Customer Retention

The PeC Review: Helps Capture Exiting Shoppers

A six year-old, real-time analytics firm seeks to help online merchants boost conversions by enabling stores to follow up with potential customers after those shoppers leave the site or abandon the shopping cart.

According to SeeWhy, sending shoppers a customer-service-oriented email after they have surfed away from your online store can result in up to a 50 percent reconversion rate. The service also has the side effect of causing ecommerce marketers to refocus at least some of their promotional efforts on building relationships and nurturing loyal customers. For both its core services and this secondary effect of refocusing campaigns, I am awarding SeeWhy three and a half out of a possible five stars in this “The PeC Review.”

The PeC Review is a recurring weekly feature created to introduce you to the products or services that can improve your ecommerce business. So this week, let me explain why I believe SeeWhy is worth a try.

Applying Real-Time Analytics Data to Sales Funnels

SeeWhy offers a form of applied web analytics. Using a JavaScript file and a short bit of on-page code—similar to other analytics tools—SeeWhy tracks shoppers’ on-site behaviors. But it also provides a context for that behavior by tagging pages as part of a conversion or sales funnel.

This is not an automated process. You the marketer must define that funnel, enumerating the steps (actions) that lead a shopper from a landing page to a product category page to a product detail page and on to checkout.

You will also define a point of intent and a goal. For example, you may decide that a potential buyer has reached a point of intent (the intent to purchase) after adding a product to the shopping cart or after starting a checkout process. Any shopper that leaves your site after crossing your point of intent will be considered to have abandoned the process and will show up on your SeeWhy abandonment report, so that you can either follow up manually or have a set of programmatic rules respond in real time, depending on which version of the solution you are using.

As mentioned above, following up with shoppers who abandoned the process can lead to a significant number of reconversions and, therefore, much more revenue.

Encouraging Customer Connection

Once a shopper has abandoned the sales process, SeeWhy notifies you (or takes action again, depending on which of the company’s two services you are using) so that you can email that shopper a customer-service-oriented message asking about his or her shopping experience and how you could improve it in the future. You can then ask why he or she did not complete the process.

In order to follow up, of course, you need a customer’s email address. This is where SeeWhy has the additional benefit of helping ecommerce marketers refocus on customer engagement.

Three and one half stars

It is just too easy to become short-term marketers, focused solely on pay per click (PPC) advertising which, while easy to measure and effective in the short term, will never produce the sort of loyal customers that other forms of marketing can. For this reason SeeWhy, to be effective, must be combined with a real strategy for collecting customer information, particularly customer emails.

The online merchant that wants to recover revenue from shoppers who have abandoned the sales funnel must also become a merchant that engages his or her customers, offering free newsletter price alerts or even capturing an email address very early in the checkout process.

SeeWhy Can Provide Improved Attribution

SeeWhy will also help ecommerce marketers understand how effective their on-site merchandising and marketing is. For example, when I define conversion funnels, it is possible for me to develop a number of different routes through to a sale. I may find, for example, that customers who pass through my product category page are more likely to convert than those that go directly to a product detail page. As a result, I attribute more value to the category page and ensure that it plays a greater role in my campaigns.

Two Versions of the Solution

There are actually two versions of the SeeWhy solution: The Abandonment TrackerFree and the Abandonment TrackerPro. The free version provides merchants with a daily summary of “abandoners” along with abandonment statistics. These reports allow the merchant to follow up manually with shoppers, sending an email to those who left their carts to languish in a virtual aisle.

The TrackerPro version allows merchants to develop an automated, multi-stage follow-up campaign. So shoppers are contacted within moments of leaving your site. These sorts of follow-ups have generated reconversion rates of around 50 percent for other SeeWhy customers, according to the company’s CEO.

The TrackerPro version also includes additional behavior tracking features like hot buyer behavioral targeting, hot route scoring, and intelligent handling of repeat customers. While the price for the TrackerPro version is based on site and abandonment volume, a small to mid-sized merchant should expect to invest $5,000.00 the first year for this solution.

Summing Up

SeeWhy is very simple to implement—it should take you less than two hours to put on your site—and the free version will offer enough information to begin recapturing some lost sales.

Armando Roggio
Armando Roggio
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