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How To Get Shoppers Who Abandon Ecommerce Carts Back

12 May 2016

With up to 66% of your customers abandoning a potential purchase on your ecommerce store, it's important that as well as fixing up areas on your online shop that are known to frustrate customers, you consider creating an abandoned cart strategy.

You should be keeping a general eye on the behaviour of your customers as they use your ecommerce store, especially the rates of successful purchases vs those which have been abandoned. By keeping an eye on these figures you can spot and resolve any potential issues before they start causing a noticeable impact on your profit. For instance within our shopping platform a customer is tracked at major point of the store usage, so you can get a feel for the numbers who are visiting your online shop, or who have added items to their cart, or who have progressed onto which stage of the checkout process.

Keeping an eye on this data is important because if for instance a large percentage of online shoppers abandoned their carts when they reached the first step of your checkout process we would be able to look at that step and identify where the likely abandonment points where and how these can be rectified.

Introducing an abandoned cart strategy

Once a customer has entered their email address on your checkout page or has signed in with their account, then our platform is able to use this information to help you get any abandoned cart back on track. This can be something that you can do manually if you are just starting out or if funds are tight, or we can add in automated support so that your ecommerce store will take care of everything without you needing to get involved.

Regardless of which method you prefer, it's important that any follow up email which is sent is carefully worded because it's not something which is widely adopted (roughly less than 35% of online retail stores are currently using an abandoned cart strategy) and it can be seen as spammy or too much of a hard sell. A 2013 survey found that on average 46% of ecommerce cart abandonment follow-up emails were opened and 35% of clicks lead back to a purchase on the site.

The best approach to take is a softly-softly one:

  • Make sure that all follow-up emails aren't sent until at least 8-12 hours after the cart was abandoned. Sending them sooner than this can make your customers feel like they are being stalked.
  • Don't send a follow-up email later than 24 hours after the abandoned cart happened. Sending it later than this risks the email being marked as spam, or an angry customer because they'll think they've potentially been signed up to a mailing list.
  • Keep the tone of the email light and friendly. It should be written from a 'did you have trouble purchasing from us?' point of view, rather than a sales one. Include contact details and links to any customer service or FAQ pages that your ecommerce store has.

With our automated support, we are able to extend upon this basic email and include a cart summary in the email including the ability to resume their order without the need to re-add their desired products. We can also send addition emails after a set period of time which are more 'sales-like' including messages tailored around their cart expiring - this can instill a fear of missing out which can be successful in convincing a number of customers to return to your online shop.

What about offering a discount?

Usually the first thought when it comes to an abandoned cart strategy is to simply email the customer a discount code for their order. You need to be careful doing this, otherwise you can quickly find that suddenly a large percentage of people abandon their carts in order to get a discount!

What you can do instead is to offer it the first time that a customer abandons and word your follow-up email to say 'we're really keen to get your first order with us back on track, so we'd like to offer you a one of xxx'.

Or you could offer a discount as an up-sell opportunity. For instance 'we noticed you had x in your cart, but you were unable to successfully purchase it. If you are still keen, then if you resume your order you can buy x and receive a second item (or x product, or any product from at catalogue) at x% off.' This approach offers a discount, but the discount is only applied to an item which wasn't being necessarily considered at the time the cart was abandoned. This helps your ecommerce store to make additional profit from any abandoned carts which are then subsequently resumed.

If you have any questions about ecommerce abandoned cart strategies and how they might benefit your ecommerce store, please feel free to contact us; we're happy to chat about what can be achieved for your online store.