Tapping into the abandoner mentality

Site abandonment is a common occurrence across the digital landscape, be it retail, travel or even finance. Many brands view their abandoners as lost causes, not knowing why they left or if it’s even worth it to try and get them back. In truth, abandonment can be a great opportunity to reach your users in new ways, you just need to understand how to approach them effectively.

When you hear abandonment, the first thing you probably think is cart or basket. While that’s not incorrect (retail experiencing around a 67% abandoned cart rate, and the travel industry a good 13% higher), there is a lot more to consider than just the basket. Below are some examples of types of abandonment that different online industries face:

  • Basket abandonment: when a visitor places items in their basket, and leaves the site without purchasing.

  • Browse abandonment: when a visitor comes to the site and browses one or more products without adding them to the basket or making a purchase.

  • Form abandonment: when a visitor comes to a site and begins to complete a form but leaves the site without completing it (More than 60% of users abandon event registration, order/payment, contact, survey, donation, contest, and lead gen forms (Formstack, May 2015).

Understanding that abandonment can exist in different ways is the first step in successfully addressing it. In order to create opportunity from what may look like an issue though, the most important thing to understand is where it stems from. Why are your visitors dropping off before you intended them to?

Hidden delivery charges and complicated check out or completion processes are among the highest abandonment reasons. On the other hand, visitors may find alternative offerings elsewhere, or simply leave due to distractions or not being ready to take the plunge. It’s important to realize that just because someone has come to your site and entered the funnel, it doesn’t mean that they were intending to complete their journey there. Taking measure of who your visitors are and when they drop off can give you great insight into the reasons behind their actions.

Understanding the user journey gives you the power to know when and why visitors are leaving, and thus allows you to take a more personalized approach on getting them back and keeping them satisfied. If you focus on reaching out to visitors with relevant messaging at the right time, you can ensure that your abandonment recovery efforts are not wasted. The bottom line is that being able to segment users and approach them individually leaves you with a better chance of conversion, and ultimately a higher rate of success.