Website abandonment. Let’s be honest, it’s never a fun subject to talk about. Throw shopping cart abandonment in there, and talk goes from disappointing to flat-out bleak.
But here’s the thing: visitors are going to abandon your site as well as your shopping cart from time to time. Sometimes it is about a negative experience. Your site doesn’t load fast enough, there are too many broken links, or maybe they just have no idea what you’re selling even after reading through your entire site.
However, that’s not always the case.
There will be times when your visitors have an excuse that’s completely unrelated to your website’s performance. Like they got sidetracked by a client meeting or they realized their last paycheck hadn’t deposited into their bank account yet. No biggie, right? Actually, yeah, it is a big deal. If someone has left your website, who knows when the next time is that they’ll return, or if they’ll even remember to come back.
This is why exit-intent technology is an absolute life-saver. It gives you the opportunity to gently step into your visitors’ shopping experience and remind them that you have something valuable worth sticking around for and, hopefully, buying.
How to Make the Most Out of Exit-Intent Technology
By now, most of you have already encountered exit-intent technology in your travels around the Internet. The form you’re probably most familiar with is this:
At its basic core, exit-intent technology is anything that enables you as a developer, webmaster, or business owner to interject something into your visitors’ online experience that keeps them from abandoning your site without taking action. For the most part, these technologies occur while your visitors are still on your site. There are other types, however, that enable you to track them down afterward. Website abandonment is the biggest killer on every website.
Regardless of which part of the process you’re able to recover that potentially lost visitor or sale from, this is a very powerful technology to have on your side. Today, I’d like to explore three of the leading tools in this space and how you can put them to use on your website.
OptinMonster isn’t just a popup builder. There are more than enough plugins and tools that offer that sort of functionality for websites. OptinMonster’s solution goes way above and beyond a basic popup. Here is just a taste of what you get with this exit-intent technology:
- Variety of popup design type and animation options
- Easy form design with drag-and-drop builder
- Page-specific popups campaigns to ensure relevant offerings
- Real-time exit-intent prompts so popups show as visitors are just about to leave
- Built-in analytics to track popup performance
- A/B split testing to try new options and increase conversions
- Integration with the most popular content management systems
- Integration with the most popular email marketing providers
What you’re looking at here is a software that enables websites to deliver high-quality enticements to visitors that will greatly improve your ability to increase conversions.
So why does this matter?
Exit-intent popups are one of your best lines of defense to gain visitors’ attention right before they jump ship.
Let’s say someone is in the middle of adding items to your cart and they go to “X” out of the browser window. You shoot them a popup with a limited time offer. “Make a purchase today and receive 30% off!” Not bad, right? Think about how many people you may have saved from abandoning their purchases by offering them that special offer.
You can do the same thing with non-shopping cart pages too. Say someone’s reading your blog. Rather than click on one of the related posts at the bottom, they go to leave your site. This time, you shoot them a popup with a free ebook for download. All they need to do to get it is give you their email. So while you may not have gained a paying customer out of it, you just gained a new lead that you can follow up with.
There are a variety of ways you can put exit-intent popups to work. The important point to remember is that the “offer” you present should be relevant to why they’re on your site.
Customer support is an extremely critical part of your business. This means being available via phone, email, social media, and, in some cases, in person. With live chat, you’re able to offer your customers one more way they can get in touch.
While at first glance Olark appears to be one of these live chat solutions (which it is), it does a whole lot more than that. It also happens to be a hands-on, real-time exit-intent technology tool that every website should take a serious look at.
Olark’s live chat software is a real-time exit-intent technology solution for business owners who want to actively take part in preventing leads from escaping. Here’s how it works:
- Set up the live chat software on your website.
- Watch what your visitors do in real time.
- If you get a sense that they’re about to leave, are feeling restless, or are confused about what to do, you can step into their experience and offer assistance.
It’s as simple as that really. In addition to serving as a friendly assistant while recovering that lead, you’re also able to offer up some truly personalized service. With Olark, not only can you watch their actions on your site, but you can also see into their shopping cart which makes the process of being proactive in support a whole lot easier.
As a bonus, if you’re using e-commerce software, a CRM, help desk tools, or analytics, you can integrate them with Olark, giving yourself another way to collect lead information and track your exit-intent technology’s performance.
Here are some other features that come with Olark:
- Chat transcripts and reports
- Messaging templates (known as “shortcuts”)
- Shopping cart saver
- Targeted chat
So why does this matter?
Live chat presents an interesting opportunity in terms of lead generation these days. It’s a technology that your visitors definitely want to see on your website, which makes this an easy one to implement and then use for the secondary purpose of exit-intent.
The problem with many exit-intent technologies is that they’re automated. You set the rules behind the scenes and allow the technology to do its job in intercepting your visitor and recovering the loss. Sometimes, though, it feels better being able to dig your hands in there and take charge. That’s why live chat is an incredible lead generation tool, if you know how to use it properly.
This exit-intent technology is similar to popups in that you probably run into this all the time in your own personal travels around the Internet. The key difference, however, is that AdRoll doesn’t try to recover visitors while they’re still on your website. So, technically, I guess we can call this one post-exit technology.
AdRoll’s particular solution is what’s known as retargeting (or remarketing). What it does is show targeted ads to your visitors, after they’ve left your website.
One of the best examples of this is Amazon. You’ve no doubt spent time shopping around for an item. Let’s say it’s a new pair of sneakers. You do about an hour’s worth of research, you may have even added a few of them to your cart, and then you hop off of the site because it’s time to get back to work. Later that day, you go to Facebook to see what’s going on with your friends and see an ad on the side of the page for the sneakers you were looking at. Pretty sneaky, right?
With AdRoll, this is what your website can do, too. You create your ads, add the retargeting pixel to your website, and then you let those ads get served to visitors once they’ve abandoned your site. You may not save them from leaving in the first place, but you’ll no doubt stay top-of-mind with them after they’ve left.
As with the other solutions, you’ll have built-in analytics capabilities so you can keep track of how your retargeting campaigns are performing and make changes if you’re not seeing the results you hoped for.
So why does this matter?
No matter how enticing you make that popup offer or how great your personalized service is in live chat, sometimes you just can’t get visitors to stay. But that should never be the end of it. If you can find a way to reach visitors who failed to leave even the smallest bit of contact info with you, you’re greatly increasing your chances of recovering those leads.
And that’s really what exit-intent technology is all about: knowing that your visitors are interested and finding a way to inspire them to take action before forgetting about you entirely.
The one thing to keep in mind about retargeting is that you’ll need to create high-quality ads in order for this to work. While the other two technologies assist you in creating your exit-intent delivery systems (the branded popup or live chat), this one doesn’t. So be sure you have a professional designer to help out, so you can maximize your impact and ROI.
On average, websites experience an online shopping cart abandonment rate of 69%. That number represents a fairly sizeable amount of loss. While some of those visitors may come back on their own, you never really know. Take matters into your own hands and ensure that your website is optimized with exit-intent technology, so you can start recovering more of those leads now.