Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to spend quality time with family members from around the country as we all gathered to celebrate Gramma’s 80th birthday. I found myself chatting and sharing blog stories with a family member who writes a witty, informative, and poignant blog called Not in Teacher School.
The question of what I blog about came up and I shared my recent post about abandoned ecommerce cart follow up phone calls as an example. Our conversation solidified my feelings about follow up phone calls for abandoned ecommerce carts and went a little something like this:
Her: What do you mean by ‘abandoned ecommerce cart follow up call?’
Me: Okay, let’s say you go to your favorite website, put 50 widgets in your cart, and then somewhere along the way, you leave the site without purchasing for whatever reason.
Her: Yeah, I do that all the time.
Me: Now, imagine that you leave your computer and at some point in the future–10 minutes, 3 hours, 2 days–your phone rings and when you answer you hear, ‘Hello Ms. S. I noticed that you were shopping on our website recently and had a number of widgets in your cart, but you didn’t complete your purchase. Can I help you complete your purchase today?’
Her: (very concerned face and vehement voice) I’d hate that. I shop online because I don’t want to deal with talking to the salesperson. I wouldn’t want a salesperson to bother me at my house when I’m shopping online or if I didn’t complete a purchase.
Me: My feelings exactly.
Now, I realize that our conversation serves as less-than-scientific evidence about how this remarketing technique may be perceived by the consumer, but I think it’s very telling. Sometimes we shop online for convenience, sometimes for privacy and sometimes to avoid pushy in-store salespeople. Sometimes we shop online for all of these reasons. Regardless of our inclination toward ecommerce, one thing is assumed to be a given: no salespeople.
Doesn’t a remarketing follow-up call about an abandoned cart violate the premise of online shopping?
I think it does and I think that companies considering follow up phone calls for abandoned carts should use the technique carefully or rish alienating a whole segment of their target audience.
What are your experiences with using follow up phone calls in response to abandoned carts? I’d love to hear your take on the technique.