Cart abandonment in bricks and mortar retail… and the Foresense solution

BY NOW, KEEN OBSERVERS of technology and the future of retail recognise Foresense Technologies as a game- changing turning point for businesses as they fight to maintain profitability with emergence of e-commerce and online retail.

The Foresense platform quantifies real-world behavioral data utilising a proprietary Artificial Intelligence presence detection system to analyse how people act – and interact – on-site in real world settings.

It allows accessibility in real time so highly-informed, proactive decisions can be executed as trends are actually emerging to increase sales and revenue at low investment.

Much has been made about how the Foresense platform applies the cornerstone data currencies of the online world to brick and mortar retail spaces.

Bounce rate. Dwell time. Impressions. Unique and return visitors. Session duration.

These are the currencies upon which internet marketing is valued and traded.

In a similar way to how behavioural data is utilised online the Foresense platform collects data through sensors integrating with visitors’ smartphones.

With Foresense the rulebook that governs the success and accountability of online marketing is made tangible in the real world.


More recently, a marked shift towards omnichannel commerce, where the goal is a seamless customer experience regardless if they choose to shop online via mobile, online via desktop, tablet, or laptop or physically in a brick and mortar shopfront has gained credence.

In fact, PWC reports that the number of companies that now recognise and are investing in the ominchannel customer experience has increased four- fold form around 20% to 80%.

While online purchases are often about convenience, high-ticket items are often made instore in person.

This means interaction with sales staff and actually experiencing what a store offers in knowledge and service and its culture or vibe.

With the time spent interacting with customers and greater overheads such as rent on floor space and cooling/ heating costs it is actually more costly for each abandoned sale than it would be online.

This new paradigm for retailers adds a lot of complications in making sense of online data compared to real world data, which has traditionally proven difficult to reliably extract and interpret.

Getting it right online means a far greater chance of success.

But in real world settings, retailers often don’t even know where they are getting it wrong.

With Foresense, AI can assist retailers to get it right in the real world too.


One key advantage that online retailers have over physical retail spaces is the ability for remarketing channels and maintaining communications whether a prospective buyer has simply visited a website to browse, or has gone so far as to place items in their cart.

Saved cart reminders, ’can we help’ chat-bots, push notification technology, paid digital remarketing, and invites to mailing lists and social media channels all serve to inform, educate, persuade and influence positive brand association and purchase decisions.

In the real-world, once someone with buying intent leaves a store there is next to no possibility of establishing any lines of communication to keep a potential sale alive.

In the online world, once someone actually places an item in their cart the possibility of making the sale can actually increase with targeted messages and incentivisation.

Many would be surprised to learn that online cart abandonment in retail currently sits at around 70%.

Reducing cart abandonment means reducing hurdles for customer. Accepting all major forms of payment, optimising webpage load times, seamless store/cart page integration, minimal shipping costs, fast delivery, clear return policies and uncomplicated checkout forms are some of the major things that online retailers have to get right to give themselves the best possible chance of completing a sale.

And salvaging sales from abandoned carts by keeping communication lines open and reengaging with potential customers after they have abandoned the purchase process can lead to significant revenue increases.


With the cart abandonment rate so high online how high is it at cash resisters in the real world? The truth is no one knows.

Sure, anecdotal hearsay and subjective gut-feelings may have a small amount of relevance here but when you are comparing these to the irrefutable hard data that computer generated statistics provide there is no contest.

The truth is that every minute of every day sales are literally walking out the door of every shopfront in every market across the planet.

The measures are not the same across online and physical shopfronts.

Very rarely do people leave real trolleys or shopping carts full of items at cash registers.

Nor do they walk away leaving an item on the counter as a store clerk is ringing up the till.

The perceived anonymity of online buying means people are perfectly fine with simply ‘walking away’ leaving a full cart behind.

But they are also fine with walking out of a store where the customer experience is found wanting.

Difficulty in locating items, staff inattention and excessive queuing can lead to customers abandoning a store and a potential sale.

As with online shopping, identifying and reducing these hurdles can have a profound effect on store visits translating into actual sales.

But how do shop owners identify and address these issues?


Foresense monitors and logs individual customer behavioral activity and builds a detailed user profile of their time in-store.

It also aggregates data over longer periods – days, weeks, months, even years – to identify trends.

The platform can be used to understand how much time customers are actually spending in-store and the breakdown of their time spent in each section or aisle. It can identify customer characteristics such as if the customer is a new or return visitor and interaction time spent with staff.

Because the platform is accessible in real-time, additional staff can be deployed when and where they are needed most in specific areas to ensure customers are not left unattended or waiting excessively.

It can breakdown the entire customer experience from floor traffic flow from entry through to browsing, queuing and payment times to gain insight into streamlining the purchase process.

The platform can also use customer data for tailored advertising messages on-screen or via instore digital signage and integrate with loyalty and rewards programs and membership and customer relationship management software.

And for customers who leave the store without making a purchase, detailed AI behavioural analysis can determine reasons as to why from any or all of the data parameters above.

And there we have it.

A platform that gives retailers the ability to determine with certainty how many customers are leaving real world ‘carts’ behind and detailed data sets of their entire instore experience to glean the reasons why through the use of a sophisticated AI system.

Stop making assumptions.

Start making quantifiable, real- world sense of your day-to-day operations to improve floor traffic sales conversions and increase revenue, market share, and business growth.