September 30, 2014

Email Programs: A Best Practice to End Shopping Cart Abandonment

shopping cart abandonment

Have you left something behind? Every year, millions of online shoppers add items to their shopping cart but walk away. Let’s face it, shopping cart abandonment is just like a broken promise.

A website conversion service reported that shopping cart abandonment has grown immensely. For the merchants, it is a lost sale and unclaimed revenue and for the shopper, there is an unfulfilled need. Shopping cart abandonment is a significant aspect of the normal buying cycle for the majority of customers.

So what is your plan of action when you see those orphaned carts floating around? How do you intend to recover the lost revenue from shopping cart abandonment?

Well, there is good news for online merchants. Email programs can renew the broken promise, therefore helping both the customers and the eTailers. Research says that around 67.35% of eCommerce shopping carts are abandoned. As you know, shopping cart abandonment can happen for several reasons. The most consistent being shipping and handling costs. As a result, below are some email tactics to help you prevent shopping cart abandonment.

End Shopping Cart Abandonment

Plan a Chain of Emails

Many experts recommend three series of emails to be sent at scheduled intervals:

  • Your first email should ask the shopper whether they need any help to complete their shopping transaction, in case there is a technical issue.
  • The second email informs the shopper that his/her items are on hold. Your email should be effective enough to assure them that if they do not confirm their purchase, those items will sell out quickly, therefore, they should place their order soon.
  • The final email should make a follow up offer. This may include offering discounts or free shipping. For instance, you can offer free two-day shipping if they confirm their purchase within the next five hours.

Purchase Confirmation Email

Put a new lease on life to the system-generated email. Optimized emails are incredibly effective in getting visitors back to your site. However, make sure that your customer perceives your emails as a great service and not as an aggressive sales approach. Your service should include:

  • Hyperlinks to view back their orders
  • Recommendation of complementary products
  • Branding
  • Best selling products in your site
  • Reconfirming phone numbers and email address

Get Your Customer’s Email Address on Priority

Unless you have a valid email, you have no chance to reclaim the lost sale. So make sure that you ask for your customer’s email address or you possess a valid email to send messages.

Moreover, make sure that the email address is either saved after the shopper is done with the first step in the checkout process or saved automatically in the shopping cart. Send transaction-related emails which will help to build a healthy relationship with the customers.

Send Re-Marketing Emails Post Purchase

Your next crucial step to drive a repeat purchase is to send post purchase re-marketing emails to reconnect with your customers when they abandon their cart. So if you have not thought about it yet, now is the time as it can drive incremental revenue. Your re-marketing service should include the following:

  • Images, name and description of the product the customer had abandoned.
  • Do not distract customers with cross-sell offers but rather, focus your message on abandoned products.
  • Include a link that reconnects back to the customer’s cart.

With re-marketing in mind, you have to stay in-sync with your customers. This is particularly important for abandoned items, especially for those customers who come back to check on their orders or check the product details again.

Nevertheless, be careful not to potentially damage your brand reputation and perform re-marketing correctly to recapture your customers back.

Reactivate Email Campaign

It has been observed that the majority of new customers, despite confirming their purchase, do not return to the site. So how do you get them back to your website? The simple tactics of an email campaign work well in such a situation.

Just drop your new customers into your mailing campaign. This tactic of reactivating email campaign helps to pick up from where your transaction confirmation has left off. A sequence of focused emails can bring back those customers. However, there are a few important factors you should keep in mind:

  • Be focused and deliver good service.
  • Keep your emails as relevant as possible.
  • Use incentives to encourage a second purchase.
  • Use recommendations and top selling items.

Monitor, Relate and Acclimate

Does adding images to the items in the abandoned cart help? Does modifying subject lines affect conversion?

Monitor these changes and adjust accordingly. As you make these changes and adjustments, compare the outcome to see whether it has any positive impact on the abandoned cart.

Email strategies can be lucrative in terms of revenue as soon as they are launched and they help to prevent shopping cart abandonment.

Shopping Cart Photo via Shutterstock

9 Comments ▼

William Johnson


William Johnson William Johnson belongs to the most creative field of digital media, Web design. Currently he is obsessed with the latest trend in eCommerce development, online marketing, Magento eCommerce and lots more. He is an editor at Big Eye Deers.

9 Reactions

  1. When it come to email marketing we have to be very careful about how often we email our customers. There must be a big time frame between each email and our messages must be short and to the point.

    We now live in a very fast paced society where rapid reaction is key, so when we are sending out an email we constantly need to keep that in mind.

  2. Readers should also be aware that data privacy regulations vary from country to country & therefore one campaign does not fit all territories for international and cross border merchants. There are ramifications too for clients in highly regulated industries. Aesthetics, messaging, timing & deliverability are all important, but third party cart recovery & remarketing providers should know their legal onions too. The final responsibility falls on the shoulders of the website owners, so do due diligence on the quality of their service and also on where your customer data is being hosted, as in which country…

  3. Great article, I’ve been working on creating my first website selling a product that I made. I have been researching how to get my product out there once I open my site. Thank you

  4. Hi William,
    Shopping cart abandonment is a huge issue. And my understanding is that email follow up within hours of those abandonments is the best way to address the problem. Thanks for the update and for sharing it with members of the BizSugar community!

  5. Email is always a tricky subject. You don’t want to annoy customers and make them unsuscribe but at the same time, you want to be in contact with them enough to make them convert and re-convert.

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