Tag Archives: consumerism

Shopping Cart Abandonment

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Oh my, I seem to have missed Black Friday.

That’s because Black Friday started two Tuesdays ago when my TV screen became possessed with ads for Black Friday sales before I even bought the Thanksgiving turkey. The TV medium was then overtaken by Grey Thursday ads, meaning the retailers that now open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. No matter, both grey and black shopping days are really just RED herrings BECAUSE apparently there’s a much BIGGER problem that e-commerce and m-commerce executives lose sleep over, which is:
shopping cart abandonment.

oh, the horror!

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Two posts back, I mentioned that I was taking an e-commerce course (see Selfie-Ready Always!) through which this “catastrophe” was revealed. Listening to the instructor droning on about SEO and sales conversion, and then suddenly becoming full of gravitas, spit and vinegar over “shopping cart abandonment” was a little comical to me (given it was the same week the nation was gripped in Ebola paranoia.) The instructor stressed that shopping cart abandonment is a “real problem” resulting in $70 zillionbillion in lost sales annually.

Wait a minute…$70 zillionbillion in lost sales over things people didn’t want or were so uninterested in that the next distraction to come along bumped their attention?

Hmmm…let me do the math on this again…
Somebody puts something in a virtual shopping cart = $0 spent
They leave the website or app and thereby abandon the shopping cart = $0 spent
And yet…
SOMEHOW this translates in MBA math to = $70 zillionbillion in lost sales annually!

To the instructor’s credit, the only validity to this potentially lost revenue is the inadvertent pointing out of shopping addiction. Sad but true, whenever I’ve polled my Media Studies students on what makes them “tick” their first response is very often shopping.

My esteemed colleagues, Rev. Billy and Rev. Dr. Tami Coyne, who I’ve mentioned in previous posts and who both happen to be reverends, have shown me the light about the evils of consumerism as well as schooled me on shopping cart abandonment as merely the harmless online pastime also known as tantric shopping.

Therefore, in an effort to FIGHT the evils of BOTH shopping cart abandonment AND shopping addiction, I say,

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photos by B. McDonough
Shopping Cart by Mrs. Green’s
Black Coat by IssacMizrahiLive!
Turqouise Earmuffs by Bula
Evergreen rhinestone Sunglasses by Vera Wang



I had the pleasure of seeing the opening of HoneyBeeLujah!
at Joe’s Pub, this past Sunday, May 4, 2014.


Reverend Billy & the Church of Stop Shopping, under the direction of Savitri D, have skillfully, successfully and hilariously blurred lines between performance art and activism (which my hubby aptly observed upon the first emailing I received about HoneyBeeLujah!). I’m a colleague of RevBill. We had back-to-back netcast time slots at Pseudo back-in-the-day, and both he and Savitri D very kindly beamed themselves in to my classroom via Skype as guest speakers in a Freshman Media Studies 101 class I taught. I’m also a friend, convert and follower of this particularly unique “ministry”.

“That Damned Convenience!” 

From the Promised Land gospel-inspired opening number The Not Buying it Band delivers. Followed by Shopocalypse, honed over many years of activism (and arrests!) which never disappoints, and as it escalates, the energy in the room gets palpably electric. Then, apparition-like, the signature white suit and hair begin to appear off-stage within the audience–spotlight on—he’s here!

I absolutely loved the moment when, to me, Shopocalypse hinted at the theme music from The Gong Show and the chaotic transition to the Rev. Billy/Singing Welcome began, which I captured and share here:

And that, my friends, is just the beginning…Earthaluia!

I will not review the show further, it has to be experienced first-hand, suffice to ask these rhetorical questions:

HOW on earth do they fit 45 people on the stage at Joe’s Pub without it appearing circus-like?

HOW can this cast make an original song titled Flying–which describes pollination with a sub-text advocating activism to save the honeybee from extinction–sound as sexy as a 60’s samba sung by Astrud Gilberto?!

I’d say it’s a miracle, but that would take away from it.