Shopping cart abandonment, according to Forrester Research Inc., found that in both 2005 and 2010, 88% of U.S. web buyers had abandoned an online shopping cart; times may have changed with advancements in email marketing but that number hasn’t. It was surprising to find that only 30.7% of retailers (101 retailers surveyed by Multichannel Merchant according to an abandoned shopping cart email strategy report ) utilize remarketing tactics to engage and transform abandoners into valuable customers. The remaining 69.33% are missing out on the opportunity to increase conversion rates, traffic, brand awareness, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage.
What you need to know:
- The time frame between when the customer abandons the shopping cart and the launch of your remarketing email is critical. The standard timeline involves the email being sent within the first 72 hours of the cart abandonment as sooner is better. However, sending the email to soon can seem pushy and actually turn a customer off so make sure you don’t appear too aggressive with your remarketing. Create an abandoned shopping cart campaign, and test out different time frames to see what works best in terms of opens, clicks and conversions.
- Content is still key for these emails:
- Choose an attention-getting subject line to ensure customers will read your email.
- Include a call to action such as “Complete your purchase today”
- If possible, include a link to the abandoned cart. The easier you make it for customers to return to checkout or continue shopping on your site the better. Customers don’t want to spend the time clicking and navigating your site. Allowing the shopper return directly to his abandoned items with just one click is optimal.
- Refer to the abandoned items: Referring to the left-behind products by name and, ideally, with photos is great for jogging memories and reactivating consumers’ desire to buy. The use of images in abandoned cart emails receives an average open rate of 53.9% vs a 13.28% on tradition promotions messages.
- Include images of related products for cross-selling and up selling. Offer other products that might also interest the customer to help create a stronger incentive to return to your site.
- Social Media : Add-ons are always a great and easy way to engage your customers. As we all know engagement=trust=increased sales.
- Create a sense of urgency: This is a great opportunity to show your clients what they will be missing out on if they forgo the purchase. Offer them an expiration date for the shopping cart or something along the line “Buy it now before it sells out and is gone for good.”
- 4. Incentive: Incentives are a great way to draw customers back to your site in an abandoned cart email, however only 16.1% of retailers offer customer incentives. Many retailers don’t offer incentives because they feel customers will take advantage and continuously abandon carts to receive deals. If you choose to offer some form of incentive, make sure you have guidelines in place as it will prevent any issues from arising. This might mean you only offer a repeat cart abandoner an incentive once or offer incentives to at random to customers who have abandoned carts.
- Test once, test again, and again: The best way to find out what methods work for your specific customers can only be found through testing. Take the time to test emails and find the right balance of offer types, frequency and levels of incentives.
- Make sure you create a clear message that you are contacting them as a service and are not trying to force them into purchasing an item on your site. Include contact information for customer support or other information that shoppers will find less pushy and more informative. Think about what would make you want to return to a website.
There is no way to completely avoid shopping cart abandonment, but using shopping cart abandonment emails can help you minimize your loss sales and increase conversation rates. There is no “perfect plan”, but try these techniques to help you get on the right track.