Targeted Selling: Carrots in the Cart

Targeted selling refers to the delivery of content and offers to different site visitors and customers based on what you know about them. You can apply targeted selling rules to featured products on a home page, cross-sells/upsells on product pages, promotional banners on home pages or search results, or even in the shopping cart.

The most common offer you’ll find on a cart summary page is “you are $X away from free shipping” when a free shipping promotion is offered on purchases above a certain dollar amount. The message is called a “carrot,” to entice customers to add a little more to the cart to qualify for the offer.

A unique application of the “carrot” based on cart contents is used by Maghound. Maghound is a kind of “Netflix for magazines” — Maghound’s subscription service allows customers to build their own subscription bundles for a monthly price, with the ability to change subscriptions at any time during the year.

Maghound has 4 subscription tiers:

Customers begin selecting magazines and after adding a title to the cart, the cart summary box updates with the title, and a message (in the yellow box) reminding the customer how many titles are included at the current tier of membership.

Once you hit your first tier (3 titles), the message changes to “Pick 2 for $3.00 more per month!”

And so it goes after the second tier is met:

The cart summary continues to upsell as the cart contents change. The “carrot” depends on what’s already in the cart:

Once you fill tier 3, each additional magazine is offered for only $1 more (who can resist?)

Maghound is a unique example of guided selling and promotions in the shopping cart. Another industry that typically uses guided selling in the cart is telco. Customers need to be led through the complex process of bundling a handset with a contract, services and accessories. This example is from Telus Mobility.

Telco’s guided selling could incorporate targeted selling if the links in the cart summary were based on what’s in the cart (for example, the link to accessories will land on a page that shows only products compatible with the device in the cart.)

Guided selling / targeted promotion implementation in the cart summary is so custom to a business that you most likely need a custom build to make it work (both of the above are Elastic Path customers). As more retailers across industries incorporate guided selling, product bundles and subscription/loyalty programs, we’ll see more examples of this around the ‘Net in the future.

Related Articles

5 Responses to “Targeted Selling: Carrots in the Cart”

  1. Kevin says:

    You mentioned something at the very end of the blog that I believe is extremely important. Targeted messaging doesn’t always have to be promotions/price reductions to entice sales. To your point, loyalty programs and messaging geared around that particular session could help the online experience far more than reducing 5% or 10% (or whatever the promotion is). And besides, why cut into profit margins if you don’t have to?

    There’s always more than one answer, so the key is to use a platform that allows you to try different ideas with reports indicating what’s working… A/B testing? Personalization? Both?

    Great post Linda!

  2. Dan Piche says:

    Great Post Linda.

    I agree with Kevin that targeted messaging doesn’t always have to be promotions/price reductions and that loyalty offers are other benefits that personalization can help increase.

    I’d like to add that personalization should also be extended beyond the shopping cart as well. Targeted messaging across the entire site that embraces a continuous dialogue with a customer (both in that session and in future sessions) will increase the likelihood that the goal outcomes of the site are achieved.

  3. I applaud the amount of thought and use of customer intelligence data in this approach.

    If it is profitable because of lift in both upsell and conversion over cost to feed and implement: it’s a welcome innovation.

    Typically, in general, whenever relevancy is increased, conversion and upsell follows. Typically.

    A very welcome post. Thank you.

  4. Maghound is a great example, didn’t know about that one.
    A Dan mentions it can be about more than promotions and cross sell.
    One idea could be to include relevant free or very cheap e-books related to what you were buying. E.g if I buy a starters golf clubs set then suggest a “27 tips when starting out with golf”, or if I buy a $300 putter then suggest “7 ways to perfect your put”.

  5. Reviews says:

    I went thru the site maghound and it looks great. The place where we can pick our favourite magazines..subscribe with a lower price..with $9.95 you get 7 magazines from hundreds of categories..

    I wonder how maghound deals with the magazine publishers….

Leave a Reply

© 2014 Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog. All rights reserved. Site Admin · Entries RSS · Comments RSS