We all have the website visitors (too many of them, in fact) that abandon their shopping carts, and we all experience gut-wrenching pain when we think what they do to our e-commerce conversion rates, but it might be time to rethink what we know about these serial shopping cart abandoners.

A recent study looked at three types of shopping cart abandoners based on their buying behavior within the previous 28 days: the One-Time Abandoner, those who had no abandons or purchases; the Serial Abandoner, those who abandoned more than once; and the Recent Goal Abandoner, those who had one or more purchases followed by an abandon.

The Breakdown

One-Time and Serial Abandoners abandon at nearly the same frequency: 43% and 42%, respectively. Recent Goal Abandoners abandon at 15%. When sent a remarketing email, the recovery rate for Recent Goal Abandoners is more than half, at 57%. Now here’s where this gets interesting. Are you ready? Although the One-Time and Serial Abandoners abandoned at nearly the same rate, when remarketed, their buying behavior and recovery rate significantly differs – 18% for One-Time Abandoners versus 48% for Serial Abandoners. That’s 2.6 times more! I’m thinking this got your “how to increase conversions” wheels turning. What once gave us gut-wrenching pain might not be such a “bad” thing anymore. In fact, it actually predicts future purchases.

Still not convinced? As customers have grown more accustomed to having their items stored in their shopping cart for later purchase, abandonment has become a part of the natural buying cycle. They add items to the cart, abandon, add more items, abandon, delete an item, abandon, and finally return to purchase. We, as data-driven marketers, need to create a strategy to support this new buying behavior across multiple site visits.

How to Increase Conversions:

  • Set shopping cart persistence to a minimum of 60 days
  • Approach abandonment differently, as it increasingly becomes part of the buying cycle
  • Be aware that new buyers will require multiple site visits and sometimes multiple abandons before they make a purchase
  • Focus your remarketing program on this process with great customer service and well-timed emails
  • A remarketing program aimed at welcoming new customers will help drive repeat buying