The biggest factor behind the likelihood of a shopper returning to an e-commerce site and making a purchase is previous history with the brand, according to a new study [download page] from Monetate. But simply targeting re-engagement budgets at the largest segment of shoppers who didn’t make a purchase on-site won’t be the most cost-effective solution, as the report details.
To arrive at its conclusions, Monetate analyzed the behavior of millions of shoppers, sorted by their previous on-site behavior.
The research shows that while shoppers who bounced from the site made up the largest share (39%) of initial traffic, only 16% of bounced shoppers returned to the site, and of those just 1.9% made a purchase upon return.
By contrast, while those who abandoned a cart represented a far smaller group (10% of initial traffic), almost half returned to make a purchase, and an impressive 9% of those converted upon their return.
This suggests that aiming for the biggest group to re-engage isn’t the wisest tactic; instead, the first target for retargeting and re-engagement should be abandoned cart shoppers. (Abandoned cart emails tend to have relatively high deliverability and response rates, and could be a good option.)
While it may seem logical to first target shoppers who had abandoned a cart (a common practice among retailers), Monetate’s analysis shows that other shopper segments are also worth re-engaging.
For example, shoppers who had viewed a product but not placed it in a cart (29% of the initial traffic) are also ripe for retargeting. Among this group, while relatively few returned (36%), the conversion rate for those who did return was 3.8%.
Monetate tallied the traffic share against the return rate and conversion rate upon return to arrive at the following success count by segment:
- Abandoned Cart: 434 conversions per 100k visitors;
- Viewed Product: 393 conversions per 100k visitors;
- Browsed But No Product Views: 261 conversions per 100k visitors; and
- Bounced: 118 conversions per 100k visitors.
Diving a little deeper, Monetate further examined where shoppers left their initial visits. Looking specifically at those who viewed a product (a ripe opportunity per the above analysis), Monetate’s data shows that those shoppers who viewed the product and exited from the product page had a far higher return rate and conversion rate upon return than those who viewed a product and then exited from the category page. That could indicate a customer experience problem for those who left from a category page.
As such, as Monetate’s analysts, note: “it’s not enough to invest only in figuring out whom to retarget: that effort must be matched by an investment in rethinking the on-site experiencer for those that do return.”
The full report, based on an analysis of 37 million return purchases, can be downloaded here.