Remarketing to Shopping Cart Abandoners at Eat’n Park


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By Charles Nicholls of SeeWhy and Joel Book of ExactTarget
We recently caught up with Adam Golomb, director of e-commerce at, to discuss their new shopping cart recovery program. is a division of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, which includes Eat’n Park Restaurants and Six Penn Kitchen. Its contract foodservice division includes: Parkhurst Dining Services, a provider of contract dining services to businesses, higher education institutions and cultural centers; and CURA Hospitality which provides contract dining and management services for regional hospitals and senior living facilities.
Eat’n Park’s mascot is “Smiley,” a walking sugar cookie with a smiley face, and Eat’n Park is well-known for its Smiley Cookies, which are frosted sugar cookies with smiley faces drawn on them in icing. Last year, Eat’n Park made over 11 million Smiley Cookies. Adam Golomb is responsible for the online channel — — which sells Smiley Cookies and related merchandise on line.
Website Conversion: Why did you decide to start a shopping cart abandonment remarketing program?
AG: We spend a tremendous amount of money to get customers to the site, but with 60 percent abandoning the shopping cart process, following up represented low-hanging fruit. These customers were already interested in the brand and had placed items in their shopping cart, only to abandon, so sending follow-up emails seemed like an obvious tactic to get them back and convert them into sales.
Website Conversion: What have you learned about shopping cart recovery?
AG: It’s still the early days for, but it’s clear that it’s a good tool to recover some sales, in particular where customers thought that they’d completed their purchase, but hadn’t.
Some customers have replied to the email explaining why they had abandoned their shopping cart. The cost of shipping is the number one reason given, very much in line with industry numbers. As a result, we’ve been testing a free shipping offer when they spend $40 or more. This looks promising and has helped to raise our average order value.
We don’t offer any incentives yet in our current campaign, and we think this will be important in driving additional sales.
Website Conversion: What’s next in your remarketing campaign?
AG: We’re just about to roll out a multi-step version of the campaign. We started with a simple service-based follow-up email which is sent out immediately following an abandonment. This is like a simple reminder email that the customer did not complete the process. Our multi-step campaign will contact them again after 24 hours, and then after 7 days, and include some incentives. We’re pretty excited about it and think it’ll driving additional sales.
Website Conversion: How have customers reacted?
AG: We haven’t had anyone feeling that it was ‘Big Brotherish,’ and some people have found it very helpful. In particular where the customer thought that they’d made it all the way through the shopping cart process, but hadn’t, the email is a prompt for them to contact us, often by phone. Customers are very grateful when this happens. It has also highlighted some problems with our shopping cart process on the website which we’ve now addressed.
Website Conversion: Does it matter that you don’t have a persistent cart?
AG: Definitely. We’re working on putting a persistent cart in place, although we don’t offer many SKUs. Today we provide a link in the follow-up email which takes them back to the item they placed in their cart. We’ve had customers following the link back, going directly to the website and contacting us by phone. A persistent cart should make it easier for them to complete their order online.
Website Conversion: How do you measure success?
AG: We measure success based on the number of completed orders. So we compare the sales generated by the program with spend on other marketing programs. It’s a bit manual because we get some orders coming in by phone.
Website Conversion: Can you talk about setting up the program and how complex it was to do?
AG: It took a bit longer than I thought it would. We already had an existing relationship with ExactTarget, so getting the email campaign set up and using SeeWhy to trigger emails using our existing ExactTarget account was straightforward. What took longer was tagging the site and working through our check-out process. Every time I thought we were nearly there, the IT guys seemed to have to make additional changes in order to get the detail right.
Website Conversion: How was it working with the SeeWhy team?
AG: It’s been great; they’ve been extremely responsive. When we had any issues they’ve been really proactive and very accessible. is using SeeWhy’s Abandonment Tracker Pro to trigger remarketing campaigns using ExactTarget’s transactional API. This provides a real time follow up to shopping cart abandoners. will be featured in a forthcoming best practices web presentation on February 16. Titled “The 7 Secrets to Recovering Abandoned Shopping Carts,” the presentation describes the lessons learned from leading companies using email remarketing to combat shopping cart abandonment, including
The presentation is hosted by Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer of SeeWhy and Joel Book, director, eMarketing education, ExactTarget. More details and registration can be found at

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Charles Nicholls
Charles Nicholls is a social commerce expert and board advisor to several e-commerce startups. He founded SeeWhy, a real-time personalization and machine learning platform, which was sold to SAP. Serving as SVP of product, he built SAP Upscale Commerce, an e-commerce platform for direct-to-consumer brands and the mid-market. Today, Charles serves as chief strategy officer for SimplicityDX, a commerce experience company. He has worked on strategy and projects for leading ecommerce companies worldwide, including Amazon, eBay, Google and many others.


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