Making a sale is not always easy. Even if you can get consumers to visit your web page, you may still lose sales because of cart abandonment. According to statistics from 2017, over 67% of website visitors add products to their cart and choose to leave the online shop without completing a purchase. Some sources report even higher cart abandonment rate — 80%. With regard to the distressing cart abandonment statistics, we need to answer the following questions: 1) why customers leave your website with empty hands, and 2) what you can do to win them back.
Baymard cites several major factors why people abandon their carts. In most cases, interviewees have not decided to purchase due to additional fees and charges that weren’t indicated on the original product page. Also, the survey showed that people were unwilling to create accounts or go through too long and too complicated checkout process. Unfortunately, no website is perfect. Its errors and crashes may also contribute to sales losses.
Once we found the answer to question one and identified the most common causes, it will be a lot easier to answer the second question.
So what can you do about it?
This kind of emails is sent to customers who added items to their shopping bag online but failed to check out for some reason. They are also known as recovery emails.
According to data of Salecycle, about 50% of all recovery emails are opened by recipients. Nearly 13% are clicked through, and only one-third of clicked emails convert to a sale. Anyway, this is still an excellent chance to make a profit.
SaleCycle discovered that the best time for sending cart abandonment emails is one hour after a shopping cart has been abandoned. This results in a much higher conversion rate (6.33%) in comparison to reminders sent earlier (3.14% up to an hour after abandonment) and later (1.74% 24 hours after abandonment). However, you may find your perfect time to reconnect with cart abandoners through trial and error.
Sure thing, there is no need to spend time sending these manually. It is pretty easy to set them up as a series of customizable emails that go to users who leave during the checkout process, showing them what products they added and reminding them to make the purchase. Nowadays, there is a wide range of amazing solutions to craft and send out recovery emails. MailChimp, Rejoiner, Retargeting.biz, Metrilo, just to name a few.
Although different industries face different challenges, the problem of cart abandonment is, unfortunately, familiar to most business owners.
For example, the travel industry may face with booking abandonment. This type of abandonment occurs when customers fail to book a flight or a hotel. As a rule, they may have selected dates they are interested in, as well as the specific travel product. Having such information, you may send some similar offers, appealing visuals, customer testimonials or coupon codes to persuade abandoners to jump on the deal.
Form abandonment is typical across instances or processes which require filling out forms. The long ones tend to be an issue here. Sometimes even the engaged users leave the site before finishing the form. Well, actually it's not weird that marketers usually try to get as much data as possible from customers completing forms. However, smart marketers know that this can also increase the chance that visitors will abandon the process. To minimize the problem, keep forms as short as possible and avoid asking needless questions. And to bring potential buyers back, you can follow them up with a non-pushy bonus offer.
Besides, you are likely to be familiar with the situation when dozens of visitors come to your web page every day, but your sales leave much to be desired. It often happens that people just browse pages and product categories, but then they go without placing an order. This is what we call browse abandonment. To turn window shoppers into buyers, first of all, you should track every page people visit on your site. This will help to understand which categories and products they may be interested in. If you get this information, you will be able to remind users what items they were looking at, suggest them other top-selling items from the same category, or items that most buyers frequently purchased together.
The most typical campaign is a three email sequence delivered 30-60 minutes, 24 hours, and 3-5 days after cart abandonment. Of course, if customers return to convert during the sequence, they are removed from the email queue and don’t receive any further messages. Now, let's look how it all works in more detail.
Regardless of the reason the user left the cart, you probably only have about an hour to get him back. Send your first email within this first hour of the bag abandonment. Keep in mind that in your first message you should show the customer that you are here to help, not to sell (a so-called “helping hand” email). However, providing him with a link back to his cart wouldn't hurt. Ask your client if he had any technical difficulties. Perhaps he wasn't able to check out due to the lengthy process, or his payment was declined. Any feedback you receive would be helpful for tailoring your purchase process and messaging in the future.
Before sending any additional emails to your prospects, wait at least 24 hours. Your second email should spark a sense of urgency. Let the shopper know that his cart will soon expire and that you won’t be able to guarantee any discounts or availability later.
If you decide to send a third email, don't do it earlier than after three days have passed. Remember that some customers simply won’t check out no matter what you offer. So if you send too many emails, they are likely to mark them as spam. Your third email should aim to help the customer to decide. Some retailers offer time-limited discounts or free shipping on a regular basis at this stage, but you should be careful with this tactic as savvy customers can quickly discover it and will always wait until you offer a lower price. Moreover, they can share this information with others and make you a well-known Santa Claus.
Now as you know the theory, it’s time to get inspired by four amazing cart abandonment email examples. Well, let’s take a closer look at what famous online stores are doing to convert shopping cart abandonment into new sales.
Have a look at this email from Nordstrom — a well-known American shop for clothing, jewelry, makeup, shoes, etc. Rather than just saying “go buy stuff,” they offered help to show the customer their friendly side. In addition, they emphasized that the stuff is great. By doing so, Nordstrom has reminded the shopper why she chose the item (because it is great). To achieve an even stronger effect, they included a picture of jeans. “Popular looks go fast” — said Nordstrom. “So do your jeans if you won’t take action asap!” — thought the customer. As you can see, there is an option to go straight to your shopping bag and complete the purchase. Perfect job!
Doggyloot, a provider of top-quality dog-related products, is known for its remarkable friendliness and an excellent sense of humor. They also follow the same approach when it comes to abandoned bag emails. A clear call to action along with a picture of the item encourage the prospect to come back and buy the stuff. Cuz every dog lover knows, the dog shouldn’t be disappointed.
You have sent a couple of re-engagement emails but still no purchase? Well, some customers may be price-sensitive but would gladly decide to purchase at a lower price. With that said, you might want to make a sale. Below is an email Kate Spade sends to cart abandoners. 15% off! Doesn’t it look like a great deal? In addition, they suggest the customer a few items she might also like.
“Your cart misses you” — reminds Birchbox, an online monthly subscription service that sends women all over the world boxes of personalized makeup, skincare, and haircare samples. As you know, visuals can play a significant role in making a decision. Birchbox folks know this too. They include images along with customer feedback to persuade the shopper to jump on a deal.
If you are experiencing cart abandonment, don't get upset too fast. Think of abandoned bags as of a good chance to know your customers better. Learn from the pros above, and start recovering sales today. You might also be interested in reading our article about the essentials of e-commerce email marketing to increase your sales and grow your business.