How to Draw Customers Back When They Abandon their Shopping Cart
As an e-commerce business, you want people to add products to their carts and complete the checkout process so you can ship these products to them. However, things are not straightforward because about seven in 10 people do not complete the checkout process after adding products to their carts.
This is known as cart abandonment and can be a serious issue for your business. In this article, we will look at cart abandonment and what you can do to recover abandoned carts.
Cart Abandonment and Abandoned Cart Recovery
The reason why cart abandonment is such a serious issue is that an overwhelming majority of people never go back to e-commerce websites once they leave. This means that if you don’t have a way to get these people back, you will be left with lots of filled carts and few sales. Abandoned carts lead to lower sales and, thus, revenue, making it hard to keep your business going.
Abandoned cart recovery is the process or action of drawing back customers who have abandoned their carts to increase their likelihood of completing the checkout process.
Cart recovery sounds easy on the surface, but it requires considerable effort and the right strategies on the business’s part. It might also require changing some things about your processes and different psychological factors to influence customers buying decisions.
Why Do People Abandon Their Carts?
Even though cart recovery strategies are crucial, you can reduce their need if you know why people abandon carts, see if those factors apply to your business, and rectify them if they do.
Before we look at why people abandoned their carts, it is essential to know that you cannot convert everyone. Some people are just browsing or doing comparison shopping and were never going to buy in the first place.
Instead, you should be concerned about and focus on the people you can bring back in and convince to convert. A common reason why people abandon their carts is high extra charges. People are typically comfortable with the price of your products, but they may not be with your shipping costs. You can reduce this by using cheaper packaging materials or exploring alternative shipping options.
Second, many people will abandon their carts if they are required to create an account to complete a purchase. The best way to rectify this is to allow guest checkouts while still providing the option to create an account for those who would like to shop at your store again.
The third reason is a combination of issues to do with your website. Long or confusing checkout processes, slow websites, bugs and crashes, or little trust in the website are additional reasons why people abandon their carts.
Other reasons include strict or unreasonable return policies, lack of preferred payment options, and card declines.
Understanding all this, how can your business bring back customers who abandon their carts?
Using an Abandoned Cart Email
Abandoned cart emails remain the most powerful way of reaching people who have abandoned their carts and getting them to come back to the website.
An abandoned cart email is a follow-up email sent to a customer who leaves without completing the checkout process. Estimates show you can expect to recover about 10% of abandoned carts, but businesses with the right strategies typically recover a higher percentage.
The best thing about these emails is that you can automate them using different email and marketing automation tools. These tools allow you to detect when someone abandons their cart, captures their details and sends a series of emails on your behalf.
The sequence typically contains:
- The first email – A simple reminder sent a few hours after abandonment.
- The second email – A follow-up email sent a few days later.
- The Third email – Sent a few days after the second email. This is a promotional email that is typically the last attempt to recover an abandoned cart.
Although the details in each email will change, the abandoned cart emails will typically have:
- A catchy subject line
- An introduction or greeting
- A summary or details of the products left in the cart
- A discount or offer to entice the customer
- A call to action or checkout button
- Social proof or reviews
- Closing text
All of these will work together in different combinations depending on the email to entice a purchase.
It is very important that you personalise all the emails you send out. Apart from the customer’s name, or names, the emails should contain the product or service in the cart, the value proposition, and a response to any objections they may have had in completing the purchase.
Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices
Whether you are sending one email, sending a sequence of emails manually or have set up an automated campaign, there are some best practices to keep in mind to ensure your abandoned cart email produces the best results.
Sending the abandoned cart email at the right time will improve your results. Ideally, you should send the first email a few hours after someone has abandoned their cart. Ensure that you do not send the email more than 24 hours after cart abandonment. The efficacy of these emails goes down very fast after this time frame.
The subject line is crucial because it determines if the customer opens the email. It should be interesting enough to tempt customers to open the cart abandonment email.
Discounts, questions, humour, and emojis are a great way to make your subject lines stand out and make people more likely to click.
As mentioned, abandoned cart emails work best if they are as specific as possible. The customer’s name and the products they left in the cart work best. The use of the name shows that you care about the customer while the list of products reminds them of what they are about to buy.
Both combined can help convince customers to complete purchases because they have already added the products to their carts, and the products are already waiting for them.
The copy should be compelling, concise and snappy. Get to the point quickly while keeping things intriguing enough for the customer.
Call To Action
Every marketing email should have a call to action, but calls to action are especially important for cart recovery emails. CTAs nudge customers to take a specific action, which is what you are trying to do by sending an abandoned cart email.
The CTA should stand out and be impossible to miss or ignore and should direct them to check out to save time and not complicate the issue further.
Social proof creates FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) because people want something that others have and that they enjoy or cherish. Including some testimonials and customer reviews in your emails will make a huge difference.
Abandoned Cart Retargeting
Another powerful tool you can use in tandem with abandoned cart emails is abandoned cart retargeting. Retargeting works by placing a piece of code called a cookie on a customer’s browser. Cookies help marketers track visitors on the various websites they visit, showing them relevant ads and other materials depending on the individual circumstance.
In abandoned cart recovery, abandoned cart retargets and keeps track of those who have not completed a purchase on your website. This way, marketers can create relevant ads and show them to their visitors on other websites they visit.
Abandoned cart retargeting and ads work well because they target people who have already shown an interest in your products by adding them to their carts. This is also the reason they have such a high conversion rate.
Abandoned Cart Retargeting Best Practices
As with abandoned cart emails, there are some best practices to follow to get the best results with abandoned cart retargeting.
It is possible to get some results showing a simple ad that says, “Hey, you left something in your cart. Complete purchase now and use this discount code”. However, you will see better results by being as specific as possible. This is where segmentation comes in.
You can create different segments to show your customers different ads based on different criteria, such as:
- Total cart value – Higher values require more elaborate ads.
- The checkout issue – Did they abandon because of cost? Offer a discount.
- The type of customer – First-time and repeat customers should see different ad types.
The two main platforms are Facebook Ads and Google Ads remarketing. Both allow you to reach people who have abandoned their carts. Many marketers use what is known as a “burn pixel”. This is a cookie that un-tags everyone who has completed a purchase and tags those who have abandoned their carts. This way, you do not show any more ads to the former while showing abandoned cart ads to the latter. Burn pixels prevent you from annoying your customers and can also save you money.
Abandoned carts are a serious issue that all marketers should think about and try to combat. They can lead to a significant revenue loss for businesses that do not try to recover abandoned carts. Fortunately, abandoned cart emails and retargeting can help you get these customers back and give you a second chance at turning them into paying customers.