Imagine a potential restaurant visitor calling a place he’s never been before, asking all sorts of questions about the establishment and ultimately deciding to make a reservation elsewhere. If you’re the restaurant owner, you should be wondering what went wrong where and when, and what you can do about it. Now assume the number of people calling the restaurant and ultimately not booking grows to 10 out of 30 people who would have been ready to make a reservation if everything added up for them. Pretty important for a business to know what’s up, right?
Same thing happens with people who want to sign up for a certain web service or become a customer of an e-commerce website. Not everyone completes the process for signing up or buying something online, and the reasons can be very diverse. Website abandonment measurement and management should be high up on the priority list for any web service provider, particularly those who use the Internet to sell products, whether directly or indirectly. Evaluating the entire process that is supposed to guide a visitor towards becoming a customer should be done on a continuous basis, and it’s very important to know why people start the cycle but never finish it.
Let’s go back to the restaurant. Suppose a person who wasn’t convinced by the person answering the phone at the place hung up, turned on the radio or TV and stumbled upon an advertisement for the restaurant, making him change his mind again. I know this is an extremely unlikely scenario, but it gets more feasible when you apply this to the Web.
The above example, which you could categorize under the denominator ‘re-converting’, is pretty similar to what SeeWhy is trying to accomplish for e-commerce vendors and web application providers: try and get the abandoners (i.e. people who leave online registration or purchasing system prior to finishing the process) to come back and complete the cycle. Not 24 hours or more later, but practically in real-time.
SeeWhy has launched the free Abandonment Tracker (available as a software-as-a-service), which makes it easy to convert website visitors who had previously abandoned their shopping carts, online forms, applications and registrations. The tracker captures the unique IDs of website abandoners and then emails those IDs to the website operator for use in follow-up campaigns targeted to the abandoners. When a visitor lands on a web page again, an event is sent to SeeWhy’s data center. If the visitor doesn’t convert, SeeWhy records the abandonment along with the details, including email address, shopping cart items and amount, and stage in the conversion process at which the visitor abandoned. The whole point of the system is to recapture abandoned revenue.
Currently SeeWhy’s suite of real-time web analytic applications is being used by both large and small ecommerce companies, including Amazon.com, eBay, Land’s End, Citibank and MasterCard. The company just raised $4.5 million in funding from Scottish Equity Partners, Logispring, and Pentech Ventures.