Imagine if 7 of 10 phone calls into your call center where a consumer started to place an order disappeared. Alarm bells would be going off and you'd be examining every aspect of the script, the call center and everything that could impact inbound phone orders.Well, the same thing is happening on your site as you read this. 70% of the consumers coming to your site and starting the buying process drop off for some reason. According to Forrester Research, the top five reasons for online shopping cart abandonment are:* Shipping and handling costs too high* Not ready to purchase* Wanted to compare prices on other sites* Product price was higher than consumer was willing to pay* Wanted to save product in cart for later evaluationAbandonment and retargeting company SeeWhy categorizes these reasons into two primary drivers of abandonment: price and timing. Either the total cost is too high and/or the consumer is not yet ready to buy. In another acquirgy ebook written with SeeWhy, we cover shopping cart abandonment in much greater detail. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy.You also need to know that 47% of online buyers are unwilling to finalize a purchase unless some sort of promotion is offered. This ties back to the offer, which we'll discuss in the next section.Another fact is that men and women shop differently, so if your target audience is one or the other, you need to understand those differences. Part of the thought process to reduce abandonment is to understand how important email retargeting is, the role of after-the-fact offers and promotions, and that, in fact, spending time and effort to reach out to abandoners is not a waste of time and money.Make reducing shopping cart abandonment a major priority, committing to addressing it in the next 30 days. Top management needs to be involved as some of the decisions will possibly require changes to the spot or show, such as offering free or reduced-cost shipping (see #9). Here are the key top-level points about abandonment that serve as a good starting point:* For many consumers, abandonment, returning and buying on the second or third visit is a normal part of the purchase cycle.* Make sure you have a permanent shopping cart, giving consumers the ability to save the potential purchase so that they can come back later.* Embrace the use of email to retarget consumers where you've captured their email address.* Make email address capture a top priority, so that you can send retargeting messages including special offers at specific intervals.* Provide additional reasons to buy and special offers to entice consumers to come back to complete their purchases.* Understand that men are more likely to compare prices and less likely to abandon, vs. women who take longer to buy, are more sensitive to S&amp;H costs and more likely to save carts for later.* Recognize that new buyers, ones who have never purchased from you before, will often take more nurturing than those familiar with your brand and products.* Understand the value of timing in your retargeting program, and be prepared to develop an email retargeting program (either in house or with a vendor such as SeeWhy) that leverages timing to generate the best response to retargeting messages.* Understand that there is a strong relationship between the monetary value of the cart and the abandonment rate. Typically, higher value shopping carts are abandoned more frequently, but there are exceptions that you need to know:Low value carts have high abandonment ratesCarts at critical price points have very high abandonment ratesIndividual products can have very different abandonment rates* Learn the value of retargeting in "real time" which generally means immediately following the abandon. The real-time remarketing campaigns generated 105% more revenue than the same email sent 24 hours after the abandonment, according to SeeWhy.* If your brand is well-known, you have an advantage. Consumers are more comfortable buying from well-known and well-respected brands, and this aids retargeting.The good news is that 8% of abandoners will return to buy without any form of remarketing. The better news is that an additional 18% will come back to buy after receiving email retargeting messages. That's a whopping 26% conversion of abandoners &#8211; clearly a very meaningful number.You can download the entire ebook at any time at: http://DD111.acquirgy.netIrv Brechner has written over 100 published direct marketing articles and 13 books on a variety of topics. He's been a pioneer in online customer acquisition since 1996 and offline for his 35-year career. He has developed Acquirgy.com's "Customer Acquisition Intel Center" (acquirgy.com/intel ) he evangelizes best-of-breed tactics to help companies acquire customers in the digital age. He can be reached at: email@example.com .Read all Irv's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Customer Acquisition Intel.Check us out on Facebook at MediaBizBloggers.comFollow our Twitter updates @MediaBizBloggerThe opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaBizBloggers.com management or associated bloggers. 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