The online store. It was your answer to making money while you slept! You thought, let’s make it easier for patients to purchase online. Consumers will applaud us for being like the Amazon of cosmetic practices, you thought. But you didn’t think it all the way through. Yes, sure, the consumer can purchase items on your site just like Amazon. But what does Amazon have that your online store doesn’t have? Abandoned carts.
What’s an abandoned cart?
Say you’re shopping online and add a tub of Vaseline to your cart, or condoms (ribbed for their pleasure), and you forget to complete the purchase. Okay, maybe that’s not what you’re adding to your cart, but in general, sometimes you’ll add something to your cart and ultimately not make the purchase for one reason or another. Then, 15 minutes later you receive an email encouraging you to click on a link to bring you back to that specific item on the website to finish the purchase. And notice, the link doesn’t simply bring you back to the homepage of the website forcing you to search the product again. It brings to back to the exact item of interest.
That email you received is an example of an abandoned cart. And the link that brought you to the specific product you were considering is called a deep link. No searching necessary.
Why is an abandoned cart email so important?
If you think of any other healthcare provider, their online stores don’t send out abandoned cart emails. Why is that? Because if a website is expected to send someone an abandoned cart via email, you must first know their email address!
If your online store required someone to login and provide their contact information (name and email address), you would then have a way of capturing their email address. But how do you encourage them to enter their contact info? Withhold something they need. For example, don’t show them the price up front!
Think about it. Most online stores simply show the product or service, like the example below. By showing the price, you’ve removed any incentive for the user to enter their contact info.
Withholding price changes that dynamic. If the consumer had to create an account and add their demographic information to see the price of a particular product, they would. And if adding the item to their cart to see the price required their information, then you could capture their contact info (a lead) with each abandoned cart. Just as they receive the abandoned cart email with a deep link encouraging them to return to your website to purchase, your front office staff would receive the same email with their contact information for follow up.
For the people that purchase, great, you get their money and their name. But there will always be more people considering purchasing an item than those that actually purchase. As the sales funnel demonstrates, there are more potential names and email addresses to be gotten from the people that may purchase an item vs those that will purchase.
Case study in Abandoned Carts
Dr. Steven Weiner, a facial plastic surgeon in Florida that has a non-surgical practice demonstrates the importance of abandoned carts. He used to show all of his products and product prices online. Then he switched to a Price Estimator on his website (https://theclinique.com/build-my-bod/) wherein the consumer must enter their contact information to see any pricing.
More importantly, if they were considering purchasing a product, they wouldn’t see the price until they created a free account and added the item to their cart. Once in their cart, they could see the price and decide whether to purchase or not. Over the course of 4 months, they definitely purchased! He generated almost $5,300 in online sales.
During that same time period, he generated more than just dollars and cents from his online store. He captured the contact information from 95 unique users that added items to their cart but did not purchase. Because his system tracks users and the carts they abandon, his office staff had the opportunity to follow up with those leads. Over time, some of those leads will turn into patients purchasing high dollar procedures or at least products generating some cash flow for his practice.
Regardless of what type of advertising you engage in, the ultimate goal should be to capture the consumer’s contact info. A call-to-action on your website is your best chance of getting that information. However, not all “call to action” buttons are created equal. Asking for someone’s contact info in exchange for an ebook or to be added to your monthly newsletter isn’t tantalizing anymore. Requiring the consumer to enter their contact information to see the cost of a procedure or the cost of a product they’re considering purchasing online is tantalizing enough.
This concept can be applied to your online store as well. Not every online store will result in many sales but it doesn’t have to be a total loss. If you have an online store, then no doubt it is your single greatest source of lost leads because you aren’t tracking abandoned carts. Still don’t agree? Keep in mind that Amazon utilizes the abandoned cart…and they probably know what they’re doing!