How to Recover Sales with Abandoned Cart Emails
Shopping cart abandonment is a common problem experienced by every e-commerce site in existence. Millions of dollars of potential revenue are lost every year because customers don’t complete their purchases. However, with the right tools and strategies in place, you can make a difference for your business and recover sales with abandoned cart email campaigns.
Why do Customers Abandon Their Carts?
You might be thinking, “My products are great! Why would anyone leave them behind?” There are a variety of reasons why a customer might abandon their cart, including:
Complicated Checkout Process - Customers don’t like things to be complicated. If you have a lengthy or complex checkout process, you run the risk of losing customers. Checkout processes that include multiple steps, require accounts to be created, and don’t offer alternative payment methods (like PayPal or Amazon Pay) can be cumbersome and frustrating to customers.
Technical Issues - Not only can these problems lead to a loss of trust from your customers, errors on your site that prevent checkout are the quickest way to lose a sale.
Shipping Costs - When a customer begins the checkout process, shipping costs are still unknown. If your potential buyer reaches the shipping step and feels like shipping costs are more than they’re willing to spend, they’ll begin searching for alternatives.
Browsing/Researching - Just because a user adds items to their cart, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to buy. Instead, they may be using their cart as a place to save the items they’re considering and compare them against other options before making a buying decision.
Payment Security Concerns - Ensuring a secure checkout experience is a necessity. If customers don’t feel comfortable submitting their payment information through your website, they won’t buy (regardless of how much they might want your product).
What are Abandoned Cart Emails?
Abandoned cart emails are automated follow-up emails sent through your e-commerce website to customers who add products to their shopping cart and begin but don’t complete the checkout process.
These emails are a pillar of e-commerce marketing strategies. A customer who abandons their shopping cart clearly had an interest in your product. By sending abandoned cart emails to your potential customers, you have the opportunity to remind them they have items waiting and provide additional information or offers that will motivate them to complete their purchase.
Top 5 Abandoned Cart Email Strategies
Soft Reminder - This is the most commonly and easily implemented abandoned cart email strategies. After a set amount of time has passed, a reminder is sent to the customer to let them know there are items left in their cart along with a button or link that will take them back to their cart to complete checkout.
Offer an Incentive - Another common practice is to incentivise the customer to complete their purchase. This can be done by offering them free shipping on their order, a free product with their purchase, or a discount on items in their cart. Because the discounts offered are typically small (around 10% off is common), this is one of the most effective ways to recover sales without harming your profits.
Create a Sense of Urgency - Although it’s not necessarily a standalone strategy, it’s important to create a sense of urgency in your potential customers. For example, boost your reminder emails with wording like “Time is running out. Your cart will expire in 30 minutes,” or offer a coupon code that is valid for only 24 hours. This strategy is incredibly effective in motivating customers toward a decision.
Highlight Features and Benefits - Sometimes customers need a little more convincing before they’re ready to buy. You can continue to sell to customers after they've left your website through abandoned cart emails that highlight the benefits by completing their order. For those who might be ready for a more advanced approach, you can even set up multiple campaigns targeting specific products left in the cart.
Sell with Social Proof - Online buyers feel more comfortable making a purchase when they know others have bought and enjoyed the product. Including reviews or ratings of the customer’s abandoned product in these emails can be a useful tool to convince them to complete their purchase.
Setting Up Abandoned Cart Emails
Most e-commerce platforms have ready-made email templates for abandoned cart recovery you can activate and start sending today. However, to really make the most of these emails, you’ll want to customize them to fit your unique needs. As you customize them, you’ll want to keep in mind what you know about your customers and their experiences with your site. Use data from Google Analytics to visualize your customer’s checkout behavior and understand where they most often drop off in the checkout process. Then, align this information with the strategy that’s most appropriate for your scenario.
Keep in mind your abandoned cart emails are never set in stone! As your business grows and changes, so should your strategy surrounding abandoned carts. Regular testing, data analysis, and refinement are important to ensure the most successful results from your abandoned cart emails.
Whether you’re ready to set up abandoned cart emails on your e-commerce site for the first time or you’re looking to take your existing campaigns to the next level, contact me today to find out how I can help you recover lost sales revenue and grow your business.