SaleCycle CMO Chris Sheen explains the concept of browse abandonment and how it affects ecommerce sites. 

Browse abandonment occurs when a visitor lands on your website, navigates past the homepage through to specific products or category pages, but then leaves the site without adding anything to their cart.

It’s a significant challenge for ecommerce websites with the latest stats from Smart Insights – showing that the average ‘add to cart’ rate online is under 10%.

To give it some ‘real life’ context, browse abandoners are often compared to ‘window shoppers’.

They’ve found the store they like, made their way in to look around at the things that catch their interest… but then left without picking anything up.

Of course, both offline and online, this kind of behavior is often just a natural part of the purchasing journey.

While in real-life having someone follow you around the store could be pretty annoying… luckily for online marketers there are things you can do to help.

For example, marketers can use on-site messages to drive urgency – showing there are a limited number of seats available on a particular flight – or add an element of positive reinforcement to show how popular a particular product is.

These kind of messages can be incredibly effective in moving customers further down the purchasing funnel and ultimately reducing browse abandonment.

For those visitors who do leave the website without adding anything to cart, many ecommerce websites will use browse abandonment emails to tempt them back.

Backed by the knowledge of the kind of products the visitor has been browsing and is therefore interested in, the content of these emails can be highly personalized and even timed to land when the visitor is most likely to be shopping next.

In summary, browse abandonment can be a frustrating habit for ecommerce marketers to deal with, but unlike the offline world, there’s plenty that can be done to help tackle it.


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