The Visitor Retention Tools Changing Ecommerce Marketing in 2020

August 5, 2020

Are you ready for the new wave of website visitor retention tools?

Many describe ecommerce as a rapidly changing industry. In fact, if you caught our blog on The COVID Impact on Abandoned Cart & Customer Recovery Strategies, you know experts predict ecommerce to advance the equivalent of 15 years this year, in response to the global pandemic.

But, while sales channels, shopping methods, and shipping speeds have transformed over the years, online seller tools haven’t as much. Sellers are still using tried and tested methods for on-site retention and customer recovery, such as exit-intent popups and abandoned cart emails.

Until now.

New customer retention tools and technology are entering the ecommerce scene, helping you enhance your website retention strategy by reducing and recovering browse and cart abandonment.

What are these tools, and how do they complement your existing tactics? Let’s look.

Want to understand the basic customer recovery tools before you jump into the advanced tactics? Read our article on 10 Simple Ways to Increase Your Abandoned Cart Conversion Rate.

The Top Ecommerce Website Retention Tools for 2020

2020 has been an interesting year. Some ecommerce sellers are thriving, and others are struggling – but both are experiencing skyrocketing cart and browse abandonment.

While traditional tools such as email, popups, and Send My Cart are effective at reducing and recovering abandonment, some shoppers will always fall through the cracks. Someone might not see your email, accidentally dismiss a popup, or forget about the basket they saved.

A new wave of website retention tools aim to retain and recover these customers – minimizing your cost-per-lead, maximizing your conversion rates, and making your customer recovery strategy a resounding success. And, we’re not just talking about CartStack tools (although, we do feature!)

So, without further ado, here are our six top new visitor retention tools for 2020.

1. Abandoned tab notifications

Browser tabs are a great complement to the customer journey, allowing shoppers to compare prices, conduct research, and seek social proof without exiting your website. However, tabs are also highly distracting, and customers can quickly forget about their cart and accidentally close your tab.

Abandoned tab notifications overcome this problem. These notifications change the tab favicon and title of your website when a shopper opens a new browser tab – grabbing the customer’s attention, reminding them you’re there and encouraging them to complete their purchase.

CartStack’s abandoned tab notifications do just this to bring customers back to your website and keep them there until they’ve completed the checkout stage. Even better, CartStack’s browser tab notifications emit an audible chime to capture a shopper’s attention faster and demand immediate action.

abandoned tab notifications cartstack

2. Scarcity alerts

Scarcity is a proven pressure tactic for encouraging conversions and reducing abandonment. It does this by triggering the human instinct to fight the threat of limited supplies or availability and maintain access to the resource (i.e., make a purchase).

Website alerts help you create this sense of scarcity by drawing shoppers’ attention to dwindling stock levels. This nudges shoppers from the consideration phase of the customer journey into the sales phase, purely because they don’t want to miss out. 

Two popular apps for creating scarcity alerts are:

  • Wisp – a Shopify app that creates an alert feed similar to the one you see on social media. New alerts are highlighted with a red flag and can display remaining stock levels as well as discounts and incentives.
    wisp scarcity retention tool cartstack
  • Hurry Up – a PrestaShop addon that shows live and remaining stock levels on a product page using wording and a visual countdown bar.
    hurry up prestashop cartstack retention tool

3. Browser push notifications

There are two types of people in this world: those who clear their inboxes and those who don’t. While browse and cart abandonment email strategies are perfect for targeting the former, anyone not keeping on top of their inbox is unlikely to see, open, or read your recovery emails.

Browser push notifications target these shoppers, alongside those requiring a few extra touchpoints before purchasing, by displaying an abandoned cart notification directly on the device screen used when shopping. The personalized and perfectly timed reminder immediately captures their attention while they’re on their laptop or mobile device, reminds them of their visit, and provides them with an easy way to continue their journey.

