Woman talking(l+r), Hand holding credit card by computer retail website(c)

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock @clicksnothits/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I’ve been doing this for years’: Expert shares why you should load up your cart when shopping online, then abandon your cart

‘Bonus points if you can abandon carts for products not targeted at you.’


Rachel Kiley


TikToker @clicksnothits is offering up some interesting strategies for people looking to boycott companies in a way that takes advantage of modern marketing.

Back in May, she posted a video suggesting that one method for sticking it to companies who sell products on Amazon in particular would be to click on all their ads—but never buy anything.

“Brands spend MILLIONS on pay per click ads on Amazon alone,” she wrote. “They’ll have to leave the Amazon marketplace. Which would negatively affect Amazon sales.”

If the clicks to a website come from ads, but don’t result in a purchase, that impacts metrics known as click through rates and conversion rates. The former is about how many people click on an ad (compared to how many times it’s shown), while the latter refers to how frequently that converts to a specific action being taken—in this case, a purchase being made. Companies use this information to adjust their digital marketing strategies, attempting to find the ads that ultimately have the best return on their investment, as they’re generally charged either per impression (times the ad is shown) or per click someone makes.

@clicksnothits Making Amazon an unprofitable sales channel for big brands will force them out of the marketplace. Short term, Amazon will win on ad spend, but if big brands left the platform entirely it would pack a punch long term. #letthemeatcereal #protest #boycott #letthemeatcake ♬ original sound – dawmmoney

There was some debate in the comments about how effective this particular strategy would be, as it could require a large scale effort to achieve the intended results. But it also led to another conversation with a similarly interesting tip.

Should you fill up your shopping cart online and then abandon it entirely?

“Also FILL your carts with stuff you’ll never buy. abandoned carts cost them money & messes up their marketing strategies,” one viewer wrote.

The comment sparked a follow-up TikTok from @clicksnothits, co-signing this approach.

“The closer you are to making a purchase, the more it costs them,” she explains. “This is a [key performance indicator] called ‘abandon carts.’”

The TikToker elaborates, noting that part of the marketing strategy companies utilize when this happens involves sending out emails to customers who have filled their carts, trying to “recapture” that potential purchase. But if you don’t bite—if you never intended to in the first place—this not only will “mess up their marketing strategies, but it messes with their inventory levels.”

“So if, say, you wanted to go to a celebrity’s personally branded website and put things in your cart, and then just leave, that would be a really big bummer,” she adds, cheekily showing a screen recording of Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS website. “So definitely do not do that.”

@clicksnothits Replying to @Hannah Coyle #greenscreen Let’s learn about ecommerce together 🤪 #notlikeus #ecommerce #abandonedcarts ♬ Not Like Us – Kendrick Lamar

Loading up an online shopping cart and not actually getting around to making a purchase is something a lot of people do regularly anyway, as evidenced by the responses to the video.

“I’ve been doing this for years. I’m a trailblazer,” joked one user.

“I do this all the time because i love shopping but i have no money,” another agreed. “So i just add things to the cart and pretend ill buy it someday.”

One savvy viewer did point out that some companies have wised up to this trick, setting carts to automatically reset after a certain amount of time, or not counting items in carts against their inventory.

However, it’s still a case-by-case basis, and companies that send out that recapture email are spending additional money on marketing.

“It also hits their retargeting ad spend,” one commenter suggested. “Bonus points if you can abandon carts for products not targeted at you (eg get your hubs to do the Skims cart) because then you throw out the demographic targeting and they start wasting ad spend on targeting people outside their traditional target audience.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @clicksnothits via TikTok comment.

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