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In recent years, e-commerce has become an extremely popular way to buy and sell products and services. Understanding consumer behavior in an e-commerce context is important for entrepreneurs who want to create or maintain a successful online business. 

In this article we discuss a recent predictive model that helps us decrease abandoned carts with a few clear "best practices."

Researchers Kukar-Kinney, Scheinbaum, and Orimoloye of the Robins School of Business found that there are several fairly stable factors that influence customers' use of abandoned shopping carts in an e-commerce store. Among them:

  • Push the consumer back to an existing shopping cart.
  • The implementation of clearance page - stock products that are selling out sharply.
  • The presentation of many product reviews.
  • Bring the customer back to navigate between product pages. 

Each of these factors has a different impact on the purchase funnel. Some evidence is predictable, some much less so.

The golden rules

  • Bringing by different means such as with a transactional email the customer to re-access an existing shopping cart increases its subsequent use and reduces abandonment in a predictable and robust way.
  • In contrast, showing a huge amount of products on sale or a large number of reviews increase bothshopping cart use and abandonment. Such seemingly confusing behavior is probably due to a cognitive overload of the customer, who is obsessively oscillating between the desire to complete the purchase and "bouncing" between different stimuli as to interest in additional products. The presence of discounts increases this confusion.
  • Free customer browsing of product pages decreases cart utilization and increases cart abandonment.

In essence: a customer who has abandoned a cart should be brought back to the cart itself by any means possible, while it is necessary to avoid giving him too many stimuli, no matter how seemingly helpful in increasing conversion. Avoid having them read reviews or display products at a steep discount altogether.Francesco galvani, ceo of deep marketing

person using laptop computer holding card
Increasing conversions: the only goal

The role of smartphones

Interestingly, purchasing via smartphone exerts a kind of moderation/containment in online consumer behavior. Experience clearly shows us that those who buy from smartphones can have lower average receipt and lower conversion rates. However, the study shows us that these effects occur mainly in the early stages of the purchase path; while they affect checkout and transaction closure very little. 

Thus, cell phones partially diminish the initial success of a purchase path, but make no difference when the customer is now convinced and motivated to complete the transaction.

Overall, this research provides valuable insights into understanding online consumer behavior. By considering the various factors that can influence the buying process, entrepreneurs can develop more effective marketing strategies for their companies.