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A Great Conversation with Public Rec CEO Zach Goldstein on Reducing Cart Abandonment Rate

Updated on March 2, 2022

4 Min Read
Public Rec CEO Zach Goldstein

A rising star in ecommerce, Zach Goldstein, is the CEO and Founder of Public Rec – a comfortable, cool, and classic apparel brand. When searching for a profitable ecommerce business idea, Zach was agile to notice a gap in the market for comfortable, stylish men’s pants that could fit any body type. This led him to the idea of  Public Rec, and thus, he began his journey towards his first solo business venture – Public Rec. He made his brand all about finding comfort that looks good.

Moreover, after having spent 6 years working in Finance, he is able to make all the core decisions for his business, manage each department, and coordinate with his executive team to keep themselves on track for their goals and to problem solve issues.

Let’s speak to him about his journey, his challenges, the problems he has solved, his success, strategies, and more in this exclusive interview.

Cloudways: Great to have you with us, Zach! So, tell us a little more about your ecommerce store. How did you first enter the market? What are your core product offerings? And how do you define your target audience?

Zach: We started out with the ADED Pant, the All Day Every Day Pant, that was my idea for a Kickstarter for the company, which is essentially a pair of comfortable, dressy sweats dressed up as slacks. We originally were only making offerings for men in this style, and then expanded to joggers, work slacks, and now even sell women’s joggers and other apparel.

We target business professionals from about ages 25 – 45, who have a need for business wear, but don’t want to sacrifice cushy comfort on their way to the office.

Public Rec

Cloudways: You also told us about the problems you were facing, specifically related to shopping cart abandonment. When did you first  realize it was becoming a major problem for you? 

Zach: Well, in the very beginning of coming off Shopify, we realized there was a need to prioritize our site optimization in a number of ways. Working with a digital marketing team, we shaped our email strategy up as well as creating an abandoned cart approach to convert users that had dropped off during the browsing process. The firm we worked with at the time did a really good job of showing us some of the spaces we could tighten up, and our Abandon strategy just happened to be one of those.

15 Important Shopping Cart Abandonment Statistics for 2022

Cloudways: What do you think were the main factors that were contributing to the increase of your shopping cart abandonment rate? 

Zach: We had a different site design that was not as clear about shipping expectations at the time. After some A/B testing with different templates, we assessed that the missing information was causing some shoppers to drop off before even hitting our checkout page.

Cloudways: So, what was your average shopping cart abandonment rate? What was the highest that it’s ever been?

Zach: It has been as high as about 80%, but averaged closer to 75%.

Cloudways: Were you able to gauge the impact of your average shopping cart abandonment rate on your store’s profitability?

Zach: To some degree, yes. It took many small adjustments in our site design to have our site optimized for the best ROI which included optimizing our abandoned cart rate. The change boosted our profits maybe 2%.

Cloudways: What steps did you take to improve your shopping cart abandonment rate? 

Zach: We sent abandoned cart email messages to registered users browsing our site who had left items in their cart. We used A/B testing to see what more users responded to in terms of brand messaging, but mostly it was a collaborative effort with our outsourced marketing team.

7 Powerful Practices and 10 Examples to Write Impactful Abandoned Cart Emails

Cloudways: You also told us about building an automated conversion funnel. What was your overall strategy?

Zach: This was another project for which we collaborated with the digital agency. We used discounts, played around with different CTA designs, and added subscription perks and benefits to see what gave us the best returns. It’s a gradual process with a lot of returning back to the weaker points of your funnel to make sure every segment is maximized.

Cloudways: When it comes to A/B testing, what points of the buyer’s journey did you A/B test?

Zach: We used split tests for everything. Our homepage, our checkout page, product layout, email funnel, and so many other design elements were influenced by essentially what our users responded to best.

Cloudways: How did it help? Were you able to quantify the impact of those changes? Would you be open to sharing the results you achieved?

Zach: We have certain results that we measured. We grew our email list over three-times, our traffic to our site became more optimized for conversions, but this was over 6 or so months, so it’s hard to say exactly how these many implements affected our ROI, but I would say it was anywhere from a 5-10% increase over time.

Cloudways: What steps have you taken to ensure that your shopping cart abandonment rate doesn’t spike?

Zach: We’ve optimized our abandoned cart strategy for our existing customers, so our cart abandonment rate is only going to really spike for a large influx of new customers. Basically, split testing is the way to go. Right now, our abandonment rate is pretty steady.

Cloudways: What do you think is a manageable cart abandonment rate for you?

Zach: 70% is where I would like our abandonment rate to hang around, but we’re used to anywhere between 74-75% recently.

Cloudways: How important of a role do you think fast hosting plays in shopping cart abandonment? 

Zach: It’s crucial. If your webpages don’t load in about 2 seconds, you’re losing customers.

Want to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Get Cloudways Ecommerce Hosting for increased page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and better uptime to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate.

Cloudways: If there were any tips that you wanted to share with other store owners related to cart abandonment, what would they be? 

Zach: Optimize your conversion funnels, A/B test to best know your customers, and stick to consistent, precise brand messaging.

Cloudways: Thank you, Zach, for giving us your time and sharing with us your ecommerce store’s journey towards success.  

Zach: Thank you, Cloudways, for offering a great platform to me to share my success with everyone on shopping cart abandonment rate.

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Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Been in content marketing since 2014, and I still get a kick out of creating stories that resonate with the target audience and drive results. At Cloudways by DigitalOcean (a leading cloud hosting company, btw!), I lead a dream team of content creators. Together, we brainstorm, write, and churn out awesome content across all the channels: blogs, social media, emails, you name it! You can reach out to me at [email protected].


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