Unfortunately, browse abandonment campaigns aren’t as popular among marketers as cart abandonment campaigns. Though the majority of retailers will send some sort of “Did You Forget Something?” campaign when a shopper leaves an item in a cart, few will do anything similar when a customer abandons a browsing session. And this is a pity, because browse abandonment campaigns can convert up to 6X more shopping sessions than the standard batch-and-blast email.
But to that point, those marketers who do deliver browse abandonment campaigns often do so via email – and one of the biggest problems with email is that if you’re trying to deliver a time-sensitive message, your email’s relevance has a shelf-life that’s entirely at the mercy of when the shopper decides to visit their inbox. It could be hours or days before a shopper opens your message – or they might not open it at all – and your message will quickly become irrelevant if it reaches your shopper after their interest has fizzled out.
A retailer specializing in kitchenware and cooking items navigated this problem by integrating a “browse abandonment sidebar” into their website, so they could remind customers of the items they’d been looking at while they were engaging with other content. We saw this appear during our second browsing session – after we’d looked at a teapot on their website, we switched gears and began looking at a set of ice cream bowls. Once we went to the product page for the bowls, a “Recently Viewed” pop-up appeared in the corner with a thumbnail of the teapot.
With this sidebar, the retailer was creating an opportunity for us to revisit abandoned merchandise while reaching us at a time when we’d be most likely to see and respond to a recommendation (i.e. when we were already engaging with other content). And when done this way, the brand’s handling of browse abandonment is less a prescriptive recommendation and more a way for customers to stay inspired about products that had grabbed their interest – and the retailer can continue learning about their shoppers’ preferences and making future recommendations that speak to those preferences. A customer’s sustained browsing session is a great opportunity to reach out with a real-time browse abandonment notification, whether that’s in the form of a dynamic sidebar (like this retailer), a real-time web push message, or some other pop-up message.
Considering the fact that only 10% of customers will inevitably add something to a shopping cart, marketers cannot afford to wait for cart abandonment to start engaging with shoppers. Even by clicking an item, customers are demonstrating an amount of curiosity that marketers need to be prepared to respond to and learn from. The key is being able to reach out during those moments of peak interest in real-time, so they can engage shoppers at exactly the right moment – and unfortunately, email just doesn’t cut it in terms of sending the most timely and relevant messages.
Browse abandonment campaigns, like cart abandonment campaigns, are by no means a nice-to-have – they’re absolutely essential campaigns that marketers need to be delivering if they want to engage their shoppers with the right content at the right time.