Shopping cart data returns sales

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Operating an e-commerce store is not just about having products for sale on a Web site. Savvy online retailers are finding that using data to create targeted campaigns can personalize the shopping experience and increase sales.

Diapers.com has been working with data firm Coremetrics to track behav­ior on its site and use this behavior to inform its marketing campaigns. One such approach is an e-mail campaign targeted specifically to consumers who have aban­doned their online shopping carts.

“Our customers tend to be very busy moms, who very likely left because they got distracted by their child,” said Mat­thew Lindenberg, assistant director of marketing at Diapers.com. “We are trying to make things easier for them and send a reminder e-mail a couple of days after they've abandoned their shopping cart if they haven't returned to purchase.”

For Diapers.com, pampering busy moms who've abandoned shopping carts with follow-up e-mails has increased response rates.

In May, e-mails sent to browsers who did not purchase items in their cart had a 48% higher open rate and 78% higher click-through rate than e-mails from any previous campaign. In addition, the net conversion rate for these abandoned shop­ping cart e-mails was 6.5%, which is 129% higher than any previous campaign.

While the campaign represented less than 3% of e-mail volume for the first month in which it ran, it contributed more than 10% of the total revenue from e-mail marketing for that month.

Diapers.com uses the LIVEmail plat­form from Coremetrics, which ties site visit data to an e-mail vendor's campaign platform. The baby products retailer works with Silverpop on e-mail.

“Sending marketers relevant messages is the best way to engage them and online the data is there,” said Mike Niemann, product manager at Coremetrics. “We encourage marketers to get in the mindset of looking at abandoned shopping carts, onsite search terms and cross-sells based on purchases to create messaging.”

Multichannel merchant SkyMall is also working with Coremetrics to tie site behavior to its site navigation experience, and its approach also includes sending triggered e-mails to opted-in customers based on where they clicked when visiting the site. These e-mails have subject lines tailored to a customer's site behavior.

In addition, SkyMall has recently opti­mized its site by adding user-generated reviews, which has helped decrease shopping cart abandonment. It is also gearing up to let users personalize their site experience based on their language and currency, because its in-flight catalog reaches a wide, varied audience.

“Relevance is the key to conversion and being able to send campaigns based on a customer's behavior makes it much more relevant to them,” said Art Apostol II, director of marketing at SkyMall.

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