In the first quarter of 2013, “the average shopping cart, basket and booking abandonment rate among top 200 retailers was 73.6% (up from 70.7% in Q4 2012)”. Not just this, different studies over the years have shown that almost 67.75% of all shopping carts are left abandoned by the online buyers.
There can be multiple reasons for shopping cart abandonment, including not properly optimizing your landing page to drive conversion, a complex checkout process, poor call-to-action buttons. We have earlier discussed all of these factors with their proposed solutions to increase your ecommerce conversions But there’s more to it. Abandoned carts are not always an opportunity lost; there’s always a chance to win back those sales by nurturing those shoppers. In fact, abandoned sales are 10 times more likely to convert. So, here are the best practices to shopping cart recovery.
1. Send The First Message Immediately
Recovery emails serve as a magic pill for all those shoppers who have got distracted from completing their purchase, and most likely will never come back.
To recover the lost sales, the first thing smart marketers do is, to send first email immediately. Don’t delay it for long; this will give the customers time to make emotional justification for abandoning the cart.
In fact, most cart recovery emails are sent within 24 hours of abandonment, and can be triggered within thirty minutes after a visitor has abandoned his shopping cart. The recovery emails should be sent with carefully crafted message including the company’s customer service details, FAQ’s to help with the decision making. “Thanks for browsing our online store recently.
Besides, the message could be designed to nudge them lightly in case the customer got distracted and could not complete his purchase. It could be something like “You have an incomplete transaction” with a direct link to the particular product page or the exact page where he left his cart. You can also create a sense of emergency by saying “The product is getting sold quickly.”
But, you should not delay it till 24 hours or more than that. According to the stats, “54% of the cart abandoners who intend to buy will do so in the first 24 hours”.
2. Design an Email Campaign to Deliver Customized Messages
Implementing a carefully crafted email campaign at various touch points based on the different stages of the check out process, is the most effective tool to nurture the abandoned carts. Still “only 16% of online merchants sent shopping cart abandonment emails” which is quite surprising.
Create the mails with a motive to re-engage, encourage, persuade and convince the cart abandoners to complete the transactions. An email campaign is also a highly cost effective way for an online business to bring back the lost customers.
So, it’s very important to capture the email IDs of your customers early in the checkout process. Most of the top online retailers capture the email IDs within the first few steps of the purchase process. Most email campaigns comprises of a 3-part email series that are optimized with proper images, message and sent at proper intervals to appeal to the prospect.
Your email campaign can turn out to be the most effective if done properly. So, consider these critical points before you start.
a) Timing is Everything
Well almost. Timing plays an extremely important role here, as the email open rate, CTR and conversion rate changes potentially with passing hours. Test a variety of sending schedules. Mails sent at different timings have been seen to achieve different CTR and different rate of conversion. For example, you should send the first mail within 24 hours of the cart getting abandoned. The next mail you can schedule within 48 hours, the last email could be sent after a week. According to the stats, 54% cart abandoners with buying intention purchase within 24 hours, 10% of them do that within 48 hours where as 82% of them do the same within a week.
b) Design an Email Series
One single message may not serve the purpose at many occasions while nurturing the abandoned cart shoppers. You may need to design a series of mails with different value proposition and send them at particular intervals. This helps in building a recall and persuasion on a continuous basis.
You can have different email content for each mail, so put efforts in designing your email templates and crafting your subject lines. For example, you can add value to an email by inserting ratings and reviews of the product, you can also show concern for the customers in the initial mails and offer them customer support and so on.
3. Incentivize the Customer to Win Them Back
Providing incentives to the cart abandoners have proved to be extremely effective in many cases. Studies shows that, “offering price incentives to customers with abandoned carts resulted in increased conversion rates of 263%!”
But the retailers should keep one thing in mind; the cart abandoners should not develop a habit of getting price incentive. Make this offer limited for the first or the initial couple of transactions.
Always, remember that an offer/discount email shouldn’t be sent too early otherwise your customers might be conditioned to leave their purchase hoping for a better price in email.
4. Encourage the Cart Abandoners to Take Different Actions
You may not be successful in converting all the cart abandoners, but you surely can adopt different strategies to stay on the top of their mind. You can use the users’ data in promoting related products and offering lucrative schemes. You can also use them for your lead nurturing campaigns. Studies show, the cart abandoners are likely to spend 55% more. So, don’t let the money go in other retailers’ pockets. Formulate a proper strategy to get those cart abandoners to shop from your site only.
5. Run Retargeted Advertising Campaigns
You can also run retargeted marketing campaigns using the customers’ information captured throughout the checkout process. Afterwards create a marketing campaign targeting those customers. This can be done in many ways; you can use banner ads, videos, PPCs, Sidebar ads to help build a recall. You can use the images of those particular products selected by the customers in the retargeted banner ads, highlight “Free Shipping”, discounts on particular products, “Cash on Delivery” and similar customer satisfaction perks to prompt the customers to take an action. To run these retargeted marketing campaigns you can use various tools like, Retargeter, AdRoll etc.
6. Introduce Loyalty Programs for the Cart Abandoners
Loyalty program is a very popular marketing tactic used by brick and mortal retailers since ages. According to Forrester Research, “loyalty program members also spend an average of up to 13% more and increase shopper annual visits up to 20%.”
For example, give those customers certain percentage off on the purchase of a pre-fixed amount or on their first purchase. You can have a policy of ‘Cash on Delivery’, ‘Express Shipping’ etc. exclusively to make them feel special, and motivating them to become a premium member. You can also offer ‘Free Shipping’ above the total purchase of a certain amount. These things will definitely make your customers return and complete their order.
99% of the first time website visitors abandon carts, but 75% of these cart abandoners come back for the second time. So don’t lose hope, this is definitely not the end. Try to capitalize this as much as possible and take it as the opportunity cost you have paid to achieve higher conversion. Also, optimize your product pages for better conversion .