comment: go inspire group

Abandoned shopping baskets: what’s in store for independent electrical retailers?

Online sales are expected to account for 53% of total retail sales by 2028, as the younger digital-native generation comes to represent more than half the UK’s adult population.1

This means growing the

online side of the business is important for independent electrical retailers who will otherwise miss out on half of all potential sales. In fact, the driſt towards online shopping is faster for electronics than for other retail sectors, with an expected 9% increase in people buying mobile phone and computer products online and an 8% increase for other electrical products over the next five years.2 Surprisingly, however, even electronic retailers that have heavily invested in their online presence seem to all ignore one common thing – the mysterious case of the abandoned shopping basket. Nick Cole, Managing Director at Go Inspire Group, investigates.


ith 70% of online baskets being abandoned before check-out, retailers

are leaving behind significant sums of potential revenue, which will inevitably be diverted to another competitor if reactivation efforts are not sufficiently effective. The top reason shoppers abandon their cart is that the shipping costs were more than expected, accounting for 54% of cart abandonment reasons, while not qualifying for free shipping accounts for 44%.3

Similarly, the

checkout was confusing or took too long is stated as a reason for abandonment in 20% of cases.4

Evidently, much of the

abandonment activity happens very close to the end of a purchasing journey. This kind of information is crucial to improving initial conversion and abandoned baskets reactivation rates. Yet, the vast majority of retailers have not investigated the specific causes of abandonment for their products and are therefore not equipped to reverse these occurrences. We decided, at media-neutral Go Inspire

Group, to conduct a control trial to investigate the value of abandoned online shopping baskets and assess the efficacy of reactivation techniques. Today, e-mail reactivation strategies are commonly deployed, however most businesses fail to harness the power of postal mail to optimize their abandonment reactivation success rate. While many independent retailers are rightly focused on improving their online systems, they should not however disregard the value of traditional communication mediums in drawing customers into an online or physical store. Hoping to provide hard evidence to support this view of an omnichannel approach to marketing, the control test aimed to compare

the ability for both online and offline mediums to successfully convert abandoned products into sold items. In particular, we hoped to assess the incremental value of postal reactivation techniques, when used as follow-up to non- successful electronic communication methods. While a successful re-activation triggered email system alone tends to achieve a typical conversion rate of 5-7%,5

once followed with

a piece of triggered postal mail, the results of both reactivation activities in combination amounted to more than double the commercial result of reactivation emails alone. Clearly, there is still value in employing traditional methods in combination with all other available channels in order to optimise reactivation efforts. These results were then modelled across

several UK retail categories, estimating the additional revenue to be gained from postal mail follow-ups for each sector. For instance, the consumer electronics industry alone is leaving over £657 million in revenue on the table by not combining email and postal mail basket reactivation techniques.6

an online presence doubly important for independent retailers, who without an online store would not only miss out on a significant number of potential online sales, but also on the added advantage that online browsing has of leaving behind it a precious trail of data. Using this data, savvy marketers can try prompt a noncommittal buyer towards the check-out line – not just once, but multiple times and across multiple channels. If a helping hand from an e-mail prompt doesn’t do the trick, postal techniques can be deployed to increase chances of abandoned basket reactivation. For independent businesses to start tapping into the retrievable value of discarded purchases,

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they must first begin to grow their online presence and gather vital information surrounding their customer profiles and behaviours. Retailers must gain a broad understanding of their website traffic and effectively pinpoint which time of day they are losing the most amount of sales to abandoned baskets, and at which point in the purchasing journey do most baskets get left behind. Finally, marketers should take advantage of all available channels when considering their basket reactivation methods. The hope is that the evidence presented in our latest research will urge electrical retailers to recognize what a small note through the mailbox can do to incite consumers towards the till. The dangerous myopia of restricting

This makes developing

marketing strategies to electronic media has already been highlighted in previous research. Based on our latest research, we can deduce that the same applies to abandoned shopping basket reactivation methods. Traditional retailers with physical stores will do better by leveraging the power of an online presence and making use of the customer data they can retrieve from it. Retailers who do not invest in an omnichannel reactivation system are likely to miss out on large sums of retrievable value, while users of hybrid mail stand to win a higher proportion of consumer spend in their categories than those who are restricted to electronic communication channels alone.

1. Retail Economics, Digital Tipping Point, 2019 Retail Report: 2019-07/WBD_Retail-Report_0.pdf 2. Go Inspire Group, Balancing Act, May 2019 3. Much Needed, E-commerce Statistics, 2018: 4. Much Needed, E-commerce Statistics, 2018: 5. Go Inspire Group, The Abandoned Basket Reactivation Gap, September 2019 6. Ibid, Go Inspire Group, The Abandoned Basket Reactivation Gap, September 2019

December 2019/January 2020

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