In the last blog, shopping cart abandonment and what companies can do to turn that into a profit instead of a loss were discussed. In this post, we’ll look at how a real-life banner ad turned my shopping cart abandon into a purchase.
I’ve been wanting a new water bottle, so was shopping at Tervis.com for one of their products. However, the products were a bit more than I wanted to pay. I had coupons for both Kohl’s and Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which I knew sold the products, but they didn’t offer the same personalization options as Tervis. After browsing for a while and putting a bottle I wanted in my cart and looking at shipping costs, I decided I wasn’t ready to take the plunge.
I couldn’t get the nagging bottle out of my mind, so searched the web for promo codes for a discount or free shipping, thinking that would make up the difference and I could justify my purchase. I found a couple offers on some different sites, but nothing that seemed legitimate. Nope, my brain told me, you’ll just have to wait.
I ventured back to the site again, and now had a pop-up offering a 10% off coupon for signing up for e-mails, so I did that, but wasn’t quite sold, since the shipping costs were not even offset by this amount.
I continued my normal Internet activities, and I don’t remember exactly where I was or what I was doing, when what pops up but a Free Shipping coupon for Tervis.
Wow! A 10% off coupon and free shipping! Imagine my delight. When all was said and done I could only use one code, but the free shipping was enough to get me to turn my shopping cart abandon into a purchase for the company.
The tricky (and frightening, to be truthful) part is that I try to remain fairly anonymous on the web. I block cookies, I turn off tracking using Ghostery, and I keep most of my social networks set to private. Yet, the Internet is smart and it knew what I wanted. And it gave it to me.
While this is one example, this happens all the time. Companies use online marketing such as banner ads, widgets, pop-ups, email marketing, etc. to reel in customers. The advent of technology far beyond my comprehension allows them to track us and give us what we want. And they gain valuable knowledge in return when you use a coupon. This prospect is wonderful if you want a personal assistant type feeling (or you really wanted justification to purchase that water bottle), but can be a bit disconcerting if you’re not interested in this sort of tailored marketing.
The reality is that no matter how much we resist, the Internet (or rather, the mountain of data processors that lie beneath the Internet) is smart and knows us better than we think. I’m not naive. I know that my activity on the Internet is far from invisible, but with more and more emerging media being used to target consumers perhaps we should be concerned that we have few ways of finding out when and where we are tracked and how that data is used.
What do you think? Is resistance futile and should we embrace the technology and the ability to have things we want delivered to us, or should we be a little frightened and work to try to ensure we can protect our privacy if we wish? Tell us in the comments.