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A Beginner's Guide to Abandonment Surveys

A Beginner's Guide to Abandonment Surveys


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We look at Abandonment Surveys and how they can help retailers to understand more about the reasons for cart abandonment
Around 77% of visitors who add items to their baskets will abandon the site without making a purchase on the average ecommerce site. This will vary by industry too, with lower rates for sectors like fashion, higher ones for travel and utilities.

A certain level of abandonment is a fact of life for online retailers, for a number of reasons. To name just one,  some people will simply be doing some comparison shopping with no intention of completing a purchase on that visit.
Retailers will be unable to address all such reasons for abandonment, but there may be other areas where they can reduce cart abandonment rates.
The key to this is understanding why people abandon, and this is where abandonment surveys can help.

What Are Abandonment Surveys and How Can They Be Used?

It’s in the name of course, but these surveys are sent to shoppers to find out the reasons why they have abandoned their purchases.
This can help retailers to identify possible areas for improvement, possible problems with the checkout process, the price, or some other part of the offering.

On-Site Surveys

Also sometimes known as exit surveys, these can be served to visitors as they are about to leave the website without completing a purchase.
The advantage here is that customers can be surveyed at the exact point when they are about to abandon, so the reasons are fresh in the shopper’s mind.
In this situation, they can help retailers to identify issues with specific pages on the site or the part of the checkout process where the problem occurred.

Or they can be used to allow the customer to explain their issue and provide direct feedback. Again, specific issues can be identified, and it may be possible in some cases to help the customer to complete the purchase.

Survey Emails

Abandonment survey emails are often used as part of the cycle of cart abandonment emails.
When a shopper abandon a purchase, retailers will send cart abandonment emails, often showing basket contents and attempting to tempt customers back to the site to complete their purchase. Like this:

For the customers that don’t respond to these emails, a follow up will be sent with product recommendations, while the third cycle will often include an abandonment survey.
Here’s an example from Tesco Mobile, which helps them to identify key reasons for abandonment.
For example, Tesco can now monitor the percentage of visitors that decide to buy elsewhere, as well as identifying any problems with the website, payment issues or technical problems.

Examples of Survey Data

The abandonment survey data we collect is passed to clients, and benchmarked against other sites.
This allows retailers to see how they perform, and to identify areas where they can improve.

In Summary

There are a number of ways for retailers to identify issues within the customer journey – analytics and user research for example – but it pays to ask customers directly.

Curious about what is on your customer’s minds?

Find out how abandonment surveys can help your business…


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Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.