Re-engage Shopping Cart Abandoners with Retargeting

Through advanced tracking and analytics, marketers can draw website visitors who have demonstrated interest in an association’s products and services back to make a purchase.

By Rachel Burris, senior digital marketing manager at Feathr

Associations aren’t generally placed in the e-commerce bucket, but between educational materials, conference registrations, and memberships, they have a lot to sell.

And with online sales comes shopping cart abandonment, which occurs when shoppers add items to their cart but do not complete the purchase. According to the independent web research institute Baymard, which has tracked cart abandonment rates for more than 12 years, the global average cart abandonment rate is currently 69.8 percent.

There are multiple reasons why consumers abandon their online purchases after adding items to their shopping cart. Some stop short of completing a purchase due to security concerns, long and complex payment processes, or unexpected shipping costs and fees.

Others leave because they’re too busy or distracted by life’s constant buzz of push notifications, texts, and other disruptions. Some consumers abandon carts simply because they realize they left their credit card in another room or decide they need to think over the purchase for a while.

The good news is, website visitors who abandon shopping carts have already demonstrated interest in your products, services, or membership options—and are thus considered warm leads.

Warm leads are far more likely to return to a site and complete a purchase than cold leads who have not expressed any intent to purchase. They just need a little nudge—and that’s where card abandonment campaigns come in, employing retargeting to boost conversions based on previous site visits.

These digital marketing efforts lead directly to higher revenue, making them a valuable resource for associations of all shapes and sizes.

When the Second (or Third) Time’s the Charm

Research shows that more than 95 percent of first-time website visitors are not ready to make a purchase. Cart abandonment campaigns provide associations the opportunity to welcome such visitors back at a better time.

This type of online advertising uses cookies, or small pieces of data stored in the user’s browser, to follow leads around the web while they’re searching for the perfect brownie recipe or going down a search engine rabbit hole.

While several digital marketing platforms allow for cart abandonment campaigns, association marketers should seek out retargeting ad solutions with advanced tracking and analytic capabilities. They can then use this data to reveal insight into why visitors leave—and segment user groups accordingly.

Marketers can segment users based on several variables, including whether they used a desktop or mobile device, whether they were directed to a site from organic or paid search, and the exact point at which they dropped off during the checkout process. These insights clue association marketers in on the motives behind cart abandonment and empower them to design creative copy and visuals addressing those pain points.

For example, if a user leaves the site during the shipping costs stage, that may indicate that costs are too high. To solve this problem, association marketers could direct their platform to automatically serve an attention-catching ad featuring a discount code for free shipping.

The options are limitless; just keep studying the analytics and trying out new creative approaches. Some of the best digital marketing platforms even offer third-party help in digital marketing strategy, creative design, and campaign management.

An Eye on Member Experience and ROI

Reminders can give visitors the push they need to revisit your site in a busy world. At the same time, internet users don’t want to feel haunted by repetitive ads. To ensure a campaign doesn’t become bothersome, some digital marketing platforms can limit how many times an ad appears.

The marketing platform Feathr allows associations to place frequency caps on campaigns and stop serving those ads to visitors who have already, for example, registered for a conference.

In addition to providing a better member experience, these frequency caps also ensure an association doesn’t pay for ads that are annoying, irrelevant—and ultimately working against them.

Feathr—A marketing platform that helps associations serve up highly-targeted ads based on interests and behaviors—specializes in cart abandonment campaigns. For more information on how Feathr helps more than 900 associations increase awareness, grow membership, promote events, and create new revenue, visit

(Handout photo)