How to optimise your cart abandonment campaigns

In the world of online shopping it’s easy for shoppers to lose interest, get distracted or disheartened by unexpected costs. When you take this into account, it’s no surprise that three-quarters of online baskets are abandoned (Econsultancy, 2013).

And in the battle to reduce the number of shoppers failing to complete a purchase, the cart abandonment campaign is king. After all, a campaign tempting customers back is the most obvious way to increase revenue without starting from scratch with a new customer.

But there’s more to a good cart abandonment campaign than it may appear. In fact there’s a whole host of tactics you can employ in the email to optimise your success. Here we take a look at some of the best strategies an eCommerce brand can introduce to get customers coming back more and abandoning less.

All these suggestions can be easily implemented using our PureTargeting – a module which allows you to automate emails based on customer behaviours, target content and make suggestions for future purchases.

Always optimise for mobile

Like all email marketing it’s essential that your cart abandonment emails work well on mobile. It’s highly likely the customer will be reading the email on the go so make sure they can not only read it but complete the purchase from their phone. Make sure the checkout process is fast and simple and they let customers checkout as a guest rather than insisting they register. Suggest introducing simple card-free payment methods such as Paypal to increase to speed of the transaction on your website.

Testing times

Some brands send a cart abandonment email 20 minutes after a customer abandons a purchase, some send it an hour or 24 hours after the event – it all depends on your audience. Test what works for you – set-up trials of sending the emails at different times and review the results. A simple A/B test will give you your answers.

Take advantage of great open rates

Cart abandonment rates typically receive a 48% open rate with 33% of those opening going on to purchase (Salescycle, 2016). These impressive rates are no surprise – after all cart abandonment emails follow the holy grail of email marketing by being timely and relevant. Take advantage of these engagement levels by introducing new content into your emails. Shoppers can always be tempted into spending more which is exactly why the average order value from a cart abandonment email is 58% higher than that of a direct sale (Econsultancy, 2013).

Catch their eye

Resist the urge to over-think the subject line on a cart abandonment email. The likelihood is the customer will open it regardless as it’s timely and relevant to some very recent behaviour. Simply include the product name of the item they abandoned – after all they were interested enough to put the item in their basket so it will capture their attention again in a subject line. If you don’t have these details then ‘your recent visit’ or something quirky such as ‘forgot something?’ will still pique a customer’s interest.

Two is better than one

Tempt the customer back with a couple of emails – not just one. The first email should focus on the fact the customer has abandoned, the second should suggest alternative purchases or recommendations. Look at what they first considered purchasing or suggest crowd-sourced recommendations using PureTargeting. Send this second email the day after the first email so it’s still relevant to their recent behaviour.

Be picture perfect

Always include images of what items they’ve abandoned. It will jog their memory and may even inspire them to make the purchase. If you’re in the fashion or beauty sector always include aspirational images such as images of models and suggested looks. Customers want to be inspired, reassured and feel good – show them that the purchase they abandoned could make them feel great. Lifestyle shots are always more engaging than just static product images.

Don’t shock them

A major reason for customers abandoning purchasing is cited as ‘cart shock’ (Baymard, 2016). Simply put this is when the customer is put off my unexpected costs before checking-out. This could be shock at how much the total basket comes to or just being put off by delivery charges. Consider offering reduced or free delivery if the customer fails to complete their order. When designing a cart abandonment email, allow the customer to edit their basket easily so they can reduce the overall cost with a few clicks.

Reassure them

Another reason for abandoning a purchase is second thoughts. These could relate to not being sure about whether the product is right for them or even feeling insecure about transacting online or delivery times. Reassure customers by promoting your no quibble returns policy, secure payment system and reliable delivery service. This can easily be integrated into the design of the email wrap or sign-off.

Don’t forget browsers

‘Browe abandonment’ campaigns are emails that are triggered once a customer leaves a site after browsing but not putting anything into their cart. Many companies tend to focus on cart abandonment but there’s no reason you shouldn’t introduce a browsing abandonment campaign. After all there’s no point waiting for a customer to put something in their basket if you can send them an email while they’re researching a purchase.

You’ll have plenty of information from web analytics – what they looked at, what they clicked and which categories they viewed. Send them suggestions, offers of help or promotions – anything that’s relevant to their behaviour to re-engage them.

These are just a few tips to help you really optimise your abandonment email strategy to recover more revenue.

Recover lost revenue