Nothing differentiates an eCommerce site from the rest of the online ecosystem quite like the ubiquitous shopping cart. An online business without an easy-to-use shopping cart is a lonely place. Ensuring you optimize the returns from your shopping cart is a fundamental part of being an eCommerce operator.
Shopping Cart Abandonment Defined
Abandonment is an electronic commerce term used to describe a visitor on a website page who leaves that page before completing the desired action. Shopping cart abandonment refers to visitors who add items to their online shopping cart, but exit without completing the purchase.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
Not everybody who adds something to a cart progresses all the way through to purchasing a product at the checkout. When a potential customer provides their contact information but doesn't complete the order, it is recorded as an abandoned checkout.
Guiding customers through the purchase process with carefully targeted content only to see them walk away when the time comes to purchase can be frustrating.
However, consider a few facts. First, according to HubSpot, 99% of first-time website visitors do not make a purchase. Secondly, some 75% of visitors who abandon their carts actually intend to buy. While abandonment rates numbers vary by industry, statistics indicate that the overall rate of cart abandonment is 73.9%. The reasons for abandonment also vary, with highest rates reflecting higher average order and greater purchase involvement categories. These cart abandoners may be first-time visitors or repeat customers, so they can’t be treated the same way.
4 Tactics To Regain Lost Sales From Abandoned Carts
So don’t be one of the 81% of eCommerce companies who believe those customers are wasting your time and consider this as lost sales from abandoned carts. You can still recover the sales if you’re willing to engage in a meaningful way with the customers.
Here are a few abandoned cart sequence tips to assist you in converting abandoned shopping carts into streams of revenue.
1. Develop An Email Schedule
A HubSpot study showed 74% of those who return to buy after abandoning their carts do so within 24 hours. The same study indicated 95% of those who subsequently bought after initially abandoning their cart took up to two weeks to complete their purchase. This indicates sending a single follow up email is not going to suffice. In fact, according to that study, 75.3% of the Top 500 eCommerce companies using abandoned cart automation are sending recovery emails within an hour of cart abandonment. They found 50% of those who buy, do so within an hour of abandoning their carts. So timing is everything.
Consider setting up emails for one hour, 24-hours, and under two-week intervals after cart abandonment. Within this timeframe, buyers who had good reasons to abandon their carts may progress to making a final decision. You may also consider scheduling another follow-up email after six weeks with a final email after two months. Depending on the average buying cycle of your products, you may want to stay engaged with a cart abandoner for far longer than you would initially think.
2. Use Product Images To Invoke An Emotional Response
Shoppers who abandon their cart may not always remember the specific item they were viewing online. When you send an email with an image of the abandoned item, buyers can immediately recognize their item and complete their purchase. You can also include reviews of that product from other customers, ratings, images of similar items, and suggestions for accessories.
Remember to include a call-to-action that leads the prospective buyer back to their original cart, where their selected item is waiting to be retrieved. Some 74% of consumers indicate they feel frustrated when marketing content does not reflect their interests. If the customer has to start from scratch, they may leave the site again.
Similarly, align these email content with your target customer personas and ensure your content reflects their interests.
3. Offer A Discount
While strategically it is not a good idea to offer discounts to every customer who abandons a shopping cart, a discount may be a sensible offer to include in follow-up emails scheduled for two, six and eight-week intervals. Particularly if you have customers who have made past purchases. A discount may help encourage customers to finish their most recent shopping excursion if they have a chance to save 10%.
Other offers to incentive customers to return could take the form of:
- Free membership to a loyalty program
- Points for your loyalty programs
- Matching items for a friend and so on
Use discounts sparingly, as you don’t want your customers to expect a discount every time they abandon their carts or cause buyers who weren't initially price sensitive become so, by framing your entire abandoned cart sequence around discounts.
4. Include A Guarantee
Some of your customers will look for additional security before buying online. Consider including a guarantee in your abandoned cart automated emails. Ensure it is easy to see and understand. Explain your returns policy and be sure to include contact details if your returning customers have any questions before they make that abandoned cart purchase.
Think of an abandoned cart email sequence as a bonus marketing opportunity. As with other online marketing collateral, ensure that your abandoned cart sequence content grabs attention and engages your customers. In addition, given the purpose of an abandoned cart email, you may discover your customers welcome it more than a routine offer email. These are a few of the many possibilities for nurturing abandoned carts through email.
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While the number of marketers who have discovered the commercial benefits of engaging in cart abandonment recovery is on the rise, those that aren’t are missing out. Abandoned cart sequence is a proven technique, which should be part of every eCommerce marketer’s toolkit. Consumers are demanding more from an online website than ever before, so the opportunity to earn sales from abandoned carts is not one marketers should miss. Dragging your eCommerce feet over abandoned cart automation will inevitably find themselves falling behind in the customer satisfaction race.