When Google launched its new Retail Search product last week, it shed light on the retail industry’s abandonment issues, where merchants in the United States lose $300 billion in sales due to consumers being unable to find what they’re looking for.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg: Shopping cart abandonment, which occurs when a customer adds an item to a virtual cart but never checks out, affects approximately 75% of global purchases and costs merchants approximately $4 trillion each year.
Google is not the only company focusing on this issue: smaller companies like retail software provider Fast Simon are also attempting to optimize the shopping experience for merchants and consumers in order to increase conversion rates and average order values.
“Getting traffic to the store and maintaining that traffic is difficult,” Fast Simon CEO Zohar Gilad told PYMNTS. “So, our job is to ensure that merchants earn as much revenue as possible from the traffic that comes into their store.”
Marketing Automation Platform
Retailers who use Fast Simon — which is integrated with Shopify, now have another tool in their toolbox. The tool is the marketing automation platform Klaviyo. Fast Simon’s artificial intelligence (AI) software is now integrated automatically into Klaviyo workflows. It assists merchants in creating personalized recommendations for retargeting customers who abandoned their initial purchases or may be interested in purchasing additional items.
“We’re combining specific insights about shopper and in-store behavior with email marketing to deliver even better results for merchants,” Gilad explained to PYMNTS.
Fast Simon had previously concentrated on optimizing merchants’ shopping experiences once they arrived at an online storefront, but Gilad said retailers began requesting integration with email marketing platforms such as Klaviyo. “When I heard about this, I thought, ‘Hey, why didn’t I consider that,’” Gilad explained. “However, it’s always beneficial when it comes from customers. Because they have a need and we’ve only recently begun working with them.”
The integration with Fast Simon, according to Stewart Wesley, “unlocks an exciting new strategy and use case.”
Fast Simon has developed a powerful new communications strategy for Klaviyo customers. It identifies customer purchasing intent and sending relevant and personalized communications.
According to eMarketer, email users in the United States are expecting to reach nearly 278 million by 2024, accounting for approximately 81 percent of the population. Around 268 million Americans used email in 2021.
To be sure, email may not be the best place for brands to connect with the next generation of consumers. Social media is increasingly becoming the battleground, with social commerce expecting to surpass $363 billion in sales this year.
Turning to Technology
Gilad previously told PYMNTS that AI could help alleviate the retail industry’s labor shortage by automating previously manual processes. It does not only obviate the need to hire someone. But it also has the potential to increase efficiency. All because AI is capable of analyzing data to predict how customers will react to something. Fast Simon also includes an artificial intelligence-powered retail merchandising tool. This tool enables merchandisers to create personalized, targeted customer experiences. It makes use of drag-and-drop editors.
In addition, retailers have been utilizing AI for price optimization. It is a vital area that has received increased attention as inflation continues to rise across the United States. According to Matthew Pavich, price perception is more important than ever, with consumers comparing prices even while shopping in-store.
“Every retailer has price optimization opportunities,” Pavich explained. “It’s simply a matter of identifying those opportunities.”