Abandoned Shopping Cart? Here’s How You Contact the Owner

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Trying to avoid shopping cart abandonment is always the first step for marketers — include deals at the right time, offer “save now” options, make users click a button before they leave, etc. — but sometimes it’s just inevitable.

This is especially true during the holiday season when more and more people are shopping around online, so it’s imperative that you have an abandoned shopping cart strategy in place. Most businesses, unfortunately, only consider this first part of the process.

In other words, trying to get users not to abandon a shopping cart in the first place is the first piece of the puzzle. But there is a second half to any good strategy. After someone leaves an abandoned shopping cart, that doesn’t mean it has to be over. Next comes sending the abandoned shopping cart email.

So What Exactly Is an Abandoned Shopping Cart Email?

According to a CPC Strategy article, 67.89 percent of shopping carts are abandoned for e-commerce companies on average. However, if you can manage to re-peak a customer’s attention with an email, your chances of turnover will be much lower. A SaleCycle report last year stated that more than half of cart retrieval emails were opened, and over a third of car retrieval emails result in purchases.

So how exactly do they work? You can think of this type of email campaign very similarly to a remarketing campaign. Consider the example below from Doggyloot:

Abandoned Shopping Cart

As you can see, this email was sent to someone after they abandoned a shopping cart and is full of great ways to bring that person back. We’ll discuss the characteristics below.

Also keep in mind that sometimes people don’t even mean to abandon shopping carts. According to a Shopify article, 24 percent of customers say a website crashed, and 15 percent say that a website timed out when asked why they abandoned. This makes it even more important that you create an email to get a customer back on track.

A Great Abandoned Shopping Cart Email

Below are several different things you should add to really optimize your email:

Make sure you state what exactly they abandoned

This should include the title of the item or items they abandoned as well as images. If your email was too general there is a good chance the recipient won’t even remember what they were shopping for (especially during the busy holidays).

Include a link to re-visit the same shopping cart

You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to get back to shopping and/or to remember to buy that item(s). Extra: Try and offer a link that doesn’t require customers to input all of their information again.

The copy matters

Focus on creating something engaging (subject line, description, eye-catching image, sense of urgency, etc.) just as you would any email marketing campaign. You also want to use this as an opportunity for even more marketing, which includes making your social channels easily accessible.

Consider offering a discount

In my opinion this is a thin line to walk. You don’t want people to purposely abandon your shopping carts in the hopes of a discount and then move on if there isn’t one (or worse, forget entirely). However, because price is such a big reason shopping carts are abandoned in the first place, and it’s safe to assume most people aren’t spending the time trying to see if you’re going to offer a deal, it can be a good way to reel back in the customers. Send them a coupon code for the item(s) they were going to buy and go from there to see how it works.

Time it right

No surprise here, you want to make sure you don’t wait to long to send the email, but you also don’t want to send it right away. So when is the optimal time to send? While some companies will say sending something immediately works best, we have found that waiting about 2-4 hours is a good window of time because it gives them enough time to re-think while not completely losing interest. Do some testing to see what works best for your business specifically.

You may need an email schedule

A HubSpot article cited that 95 percent of people who purchased after abandoning a cart took up to two weeks after abandoning to finally complete their purchase. This obviously means that one email 2-4 hours after abandonment may not cut it. For this reason, it helps to setup a schedule with an email 2-4 hours after, 24 hours later, and then two weeks later.

There are a few more options you can offer for an abandoned cart email, such as placing items on hold or creating fancy gifts, but above are the most effective and the “must-haves.”

Creating an Abandoned Shopping Cart Email

In order to get started creating this email, there are several different apps and software programs you can use. Hopefully you’re already familiar with some sort of email marketing software, but if not a few good options include Rejoiner, Shopify, and CartRescuer.

What do you think about sending and/or receiving these emails? Have you seen some more successful than others? Let us know about your experience in the comment section below.

Online Cart Photo via Shutterstock

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One Reaction
  1. I work with a company that has great success with a service called Listrak. Might be helpful for people looking.

    Also remember that this only works for shopping carts that have already captured an email prior to abandonment.