NEW DELHI: Few online retailers in India are using cart abandonment programs to entice back those shoppers who have failed to complete the purchase journey, according to a new report.

The third Retail e-Marketing Study from digital marketing platform surveyed more than 80 retailers across India and found that while both physical and digital retailers were deploying a mix of online and offline activities around customer acquisition and retention, just 12% of online retailers had a cart abandonment program in place.

More than half of respondents (58%) did not have one but 19% had plans to introduce one in future. And 11% simply said it wasn't important.

Punit Modhgil, managing director and co-founder of Octane Marketing, pointed out that "the larger deployment of [a] cart abandonment program can add 10-15% additional revenue to ecommerce companies in India".

He added that the current focus on acquiring traffic online was about to change: "We anticipate conversion ratios (clicks to cart, cart to order) getting a sharper focus this year."

The US experience has been that carts are abandoned largely because shoppers want to see how much shipping will cost or to see the total order cost prior to purchasing; many also use digital shopping carts as a kind of shopping list, to help them remember items for future purchase.

Automated follow-up emails, eMarketer reported, "had an average open rate twice as high as the average, a click rate four times the average and a conversion rate more than five times the average".

It suggested marketers provide a solution to the shopper's problem in these emails, such as a limited-time offer of free shipping.

Back in India, Octane's study also revealed that customer acquisition remains the primary marketing goal of retailers: 58% cited this, far ahead of brand awareness (20%) and customer retention (15%).

And it noted a surge in the use of social media, as this was now regarded as the primary online activity by 79% of retail marketers, a 30% increase over 2014.

Data sourced from OctaneGo, eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff