Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Want to increase sales? Reduce shopping cart abandonment

5 min read
Ariana Crisafulli

No matter how well you build your sales funnel, there always seems to be a leak. Customers check out your product, scan the specs, fill out their information and then somehow slip through the cracks before actually completing the purchase. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. According to Shopify, as many as 67 percent of consumers abandon the checkout process before completing their purchases. That’s nearly two-thirds of your sales just washing away. Read on to find out how others reduce shopping cart abandonment.

The first question is, where are these people going and why are they dropping out at such high numbers? Some people may just be window shopping without ever having the intent to buy. However, there’s a large enough number of people who dropped out because they were distracted, they left the oven on, or they just needed time to think before clicking the “buy” button. So what can you do to get these people back once they’ve turned off the oven and had some time to think?

One of the best ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment is through a well-timed email.

One of the most effective ways to decrease your shopping cart abandonment rate is with an email recovery campaign. This is not a new concept. In 2013, Shopify introduced the Abandoned Cart Recovery (ACR) tool, and the results were dramatic. Within the first year, Shopify store owners saw a 3.6-percent recovery rate, retrieving $12.9 million in sales that might otherwise have been lost. Wow.

If you think this is something your business could use, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled three main tips to create an effective shopping cart abandonment email campaign. It’s the proven way to get customers to pick up where they left off and complete their purchases.

Make the timing work for you

With Shopify’s release of their ACR tool, ecommerce stores had the option of sending their recovery email either six or 24 hours after the customer first deserted their shopping cart. Their insights reveal that the six-hour option was far more successful, yielding a 4.1-percent recovery rate compared to the 3-percent rate for the 24-hour option. Makes sense, right — do you remember what you were doing 24 hours ago?

Marketing Land suggests an even narrower window — between one and three hours for optimal results. They suggest that sending a recovery email too soon after the customer leaves is detrimental because the shopper may have left temporarily to search for more information on the product, or similar products on your site.

Sending an abandoned shopping cart email too soon could confuse and irritate the shopper who just simply hasn’t made a decision yet. However, wait too long and the would-be consumer may have abandoned all thought on buying the product — as well as the shopping cart.

Add the right elements

To effectively reduce shopping cart abandonment, you’ll need a great email. There are four main elements to a successful ACR email:

  • A picture (or pictures) of the items the customer left in their cart.
  • A link to easily guide them back to where they left off.
  • Links to a contact page if the customer needs help.
  • A friendly note that suggests that the customer simply forgot their item in the shopping cart. Include instructions on how they can go back and complete their purchase.

Quickly create an effective cart recovery email with GoDaddy Email Marketing.

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Shoes
Photo: Visual hunt

Don’t give up too soon

Although Business Insider reports that the first email attempt to reduce shopping cart abandonment is the most successful, with a 40-percent open and a 20-percent click-through rate, you may still want to give your customers an extra nudge to finish their purchases. To do this, simply extend your ACR email into a carefully timed series. Ontraport suggests that three reminder emails strike the perfect chord for customers who’ve left before buying.

For best results, send reminder emails at intervals of three, 24 and 36 hours after the customer abandoned their cart. With an ecommerce store builder you can create and schedule reminder emails so the sequence automatically launches when any customer leaves their cart without buying.

We’ve already outlined the first email template as a friendly reminder. In the second email, sent out 24 hours after the first ACR email, the message should be much the same with only a subtly harder push. Remind the customer again that they left items in their shopping cart, but this time, let them know that their cart may expire or that the item might sell out because of its popularity.

The third email should come three days after the second and offer a hard sell. This is your final offer! Remind the customer again that their shopping cart will expire or that the item will sell out. You might be able to improve response by offering a discount or free shipping in this final email.

Efforts to reduce shopping cart abandonment pay off

Shopping cart abandonment is a pain in the neck, but don’t abandon hope! Use these three simple email strategies to entice your customers back to the shopping cart, and increase your sales.

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