As a Principal Success Specialist at Salesforce Commerce Cloud, I spend a lot of time helping retailers devise and implement strategies to drive growth. Often, the focus is not on large, ambitious long-term projects but the quicker wins that truly (and almost always) move the needle. That’s why, to an overwhelming degree, retailers and brands are most interested in optimizing the “basics” of ecommerce.

One theme that really resonated at a recent roundtable hosted by Salesforce was bringing shoppers back into the fold with marketing. Now, it sounds simple and obvious, but the truth is that many retailers are missing opportunities to boomerang shoppers back into their orbit once they’ve left their site.

Here are some best practices we shared:

  • Social media. Facebook Dynamic Ads (integrated with Commerce Cloud last year) and Instagram are ideal platforms for retailers with high traffic and inventories looking to retarget and re-engage with shoppers. You not only reach shoppers where they spend their time – one-sixteenth of our waking hours, in fact – but also targeting people likely to buy, since they have already viewed items on your site. Dynamic ads also allow you to retarget on desktop and mobile regardless of the touchpoint where the consumer originated.
  • Instagram Shopping. Instagram, with over 800 million monthly active users, represents a  great opportunity for brands to reach mobile consumers. With Instagram Shopping you can tag up to five products per image in your posts; every tagged product leads to a product detail view with product description and price, and the Shop Now link takes consumers directly to the PDP where they can purchase the product.
  • Messaging apps. The biggest messaging apps (Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat) boast more than 3 billion active monthly users; they are an enormously important tool for brands to communicate with consumers. Merchants must meet them (especially the younger ones) at the intersection of how and where they prefer to communicate. Otherwise, they risk losing them to competitors. Consider bots for data-driven questions on store hours, locators, and order lookup. If that doesn’t sway you, consider that a single chat interaction costs a company between $3-$5, while a messaging communication is less than $1.14. Bonus: Some leading brands are even using messaging apps for personal stylists to communicate with customers via text and video.
  • Abandoned cart recovery. When it comes to luring customers who abandoned carts back to your site, every second matters; 54% of those who are going to buy do it with 24 hours of leaving the site, and only 10% will come back within 48 hours. Send abandoned cart emails immediately, and include a link back to the cart and customer reviews. But be judicious with promotions and incentives; you don’t want to train shoppers to expect deals for abandoning.

Another theme that resonated with retailers at our roundtable was leveraging tools that accommodate cross-channel and cross-device shopping. By now, everyone knows that shoppers take a circuitous route to purchasing. They start on mobile and wind up in store, or start in store and buy on the web, or any combo of these. At the same time various studies, including this one from Harvard Business Review, shows that the more channels with which a customer engages a brand, the more valuable that customer becomes.

To that end, one of the easiest things a retailer can do is empower shoppers who for whatever reason, aren’t ready to buy, to email their cart to themselves. The link creates a new cart rather than loading a saved cart. One example of this is Johnston and Murphy, which has customized this to appear as an added service in the shopping cart.

Saving to favorites is another powerful tool which allows shoppers to pick back up where they left off. They can take the list into a store or shop later from another device. The favorites tool implemented by ECCO, below, is cookie-based rather than login, making it even easier and faster for shoppers to use on their mobile.

With average cart abandonment rates as high as 85%, and checkout abandonment rates as high as 60%, marketing tactics designed to bring shoppers back offer a huge opportunity for retailers to recover lost revenue. Through a combination of social remarketing ads, traditional cart recovery email programs, and site functionality to accommodate cross-device shoppers, retailers today have more tools at their fingertips to reach and re-engage shoppers than they have ever had.

Of course, cloud technologies empower retailers and brands to be more agile in their approach to growth. Check out our Guide to Commerce in the Cloud to learn how.