Monday, May 18, 2009
|A Web Store|
May Follow You
Out the Door
IF you try on a T-shirt in a department store dressing room, but choose not to buy it, a persistent sales clerk won’t pursue you into the street yelling, “Hey, are you sure?” Nor will you receive a call at your home the next day to check again if you want to complete the purchase.
In the online world, visitors to Web stores who touch the goods and gather information but leave without buying may be subjected instantaneously to “remarketing,” in the form of nagging e-mail messages or phone calls.
A new Web service, called Abandonment Tracker Pro, is in beta testing and scheduled for formal release next month. Developed by See Why in Andover, Mass., the service will alert a subscribing Web store when a visitor places an item in a shopping cart or begins an application and does not complete the final step.
The idea that a visitor isn’t entitled to leave an online store empty-handed without being pestered sounds distasteful enough. But having that contact start immediately seems a new form of marketing brazenness. Abandonment Tracker’s remarketing depends upon knowing the e-mail address of the wayward prospect; knowing the phone number will make follow-up phone calls possible, too. (And if you’ve signed in, a store would be able to find you with the e-mail address you provided when you registered.)