The Guitar Center Method of Winning Back Lost Online Shoppers

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One of my hobbies is playing guitar. For the past 12 years or so, I’ve played in various bands, ranging from really awful rap-rock (it was the late 90s, cut me some slack!) to instrumental metal. I love playing guitar, and I’m always looking to add new equipment to my rig to make it sound better.

This brings me to President’s Day weekend. Guitar Center was holding a huge sale, and I had a 15% off coupon. There was a sweet guitar amp that I wanted. It cost about $600 used, but with the 15% off coupon, I would have saved about another $100 off of that.

So, that weekend, I hopped online, added the amp I wanted to my shopping cart, and tried to input the coupon code at checkout. It didn’t work. See, I’d done a poor job of reading the fine print. The coupon was only good for new equipment. Oops!

With the disappointment of that new fact fresh in my mind, I decided to hold off on my purchase. So, I just closed out my browser and abandoned my shopping cart. With the average shopping cart abandonment rate hovering between 50-60%, I was just another lost customer for Guitar Center. It happens all the time to them, but as I just found out, they weren’t willing to let me go so easily.

Today, I received an email from Guitar Center that noted how I’d backed out of my purchase. The email (pictured below) tried to win me back by offering me a limited time 5% discount if I came back and completed my purchase. Now, 5% doesn’t sound like a whole lot, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not. However, that is about $32 I could save. Not too bad.

Am I going to take them up on their offer? Honestly, I’m not sure yet, but that’s not the point. The point is that Guitar Center is actively trying to do something to combat the problem every online retailer faces—shopping cart abandonment. Rather than simply accepting that 50-60% of buyers will back out of their purchase at the last minute, Guitar Center is trying to win those shoppers back with incentives for completing their purchase.

It’s a great idea, and I’m sure they’ve experienced some success with it. Other online retailers could learn a lesson from this.

 

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