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 – People don’t like things to be complicated. If you have a lengthy or complex checkout process, you risk losing customers. Checkout processes that have multiple steps, require accounts to be created, and don’t offer alternative payment methods (like PayPal or Amazon Pay) can be frustrating to customers.
- Technical Issues – Not only can technical 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 more than they’re willing to spend, they’ll begin searching for alternatives.
- Browsing/Researching – Just because a user adds items to their cart 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 to other options before making a buying decision.
- Payment Security Concerns – A secure checkout experience is essential. 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 shopping cart emails are automated follow-up emails. They are sent through your e-commerce website to customers who add products to their shopping cart 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, you remind these potential customers they have items waiting. For an added incentive, you can also provide additional information or offers that will motivate them to complete their purchase.
Top 5 Email Strategies for Abandoned Carts
- Soft Reminder – A soft reminder is the most commonly and easily implemented abandoned cart email strategies. An email is sent to the customer to let them know there are items left in their cart. It typically includes a button or link that will take them back to their cart to complete checkout.
- Offer an Incentive – Some people are more likely to finish their purchase when offered an incentive. This can be done by offering free shipping on their order, a free product with their purchase, or a discount on items in their cart. Since the discounts offered are typically small (around 10% off is common), this is one of the most effective ways to recover sales without harming 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 by highlighting the benefits by completing their order. For a more advanced approach, you can 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 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 these emails, you’ll want to keep your customers and their experiences with your site in mind. Use Google Analytics to visualize your customer’s checkout behavior so you understand where they drop off in the checkout process. Then, align this information with the strategy that’s most appropriate for your scenario.
Keep in mind your 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 this marketing strategy.
Abandoned cart emails are a great tool to help you recover sales. Maybe you’re ready to set up these emails but don’t know where to start. You may even be looking to take your existing campaigns to the next level. If you’re not ready to take it on yourself, contact us today to find out how we can help you recover lost sales revenue with this email strategy!