Don’t Make This Rookie Mistake in Your Online Business
When you’re running an online business, there are a few mistakes you must avoid, whether you’re a rookie or an expert.
However, the subject of this article is a mistake that many online entrepreneurs make, even if they’ve been around a while.
And what is that mistake? It is a failure to follow up with customers who placed an item in the cart but didn’t complete the purchase.
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Why Do People Abandon Carts?
Take a look around the next time you go into a grocery store. You’ll see few, if any, abandoned carts. However, online it’s quite a different story.
If you run an e-commerce store, you already know this to be true. Abandoned carts are a fact of life for you. But when it happens, you need to know why your customers are abandoning their carts. Why did your customer put the item in the cart in the first place? Why didn’t they complete the sale?
Answers to these questions can help you to fine-tune your business, so take the time to learn more, each and every time it happens.
Maybe the customer is still thinking about it. Maybe they are not sure if this particular item is exactly what they need. Or maybe they are not sure that you are the right merchant to purchase it from.
For example, they could be looking for a better price on eBay. On the other hand, they might be seeking a similar item with more features.
Or maybe there was a technical issue on your site that prevented them from making the purchase. If that’s the case, you would want to know right away so that you can address the issue and fix your website.
Where a lot of e-commerce businesses go wrong is that they ignore these incomplete sales. This is basic negligence, pure and simple. What’s more, you could be losing more business than you care to think about from these incomplete sales.
After all, your customer already initiated their buying decision just by putting the item in the cart. That means that they were already convinced to make the purchase.
Just Give ’em a Nudge, Already
Potential buyers might need nothing more than a small nudge from you to complete their purchase.
So fire off a quick email. Tell them that you noticed that they did not complete their purchase. Ask them if they would like any assistance or further information about the product.
Your goal should be just to start a conversation. Don’t try and hard sell your product at this point. The worst that can happen is that they will ignore your email completely. However, they might choose to send you a quick, “No thanks,” in reply. Either of these cases is a good indication that they have changed their mind about the purchase.
Cut Your Losses and Move On
It is also a signal for you to move on and concentrate on a different prospect. (Not knowing when to give up is another mistake some rookie business owners make. However, as you gain more experience, you will get a better feel for those people who are serious buyers and those who are time wasters.)
The best response you can hope for is that your customer will let you know exactly why they did not follow through with their purchase. When someone responds to your email query in this way, treat it like the gold it is. Their response can give you a good idea of what might close the sale. What’s more, it will guide you in your dealings with future customers as well.
Therefore, if a customer replies and tells you what the problem is, know that this is a very good sign. Their response gives you a starting point for working with them on whatever issue is standing between them and a completed sale.
So regardless of whether you’re a rookie or an expert, investigate each and every abandoned cart. Because a cart is not officially abandoned until after you have tried to contact your customer and tried to find out why.