Credit where it is due: the team of Bronto have put out an amazing report (in three parts!) on consumer behaviour with exceptional insight about the habits of online shoppers, their mobile device preferences, interactions with online shopping carts, cart abandonment and post-abandonment reminder messages.

While we do recommend reading through the in-depth analysis, here is the information we found the most useful:

1) Online shoppers use the shopping cart to store items to buy later.

This shows that for most online shoppers, some level of purchase intent remains when items are left in the cart.

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2) Digital Natives use the shopping cart to store items significantly more often than any other age  group.

More than half of online shoppers under 40 rely on the cart to pivot the shopping experience onto a mobile device or into a store. The overall rate of these device and channel transitions declines as the shopper ages. domain name searching The actions taken by these digital natives may represent a trend for what will be a more common shopping experience expectation as consumers’ age and mobile devices become an even more central part of shopping.

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3) Overall, 42% of online shoppers find cart reminders to be helpful.

As this study has revealed, many shoppers use the cart to store items for later, and the reminder email can connect them back to shopping on a different device, in a store or at a time that is more convenient.

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4) Many retailers have found success by sending cart reminders very quickly after items have been left in the cart, though shoppers seem to prefer a bit of a delay.

While 74% of online shoppers expect the message to be received within 24 hours after items have been left in the cart, the largest percentage (35%) expect the messages to hit their inboxes between 12-24 hours.

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We at 360dialog have experienced first hand these trends and we are glad to see that other sources confirm them as well.

Once again this data reminds us of the importance of paying close attention to the different and sometimes new ways online shoppers use (relatively) old and established tools such as the online shopping cart: in a world where users transition multiple times a day between desktop and mobile and between mobile and mobile, they rely more and more on online retailers to save, maintain easy access and later remind them of the items they liked and saved. The expectations of the online shoppers have become more complex and vary according not only to age, but also to gender and geography.

Understanding the use different online shoppers make of all the tools offered by your App (wish lists, private and shared shopping carts etc) and learning how to leverage this knowledge via well-timed reminders is the key to happy, engaged and loyal customers.

Just as in the in-store purchase experience, online shoppers basically still want the same things: detailed and trustworthy information, some peer review of the product they are interested in, time to think about it without feeling pressured to buy and a clear payment process: the challenge for online retailers is that the shopper does not want all this in one session (or maybe two): the purchase funnel has become more complex and can span over multiple visits, yet an appropriate and engaging customer dialog can be for online retailers what the best shopping assistants are for their stores: the deciding factor between a bored window shopper and a returning customer.

All data and charts come from the Bronto reports.