Econsultancy recently reported that 73% of shopping carts are ‘left to become idle’. As a result, online retailers that don’t target these ‘could be’ customers really are missing out on a trick. It is key to focus on abandoned basket recovery emails.
After all the blood, sweat and tears you put into coaxing potential customers to your site, designing and optimizing your landing pages, perfecting prices and meticulously mapping your customer’s journey, it would be a travesty to lose them at the final hurdle, wouldn’t it?
Why do users abandon carts?
There are numerous reasons as to why someone might choose to jump ship just before making a payment. They might be hopping across to one of your competitors (who has always been and will always be just a click away) because they liked the look/feel/price of their offering a little more than yours.
Alternatively, you might have done something to put them off; is your p&p a little on the steep side? Is your checkout process too clunky?
Failing that, consider the fact that many abandoned carts aren’t actually abandoned after all, as you can see from the screenshot below, according to Statistia there are 14 main reasons as to why shoppers abandon their carts.
These reasons can (and do) include website crashes, timeouts and declined payments. These customers didn’t bail on you because they didn’t like you or your product; it was merely circumstance. It’s your job to reengage them and get them back.
Despite these reported high average abandoned cart rates, our latest research found that when it comes to re-engagement, some practices that we’d believed to be standard just weren’t. At the bottom of this post you’ll be able to download our latest findings and report in its entirety, but to give you a taster, you may be surprised to read that our headline finding was that ‘80% of retailers didn’t send us a cart recovery email’ at all!
What’s more, the quality of the emails that are being sent (by major retailers I might add) is lagging, with brands merely ‘scratching the surface of potential’.
So, in an effort to help you to scratch beneath the surface, here are our top 3 tips for cart abandonment re-engagement email sends:
Don’t rely on your customer’s memory:
Don’t rely on your customer remembering that their transaction is sitting there waiting for them to complete. The chances are they won’t remember and if they do, they probably won’t care.
It’s your job to make them remember (and care), but you haven’t got time to wait around. For maximum impact, your very first cart abandonment email must arrive in a customer’s inbox within the first few hours following the abandoned transaction.
Then, as a general rule of thumb, configure your marketing automation software to send a second email a day or two after, and then a third around 3 days from the moment that your ‘could be ‘ customer first left you hanging.
The timing and frequency of these sends will ensure that these potential customers remember that they’ve got unfinished business with you, but how do you now make them care?
This comes down to the content that you choose to put in these triggered messages. Remember that a customer is shopping around for best deal, so give it to them! Show why you’re the best retailer to buy from, highlight any offers, USP’s or running discounts that might just tip them over the fence.
Get the tone right:
Your email needs to be single minded, with one clear purpose.
Abandoned cart emails are for reengaging potential customers with their recently abandoned purchases. Now is not the time (not the place) to harp on about following you on Facebook, to divulge your entire new collection/range/offering or to raise awareness about your Christmas opening times.
All you want this email to do is to get them back on your site to purchase, so keep your content focused to that objective.
Clearly display the abandoned item within the message. Include an image, a product description and/or pricing details if appropriate and then add a clear link that takes recipients directly back to the cart. Do not pass go, do not collect £200, do not take them around the hedges – just take them swiftly to the point of purchase.
Are incentives worth it?
Last year, Mike Austin, CEO of Triggered Messaging wrote a blog post for us on this very topic, you can read it here.
He said that ‘incentives such as free shipping, money off, etc. can definitely help conversions when people abandon their cart’ but despite that, he doesn’t recommend it. Intrigued as to why? Read on!
According to the research that Mike cited in the post, 18% of customers who were sent a cart abandoned email without an incentive converted and purchased.
And what about those that were sent an incentive? Well, 21% of them converted. While it’s not necessarily a stat to write a sing and dance about, the numbers do indicate a (small) positive correlation between incentives and conversions.
Mike recommends that his customers do NOT use incentives to encourage customers to return to an abandoned cart. Why on earth not? Mike says that generally speaking if you do the ‘maths, it works out that clients will make more gross profit by not offering an incentive than if they do’.
I bet you wouldn’t mind seeing some examples. We have chosen a few of our favorites and here they are:
Check out our showcase of campaigns designed to recover otherwise lost revenue, including everything you need to help you squeeze every drop of revenue potential, download our ‘Email Marketing Through The Purchase Journey – A Benchmark Report’ today.
Read more about abandoned basket strategy on our blog.