Sometime a "hot" e-commerce trend solidifies into a good business practice. Such is the case with remarketing services. In a general sense, online merchants use remarketing to follow up with Web site abandoners in real-time to bring them back to and through the check-out process on your site.
Charles Nicholls, founder of SeeWhy, a remarketing services company, says that 90 percent of e-commerce leads go cold within the first hour, and a remarketing solution is an essential component of any conversion program.
SeeWhy, well-known for its Abandonment Tracker solution, has recently taken remarketing one step further with its newly announced Conversion Manager solution. According to Nicholls, the new platform helps Web site owners and online retailers to engage with abandoners using real-time, one-to-one messages via social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace -- in addition to e-mail service options.
How Does E-commerce Remarketing Work?
Remarketing to Web site abandoners engages potential customers with the goal of converting them into paid customers. For example, if you track a shopper on your Web site who "almost buys," you would follow up with remarketing techniques to encourage that shopper to return and make that purchase. Based on their customer's success, Nicholls said that on the high end some Web sites can see up to a 50 percent conversion rate when they employ remarketing tactics.
When you remarket, Nicholls recommends a three-step method. First, contact the abandoner immediately after he leaves the site, while he's still most likely to return and buy. Then, if the customer doesnt act on your message, you wait 24-hours and follow-up with a second message. If the customer still doesnt take action, you make a third contact three days after the abandonment.
You want to track it through each stage and avoid following up with a promotional offer right away, said Nicholls. When you offer a promo right away, you basically teach customers to abandon to get a better deal. This, he continued, is something online retailers need to avoid.
The actual process and theory of how to remarket may sound easy, but putting it in motion can be quite difficult when online retailers use a variety of e-commerce solutions from different vendors to manage their Web site; correlating data and information between systems is not always something you can do.
Remarketing with E-mail
SeeWhys Conversion Manager provides the tracking in real-time and syncs all your campaigns together in one system. The platform triggers the real-time, one-to-one messages via social and e-mail. Conversion Manager also integrates with a number of e-mail service providers (ESPs), including ExactTarget, Epsilon, Silverpop and Blue Hornet.
Nicholls said that support for other email service providers is currently being added, as integration with ESPs is extremely important for real-time remarketing. When Conversion Manager detects shopping cart abandonment or another event is activated, it immediately sends a message to the ESP to trigger an e-mail.
Conversion Manager offers a basic e-mail conversion module to get online retailers up and running with remarketing services. Using the conversion module costs three cents per e-mail.
Remarketing on Social Networks
While e-mail is the most common way to remarket to abandoners, SeeWhys Conversion Manager offers a social conversion module that integrates with popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to trigger real-time notifications to a visitors social network account. By leveraging the APIs of the social network sites (e.g. the Facebook Connect API), Conversion Manager can track these users in real-time, and you can set campaigns to remarket to these customers on their preferred social network.
Online retailers can use the social media module for shopping cart abandonment, re-engagement, cross-selling and to promote your brand.
Pricing and Availability
SeeWhys Conversion Manager is available now. Pricing for the remarketing solution, designed for small-to-midsized e-commerce companies, starts at $15,000 per year. SeeWhy also offers a free 30-day trial of Conversion Manager and a product webinar is also available on the SeeWhy Web site.
Vangie Beal is a veteran online seller and frequent contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com. She is also managing editor of Webopedia.com. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG.
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