5 Ways to Turn Your Online Window Shoppers into Customers

If you had a dollar for every time a window shopper left your website before buying anything, you could probably quit your job and head to that baby sloth photography retreat in Costa Rica. Sadly, your online visitors have to buy something, or everything, before you book that flight.

Online browsing is common with 70% of online shoppers doing the "cart abandonment" trick—where they fill a cart with items from your store, but leaving before buying anything. Then there's the “browse abandonment” crowd—this accounts for 92% of your website visitors who wander around the site and then leave with no items in the cart and no indication of why they left.

So how can you help your customers complete the checkout and not leave your online store’s inventory behind in abandoned carts? Using the following 5 tools can help convert a higher percentage of your wandering website window shoppers into paying customers.

Photo by  Álvaro Serrano  on  Unsplash

1. Use Exit Intent Popups

OK, we can hear the collective screaming in your heads at the word "popups". But the truth is, they really do work. Marketing tests (where “exit intent popups” appeared in front of visitors before they could abandon ship) increased email address collection by more than 1000% over the course of several months!

We’ll talk about email collection and why that’s so critical in a minute. But first, here are some other ways that you can use exit intent popups to create an “itch to buy” for your website visitors that will lead more of them back to checkout:

  • Entice your window shopper with a generous %-off from their cart if they check out now.

  • Offer a special, one-time free shipping code if they buy today.

  • Give them a coupon code for so many dollars off if they buy now.

  • Alert them that there is a limited stock of the item they were viewing: “Only 1 left in stock.”

Note the use of now, today and scarcity. Exit intent popups can inject urgency into your window shopper's visit. People hate feeling like they’re going to miss out (FOMO), so if you tie a special deal to a deadline, they’re more likely to convert. This is a little psychological tactic known as “loss aversion” and it’s very powerful sales conversion tool.

Exit intent popups can also be used to collect email addresses and they’re very good at it. Capturing these emails increases your opportunities to engage with window shoppers, helping you bring them back to buy when they’re ready. It also gives you an opportunity to…

2. Employ a Browse Abandonment Email Campaign

If you have your window shoppers’ email addresses, you can now send them thoughtful and engaging browse abandonment emails. If they were interested enough to give you their email addresses, you can bring a significant number of these window shoppers back for the sale.  

Optimally, you should send a browse abandonment email within the first 20 minutes after someone leaves the website. Their visit on your website is still fresh in mind. So, use some combination of the following elements to sweeten their memory, inject some FOMO, entice them back and smoothly waltz them through checkout:

  • “Only one [insert picture of the item they spent the most time looking at] left – we’re saving it for you!”

  • “Did you see something you liked?” (…next to an image of the product they spent the most time looking at.)

  • “Thanks for stopping by our website! Here’s a special X % off coupon for your next purchase.”

An image of their longest-viewed item triggers response quicker than plain words. Still, bolster that image with the right words and you increase the chances of your window shoppers coming back to purchase.

Keep this email layout simple to avoid overwhelming your reader—use simple images with an obvious link back to their item, with an easy way to purchase it. Perhaps suggest complementary items, but again, keep it simple. Don’t give them a laundry list of every product they viewed—it's too creepy.

3. Analyze Abandoned Session Replays

You can find out which items your window shoppers lingered the longest over with a session replays tool. Session replays help you analyze where your shoppers spend the most time, where they click, what they avoid, where they leave the site or the checkout process, etc. This helps you find conversion leaks on your website so you can fix them:

  • Surprising shipping costs (the biggest reason people leave before checking out)

  • Complicated navigation

  • Long, confusing forms

  • Technical issues

  • Loading speed (too slow)

  • Security worries

  • They found a better price elsewhere

If you know where your website’s spooky spots are, you can fix them to make it easier for your window shoppers to become actual customers.

4. Try Facebook and Other Social Media Retargeting Tools

You leave a website to surf Facebook on your phone while you wait for your latte and, voila—there’s this ad from the website you just left. That’s retargeting. And for very little cost per customer, you can use these to bring back up to 70% of your window shoppers. Setting up a retargeting campaign on Facebook isn’t hard. But also consider other social media platforms depending on your target market demographics. The latest data on social media use from the Pew Research Center, in addition to your own market research, can set you off in the right direction.

5. Add Quick Conversion Boosters to Your Website

Just try some of these research-based ways to tune up your website for more sales:

  • Sales-Boosting Headlines—Boost sales with landing-page headlines mentioning pain points (real annoyances that your product eliminates), or a discount.

  • Live Chat—Real-time chat helps window shoppers convert. It also gives you another method of capturing customer data.

  • Social Proof—Display 5-star ratings, reliable customer raves and other forms of social proof.

  • Color Changes—A red call to action button beats a green one. Colors are subconsciously powerful influencers.

If you try these 5 tips, you might find yourself booking that baby sloth photography retreat sooner than you expected!

Brett - Square.jpg

Brett Thoreson is the founder and CEO of CartStack, a premiere cart abandonment & sales recovery solution for ecommerce businesses. He has a strong dedication to the ecommerce industry and a passion for adding value. Through CartStack, he and his team aim to change the way online companies recover revenue.