CartStack’s browser push notifications work in the same way to deliver timed, clickable notifications directly to web or mobile browser of shoppers who abandoned their cart. Not only that, but CartStack’s push notifications also work for browse abandonment shoppers – those who viewed your category or product pages but added nothing to their cart – giving them a gentle nudge back in your direction.

browser push notifications cartstack retention tools

4. Live social proof

Recent research from Google found social proof is the most powerful behavioral bias – persuading customers to make purchases based on evidence that others have had a positive experience. However, many forms of social proof (blogs, comparison sites, and social media) take shoppers away from your website, increasing the chances of distraction and abandonment.

Live social proof tools bring the power of social proof to your website in an engaging format. Customers don’t have to navigate away from your website to conduct their own research because these tools tell them how many people are viewing, watching, and purchasing products in real-time. This social evidence then creates a herd mentality that encourages shoppers to complete their purchase.

Three brilliant tools for adding live social proof to your ecommerce website are:

  • Smart Social Proof – a PrestaShop addon that tells shoppers how many people are viewing a product on both the product and category pages.
    Smart social proof cartstack retention tools
  • Live Sales Notification – a WooCommerce plugin that generates a “someone has just bought” pop-up to inform customers what other shoppers are viewing and purchasing.
    live sales notification retention tool
  • Sales Pop – a BigCommerce app that uses browser notifications to tell shoppers how many orders others have placed on your site in the last 24 hours.
    sales pop retention conversion tool

5. Quick carts

Many online sales techniques center on the power of now – the idea that the quicker a customer can buy and receive a product, the more attractive a product is. This is why fast shipping has become such a popular sales technique.

Quick carts use the power of now to satisfy the customer need for instant gratification. They do this by removing the shopping cart page entirely from the checkout flow – making it quicker and easier for customers to complete their purchase. Instead of a checkout page, customers view, edit, and total their shopping cart using a drop-down (or slide-out) cart. When they’re ready to purchase, they’re taken straight to a one-page checkout.

Two common apps for implementing quick carts on ecommerce websites are:

  • QuickCart – a Magento app that creates a drop-down cart where customers can edit products, add discount codes, and proceed straight to the checkout form.
    quick cart retention tool
  • Direct Checkout – a WooCommerce plugin that uses quick purchase buttons, real-time carts, and one-page checkouts to streamline the checkout flow.
    direct checkout retention tool

6. Gamification

You know the importance of capturing a customer’s attention as soon as they land on your website. However, with the human attention span dwindling quicker than a goldfish’s, withholding that attention through the entire customer journey is challenging.

Gamification injects game-like elements onto your website that gain and maintain attention by generating feelings of happiness, excitement, and intrigue – resulting in conversions and repeat purchases.

One of the simplest forms of gamification is a reward scheme – where customers collect points for every purchase and work their way up to the final “level” of earning a reward. However, there are many more eCommerce gamification apps out there, including:

  • Hype the Like – a Shopify widget that uses Tinder-esq swiping for customers to discover products they like (and you to discover products they don’t).
    hype the like retention tool cartstack
  • DeepMarkit – a BigCommerce tool that creates gamified website displays to give away prizes while collecting email addresses.
    gamification deepmarkit retention tool

How To Make The Most of These New Tools

That sure is an exciting list of visitor retention tools, and if your brain is whirring with the different ways you can implement them into your customer recovery strategy, you’re not alone.

However, before jumping in feet first, it’s important to remember that retention is a combined effort. This means that to minimize abandonment and maximize conversions, your tools must work in collaboration by:

  • Sharing information – using real-time, site-wide data capturing to record contact information as customers type it onto your website, to use should abandonment occur.
  • Making it easy – using data capture and form auto-fill to help returning or recovered customers complete your checkout even quicker.
  • Maximizing touchpoints – implementing a multi-channel abandoned cart recovery strategy that uses a combination of tools to create the 4-6 touchpoints a customer needs before purchasing.

Final Thoughts

Ecommerce website retention might be a huge problem, but now you have a huge catalog of tools to tackle it. At CartStack, we believe that a multi-channel abandonment strategy is the best way to prevent abandonment from occurring in the first place, recover abandonment when it happens, and squeeze every drop out of your existing website visitors.