Introduction

88% of shoppers abandon their cart at checkout, and this number increases every year. That means the average online store barely sells to 1 customer out of every 10 that add items to their cart. 

A portion of this is due to people who are just browsing, but this is still a huge number of lost sales. More than that, it’s a waste of your investment in attracting that customer. Thankfully, those sales are not lost forever. Additional support, discounts, and other incentives can help you recover many abandoned carts, especially when you know how to apply them. Even those customers who are only browsing can sometimes be convinced by a well-crafted cart abandonment email.

Shopping cart abandonment rate worldwide 2020, by industry

Source

While customers deciding not to buy during the checkout process are a rarity in physical stores, this is seen as normal by online stores. Instead of accepting these lost sales, companies should see this as an area for major improvements. Businesses need an effective abandoned cart email strategy to tackle this growing problem:

1. Provide Social Proof

If a customer got as far as adding an item to the cart, they have already seen the sales pitch. They know the features and what it does. But they might not be sure this product is the right one for them. They want proof it is as good as you say, and that means the proof can’t come from you – directly, anyway.

In these scenarios, testimonials, reviews, and case studies from real customers are more compelling than any sales pitch. Customers want confirmation that the product works well, and that people with similar needs were happy with it. Reading a like-minded customer’s account of their experiences with a product can give users more certainty that they have made the right choice.

Adding a reviews section in your cart recovery email templates can increase sales, especially if you show the right reviews. Automate review selection to pick out testimonials with similar browsing and purchasing history to help users read reviews from the same behavioral segment. 

It helps to prioritize longer reviews here, as a detailed explanation of the pros and cons will have more impact than just a 5-star review with no context. Don’t only show the glowing reviews either. Reviews that also mention problems they had with a product are more trustworthy and help convince customers you haven’t curated reviews to give a false impression. 

Social proof is also useful when recommending alternative products. If your cart recovery email suggests other items at different price points, they might not be products your customer is as familiar with. Some relevant reviews could increase their confidence in the alternative item enough to check it out.

2. Offer an Incentive

Sometimes the only problem causing an abandoned cart is the price. This is especially true in the case of unexpected costs. Shipping fees are responsible for 23% of all abandoned carts, so one way to incentivize cart recovery is to offer free postage.

the most common reasons for abandonment

Source

Limited-time discounts are a great way to encourage hesitant customers to make the decision. If it’s something they really want, they’ll make sure not to miss out on the deal and end up buying at full price. Adding free extras to the cart such as product add-ons and refills also encourages users to buy. If a customer is on the fence about justifying a purchase, throwing in some extras to make sure they get the most out of the main product can be a compelling argument. 

Offering an extra reason to buy has a clear impact on cart recovery. Clothing store Kissvivi was losing 70% of their potential sales to cart abandonment. After automating cart recovery emails to offer users more motivation to purchase, Kissvivi was able to recover more than 1,100 orders in 3 months, resulting in an additional profit of over $59,000.

When the price is a concern for a customer, it is a good idea to remind them of your returns policy in an email. Assuring users of a refund if they aren’t happy with their item gives them the confidence to try it. If they love it, they won’t want to send it back. Vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson offers 4 reasons to shop with them, and 3 of them focus on assuring customers about the price:

Source

3. Offer Help

A quarter of carts are abandoned because users found the process too complicated. Whether they got stuck at payment, delivery details, or picking customization options, sometimes the best approach is just to ask what the problem is. A proactive customer service approach can recover many abandoned carts simply by helping users through the process.

Customers will be more likely to respond to an offer of help if they can expect an immediate reply. Include buttons in your email to take the conversation to SMS or live chat. Besides enabling faster responses, this creates a more direct and personal interaction. Users having trouble completing checkout might be a little frustrated, so the human touch can put a more positive spin on their experience.

For example, hardware and building material dealer Total Tiles used SMS to offer technical support to prospects when their site was having issues. By responding proactively and cutting issue timescales, SMS chat was able to reduce their bounce rate by 70%.

Even if you can’t provide 24/7 live chat, chatbots can fill in the gap, handling simple queries for customers and passing more complex ones to the next available agent. 80% of businesses are expected to need a chatbot by the end of 2020.

