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Kohl’s integrates shopping cart across devices to minimize abandonment

Kohl’s newly updated iPhone application enables users to view items in the shopping cart that were previously added from desktop or a tablet, potentially diminishing the shopping cart abandonment rate during the upcoming holiday season when mcommerce is expected to spike.

Shopping cart abandonment continues to be a big issue for retailers, which Kohl’s is hoping to address by making it easy for shoppers to continue shopping across multiple devices. This speaks to how shopping behavior is evolving in the mobile era, with many consumers starting a shopping session on one device and then picking up where they left off on another.

“The whole notion of mobile-driven shopping is not something that has been around for decades,” said David Bozin, vice president of growth development at Bindo. “It is more difficult for larger brands to unify their platforms, especially when they are running from a cobweb of interrelated platforms and systems.

“Nonetheless, larger retailers see a good amount of drop-off from e-commerce cart abandonment,” he said. “Synchronizing across apps and devices will give the shopper one less reason to completely abandon their cart.

“If they load up on products via their desktop, and leave the cart without checking out, they may remember 15 days later, and pull it up on their phone to finish their purchase. This makes plenty of sense.”

Unified shopping bag
The unified shopping bag experience was joined in the recent app update by new gift registry functionality enabling users to scan items and add them to their registry.

Mobile shoppers are not only looking for enhanced functionality as they become more comfortable with their devices, they also want better-looking experiences. With this in mind, Kohl’s also improved the images, alerts and informational messages for new devices such as the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6.

While providing cross-device shopping makes sense, large retailers such as Kohl’s often have to wrangle with a myriad of platforms, some siloed, to bring such experiences to life.

“More than anything, it is difficult from a technological feat, wherein there is a unique identifier for a customer,” Mr. Bozin said. “In this case, it will be their login.

“After carts are tied to customers and get linked cross-platform, the result is not difficult to get to, all integrations aside,” he said.

Offline integrations
The timing of the update suggests Kohl’s has been working to overcome some of these legacy issues in time to meet the expected surge in mobile shopping around the holidays.

Kohl’s is also one of the early retailers to bring out an Apple Watch app.


Kohl’s Apple Watch app

This year, Kohl’s and other large retailers are not only looking to integrate mobile with tablets and desktop, but also with the in-store experience.

“Allow people to not only sync their shopping carts, but also, to sync across the physical locations they will be buying from,” Mr. Bozin said. “In this case, sync offline to online between locations.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York