By using a lesser-known online shopping hack, shoppers can save themselves big bucks by doing nothing more than waiting a couple of days and keeping an eye on their inbox.
As part of a clever system designed to attract customer loyalty, major Australian retailers will send emails to people who fail to finalise their purchase of items in their virtual shopping cart.
More often than not, shoppers will find items they had earlier hesitations about buying being offered to them at a discount or as part of a special deal.
Most Australian companies with an online store are now utilising this tactic, Retail Doctor’s head of consumer insights Anastasia Lloyd-Wallis said.
“The majority would at least have that functionality because we’ve seen that without a doubt that customers are really moving towards this personalisation and frictionless experience,” Ms Lloyd-Wallis told Yahoo News Australia.
“Time is super important to a customer so I would be expecting that a lot of retailers would be using this and looking to make their lives easier.”
Businesses have ‘learnt the value of loyal customers’
Discussion over the cheeky tactic has surfaced online, with several online shopping fiends reporting they had received offers on items they didn’t initially buy from retailers like David Jones and Kogan.
Ms Lloyd-Wallis said it was driven by the business’s attempt to achieve a plethora of outcomes like the loyalty and trust of their customers.
“It’s about customer engagement, in particular over the last three or four months, businesses have learnt the value of having loyal customers. The follow-up email can keep a customer feeling valued,” she said.
Up to 95 per cent of customer decisions are based on their individual personalities, Ms Lloyd-Wallis said, which played a major role in the way businesses managed their engagement.
“Some customers are driven purely by a discount so in their follow-up email, there will be a trigger with a discount. They’re looking for that rationality and logic behind their purchasing decisions,” she said.
“Others are more looking for the loyalty, trust and connection with the retailer. So their follow-up email will trigger to them messages to suggest a business is thinking of them and what they like.”
Customers want a straight forward buying process
Ms Lloyd-Wallis said a different group of consumers just wanted businesses to make their buying process straight forward and simple, so their follow-up email would cater to that specifically.
“The company would likely present a two-click sale, or something that takes away the friction,” she said.
“There’s probably a lot more nuance in the follow-up emails that people wouldn’t necessarily realise, and it probably triggers different emotions in different customers.”
Businesses can use these types of tactics to help clear out old stock, which was particularly useful in the fashion industry given the fast-moving nature of trends, Ms Lloyd-Wallis said.
Offering a discount is just one of several ways businesses can encourage customers to complete a purchase of items left in their abandoned virtual shopping cart.
Customer data is Amazon’s ‘bread and butter’
While relatively new on the scene in Australia, Amazon has grown exponentially in the past two years, which Ms Lloyd-Wallis said was largely down to their clever use of customer data.
“It’s the bread and butter of their company, they’re more of a data company than a retailer, so they are learning about their customer by using predictive technology when sending follow-up emails,” she said.
Through this technology, customers will receive emails from Amazon with discounts on items in their basket or suggesting additional products similar to what has already been purchased.
A 2018 SAP Consumer Propensity Study, which surveyed 20,000 consumers in 24 markets – including 1000 in Australia, found 57 per cent of Australian respondents discarded their carts sometimes or all the time.
This was significantly higher than the 41 per cent of European respondents and 47 per cent of North American respondents.
Fifty three per cent of Australian respondents said discounts and promotions would succeed in nudging them to finalise a purchase they earlier didn’t.
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