John Smith From Google - UTM Google Shopper - Creating false abandoned carts

Shopify Partner
8 0 1

All of the abandoned carts in Shopify are mildly annoying, but I don't think they are harming our store.

 

However, we use Klaviyo as our ESP. Every abandoned cart becomes a profile in Klaviyo and also receives an abandoned cart email sequence. This is causing harm in two ways:

  1. Klaviyo charges by the profile, so a bunch of junk profiles inflates our bill.
  2. Sending emails to un-monitored inboxes can hurt deliverability for our entire account.

Does anyone know WHY these abandoned carts are created? Is it legitimate Googlebot traffic? I have read that it could be Google automatically verifying that shipping costs in your store match what is submitted through Google Merchant Center.

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New Member
2 0 0

I'm having the same problem... started in November 2019 as well. Has ramped up dramatically in the last week. 

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New Member
6 0 0

They definitely skew our statistics regarding abandoned carts and "Customer numbers". We have had trouble with this for the past year. Shopify will not help. They keep giving links to apps that do not address the problem.

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New Member
1 0 0

alright, so my store has caught the john smith bug as well.Untitled-2.jpg
john-smith.jpggoogle.jpg
Despite his customer info all pointing towards google, this bot has nothing to do with google. 
I performed a reverse image search to see if I could trace it back to anything that might tell us anything about what's going on. I found some interesting results. 

First of all, surprise-surprise, that image was taken from an actual person that exists online and is probably completely unaware. I may pick up one of his books after this.
todd-harra.jpg
The interesting thing that I found was a quora.com user account associated with the same image as "john smith".
Untitled-5.jpg
This account responds to people on Quora about airline related things in order to promote its scam airline ticket site. I looked flightschannel up on bbb.org. There is an LLC filed, but the operation uses a forwarding address in Nevada as it's company address. Also, according to most reviews online, its a bait and switch scam with foreign accents. 
uh.jpgUntitled-6.jpg

Conclusion:
John Smith is not Google. If its the same scammers as flightschannel.com, the are probably working outside of the US despite my Shopify store not detecting a VPN. It is possible that the same AI is being used by different people, though. Either way, would appreciate a fix.


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