Tackling Cart Abandonment
Abandoned carts—somehow no matter how well you have set up your online store, they are just unavoidable. How unavoidable? Nearly 3 out of 4 online shopping carts are abandoned. This brings us the question: Why?
The first answer that comes to you might be: “they changed their mind.” But statistics say otherwise (Baymard Institute):
- 61% ‒ Extra costs too high
- 41% ‒ Not Ready to purchase and to check out the sale price
- 35% ‒ Registration required and no guest checkout
- 33% ‒ Forgot to checkout
- 27% ‒ Too complicated checkout process
- 24% ‒ No up-front total order cost visible
- 24% ‒ Save Products for later consideration
- 22% ‒ Website had errors or crashed
- 18% ‒ Didn’t trust the website with credit card details
- 16% ‒ Too slow delivery
- 10% ‒ Returns policy not satisfactory
- 8% ‒ Not enough payment methods
- 5% ‒ Credit card was declined
Whatever the reason may be, marketers need to address these “lost” customers, and potentially get back the “lost” revenue. A great place to start is Email.
Sending cart abandonment emails is a great tactic, with incredible returns. They have an open rate of 44% on average and can recover up to 30% of the lost revenue. Some good examples of Card Abandonment emails are included below:
How to write and send effective card abandonment emails?
The goal of cart abandonment emails is to help customers through any kind of obstacle they might encounter and nudge them to buy. With that said, there are some important things winning cart abandonment emails MUST have:
The Right Timing
One email sent within an hour of abandonment can be great timing. In fact, this speed to inbox can lead a nearly 4-5% conversion rate. Why within an hour? Because the shopper is more likely to still be on the site (or atleast had the site open in their browser) and the experience is still fresh in their mind.
We usually recommend a 3-email cart abandonment series:
- The first email sent quickly is an absolute must, usually within an hour or two.
- Send the second email 24 hours either after the first email is sent or after the abandonment. Bringing their carts back to the shoppers’ attention exactly a day after they were in the process previously really helps.
- The final email should be sent anywhere between 1-5 days later, depending on what works out best for you (from testing). Whatever your timing turns out to be, you should make sure it is sent within a week.
A Nice Subject Line
If your subject lines don’t grab attention, your email won’t be (and subject lines are the major factor driving the open rates). The most effective subject lines are those which invoke some kind of emotions among the readers—excitement, joy, curiosity etc. like these:
- You wouldn’t want to miss out on these!
- Your items feel lonely – help them out!
- Uh-oh! Looks like you forgot something.
- Hey! Come back here! Pretty please?
Reminding them of their Cart details
69% of cart abandoners feel that reminder emails are either helpful or influence their purchase decision in some way. Saving their cart, reserving their items, or displaying their cart items in the email(s) you send them are great ways to bring these prospective customers back. Give as many details as possible, including price, color, and size. Utilize images where possible as well, as people generally respond better to images than text. Make sure your calls to action go directly back to cart where possible.
Great Email Copy
This is easier said than done. The reader should feel that you have taken care to remind them about the items they have left behind in their carts. The tone should be engaging and conversational. Your copy should:
- Remind them about their items
- Create urgency around completing the purchase (“Your cart is expiring,” etc.)
- Make them feel good about the products they’re looking at
Your copy should also display a call to action (there really is only one action that you want them to take in these emails: complete the purchase). Make sure your CTA (call to action) is clearly visible and clickable. Some of the Popular CTA texts are listed below:
- Go to basket
- Claim my item
- Finish the job
- Go to cart
Tempting them to come back
An obvious template would be to offer some sort of discount on the purchase. These can be effective, but you should be careful about users who try to “game the system”. And if you find that your simple, one call to action (CTA) cart abandonment emails aren’t working as much you expected, cross-selling popular and/or related items is a great way to tempt them back. It’s possible that they don’t want what’s in their cart, but these other items may catch their interest and possibly drive a purchase.
Another great way to bring back shoppers is through customer reviews (“Word of Mouth”). Social proof is a battle-tested formula which impacts purchasing decisions. You can choose some of your best reviews and mention them in your emails.
A lot of revenue is lost by many companies who fail to properly use cart abandonment emails. These emails take a little bit of time and work to set up, but the incremental revenue you get back by them is truly worth the effort, and they improve the value of the brand.