When it comes to retail online, there is nothing more annoying than abandoned cart. An abandoned cart is when the customer puts something in their cart and then leaves your store to go somewhere else. There are many reasons for this. One is shipping, another is unexpected costs. However, sometimes the customer was just taking too long and then had to leave the purchasing path to go pick up the kids or cook dinner.
Therefore, you’re left with a missed opportunity to build revenue. However, if doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways to avoid those abandoned carts, other than using abandoned cart software.
For one, you could use countdown timers to help you.
What Are Countdown Timers?
Countdown timers are exactly what they sound like, they’re a timer that counts down to zero for a specific reason. They can be used on retail websites to signal when the last orders for next day delivery or dispatch can be made. Or they can be used to detail when a sale will be over.
This is really important information to customers. It creates a sense of urgency for your audience and this stops them from abandoning the cart. They will feel that if they don’t complete the purchase then, they’ll miss out. Research has shown that you can double sales with a countdown timer on your retail store. One website reported that their conversion rate went from 3.5% to 10% with a countdown timer.
How Do Countdown Timers Work?
There are numerous countdown timers available for WordPress websites. However, one of the best has to be Optin Monster’s version. It allows you to host a countdown timer that can tell customers how long they’ve got to complete a purchase on your store.
The process is really simple. You create a floating bar optin bar, then set the time and other options, connect your email marketing software and then activate the timer. At the top of your screen your timer will appear, for all customers to see.
Top Tips For Making Your Countdown Timer Work
There are numerous ways that you can make your countdown timer work. Here are some of the top tips for you to consider.
Use Every Second – Ensure that you’re listing the number of seconds as well as minutes, hours and days until the end of the event. A ticking clock that is updated every second increases urgency and improves performance of the countdown timer.
Don’t Go Too Big – When designing your countdown timer, ensure that it doesn’t take up too much of the screen. This can make your website look a little too unprofessional. That is why Optin Monster’s option is really useful, it is the perfect size for desktop and mobile devices.
Refrain From Overuse – Too many brands use countdown timers too often. This often negates their effectiveness and therefore, you might as well not use them. Use them when hosting sales, for last orders before holiday deliveries or during import events like when a new product is going to be launched. Don’t use them every day for basic things, if you can help it.
Ensure You Have A Call To Action – Whatever you do, don’t forget a call to action. Your countdown timer needs to tell your audience what to do next. With Optin Monster, you can get the visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. A great option if you want to market to them later as well.
Be Clear With The Timer – Don’t just use a timer with no meaningful reason why it is there. Be sure to follow the rule of why, where and what.
Why – is the timer there and counting down.
Where – can they take action.
What – action are you expecting them to take.
Brand Your Timer – Always ensure that you’re using the right colours and branding within your countdown timer. The wrong set of colours can put off your customers and lower the return. With Optin Monster’s countdown timer, you can choose the colours with ease.
Analyse Results – Be sure that you have a look at conversion rates for your countdown timers. Was there an uptick in the number of sales during that period and did it lead to better revenue and profits for that period. If not, then you need to think of a new strategy for using your timer.
Two Types Of Countdown Timer
If you want to use a Countdown timer, there are two types that you can use. The first is a static timer. This is a universally set timer that winds down to a specific date, like 11pm on Christmas Eve. All visitors will see exactly the same time. This type of countdown timer is best used when you have an event on, like a seasonal sale or new product launch.
Or you could have a dynamic timer. This is where the countdown timer is ‘evergreen’ and customised for each timer. You can set a length of time that a customer has to accept an offer. For instance, from when they land on your website for the first time, offer them a 10% discount. As soon as they’ve gone past that time, they can no longer collect on that offer.
Final Word: Using A Countdown Timer To Grow Sales And Mailing Lists
A countdown timer is an effective tool when it comes to running your online business. For retailers, it is a way to make more from your inbound traffic. You can tell guests that they’ve only got a limited time to accept a deal and therefore create a scarcity campaign. This can turn those individuals that believe they will come back later to complete a transaction, and never return, into customers.
The advantages to your business are clear. More conversions is equal to more revenue and profit. And once you’ve got a customer to purchase once on your site, it is easier and cheaper to get them to become a returning customer. Therefore, the countdown timer could pay for itself several times over.
If you would like to know more about Optin Monster’s Countdown Timer, you can check it out here.