4. Freeze In-Cart Discounts

If a customer adds an item to the cart during a sale, they might not want to buy when their items return to the normal price. In a situation like this, your customer could end up less likely to buy than if there had never been a sale at all! 

Instead of discouraging customers who didn’t check out in time, let them know you are holding their discounted price for some added time. For example, digital media store Steam gives users 3 days to buy if the sale ends on an item in their cart:givesusers 3 days to buy if the sale ends on an item in their cart

This gives customers who are on the fence one last chance to take advantage of a sale. It also reminds them that if they don’t act this time, they really will miss out. This policy also encourages users to add items to their cart during sales, increasing the chances of a sale later on.

5. Send a Text Reminder

There are plenty of situations where your customer could get distracted and forget to checkout. It’s a great idea to remind them to finish the purchase, but they might not check their emails for a while and could cool off the decision by then. 

Sending a text reminder ensures they’ll see your message quickly. This means you can get in touch to recover their cart as soon as they leave the site. Since most people tend to check texts as soon as they arrive, this makes it easier to ensure your cart recovery messages are seen at the optimal time. Including shortcodes in your text also helps get the ball rolling if your customer needs support, letting them get help by replying with simple keywords.

Below are 5 templates of abandoned cart text reminders for you to use right away.

  1. “Hi {{ if .customer.first_name }}{{ .customer.first_name }}{{ else }}there{{ end }}, we noticed that you add one or more items to your shopping cart, but didn’t complete your checkout. When you’re ready to buy, simply visit your shopping cart here to complete your order. Don’t leave them hanging :)”
  2. “Hi {{ if .customer.first_name }}{{ .customer.first_name }}{{ else }}there{{ end }}, look like you left something in your cart. Allow us to take you back directly to your cart hassle-free and no charge added.

   Great choice, btw!”

  1. “Hi {{ if .customer.first_name }}{{ .customer.first_name }}{{ else }}there{{ end }}, thanks for your recent visit at our store, we noticed you left some items in your shopping basket. They could sell out in a couple of hours so don’t miss the chance.

   We’ve saved your orders so you can return and complete your checkout at ease!”

  1. “Hi {{ if .customer.first_name }}{{ .customer.first_name }}{{ else }}there{{ end }}, we heard that you dropped by but didn’t stay.

   Your items missed you already. Let’s go back and reunite with your saved items!”

  1. “Hi {{ if .customer.first_name }}{{ .customer.first_name }}{{ else }}there{{ end }}, you’re just few clicks aways to finish your orders. Don’t leave your items waiting! Make them yours now while they’re still available.

   Nice picks, btw :)”

6. Analyze Your Performance

Abandoned carts are a key performance indicator you need to track. Losing carts at checkout can indicate a number of problems with your store processes. Even if those are perfect, your abandoned cart recovery rate is also critical, as many of these sales opportunities can be easily saved.

Your store’s cart abandonment rate can be tracked using Google Analytics. This can also provide a lot of extra data to help you identify causes of cart abandonment, by showing how far through the process users get:

Funnel visualization report for eCommerce

Source

One size does not fit all when it comes to cart recovery emails, so track each email tactic separately to find the most effective for each product and audience group. Use split testing to send different email styles to the same types of customers, creating like-for-like comparisons you can use to optimize future cart recovery tactics. One audience segment might respond best to reading customer reviews and testimonials, while another group could be most likely to buy after being offered free postage.

Conclusion

The best abandoned cart email strategies involving picking from a range of approaches to suit the situation. Increasing the value of a purchase, raising customer confidence and offering help to struggling users are always compelling arguments. 

But every audience is different, so mix and match each of these methods to find the combination that works for your customers. Keep track of how you are doing not just to ensure your approach is working, but also to learn how to improve it moving forward.

 

 

Alexa Lemzy TextMage image

Author Bio

Alexa Lemzy is a customer support expert at TextMagic. She is passionate about helping businesses boost sales by improving their relationships with customers. You can follow her on Twitter!

abandoned cartcart abandonmentdropshippingreduce shopping cart abandonmentshopping cart abandonment solutions