Improve Conversion Rates with an Abandoned Cart Email Strategy

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Abandoned Cart Email Strategy

A conversion in an ideal world looks something like this:

Your customer clicks on your ad, browses your products, likes something, moves the items to the cart, and then go ahead and make a purchase. Afterward, they review the product with five stars, just like a good citizen should. A seamless, perfect conversion. All is right in the world. The universe is aligned.

Then you wake up.

As most e-commerce marketers know by now, this scenario is not always realistic. In fact, according to studies, an average of about 68% of online shopping carts are abandoned…at least initially. Online shopping and customer behavior is becoming more complex, especially with the sheer amount of options available via the web, in addition to the proliferation of mobile shoppers. Depending on the product, it’s not always a simple process.

It’s frustrating when all of your brilliant marketing efforts don’t pan out initially, but all hope is not lost. Word on the street is that about 30% of those abandoned carts are recoverable with just a little bit of tender loving lead nurturing. Within 24-48 hours of the cart abandonment, send them a message. There are a number of reasons that they left without completing the purchase, and some of them are simple matters of logistics. A reminder, a link, a promo code, or an incentive could be the thing that convinces them to go for it. An abandoned cart email strategy is essential to getting the ROI that your clients expect.

Here are some of the most common reasons for cart abandonment, according to Shopify:

56% of consumers leave because of unexpected costs.

It’s understandable that a customer would be frustrated to find additional costs tacked onto their final total. This can happen especially with service-based sales, where, for example, there is an additional installation fee which was never mentioned prior to checkout. Not a nice thing to “surprise” your customers with at the end of a checkout.

These are definitely a bummer for your customers. Maybe you were even clear, but for some reason they missed it. Whatever the case, you’ve got a cranky customer on your hands, and they’re having trouble trusting you now. So, like a boyfriend in the doghouse, your next move is crucial. You haven’t necessarily lost them yet. What if you offered a discount code to sweeten the deal a little bit? Or what if you offer free shipping to offset the extra cost? They might just find it in their hearts to forgive you.

37% of consumers abandon cart because they were just browsing.

Most of us are probably guilty of this. You’re on the train, or waiting in line, or laying in bed before you wake up, so you spend a little time browsing the web for something that catches your eye. You click on a cool hoodie, and since you’re in a hurry, you add it to the cart so you can go back later and look, if you’re still interested. But more often than not, you either talk yourself out of it, or you simply move on with your life. It’s harmless…but can be extremely frustrating to marketers, whose job is to figure out why you never committed to the purchase.

There’s not a lot to be done about this except for the obvious…convince them that they SHOULD make a purchase. Clearly, something on your website caught their eye, because it managed to make it into the shopping cart, even if the sale didn’t close. But what if you created a feeling of urgency? A simple email letting your customer know that there is a limited supply of the product or a limited time promotional offer, could convince them to be spontaneous!

36% of shoppers abandon cart because they were comparison shopping.
You know the drill. You add an item to a cart, then check the competitor website to see if they’re offering a better deal. There are a number of ways to bait a customer to choose your company over another. Did they leave because your competitor offered free shipping? Maybe because they had a special promotion. The point is, online buying is largely about incentives, and savvy customers will usually comparison shop.

There is no question that your competitor is doing whatever they can to convince your customer to choose them instead of you. They may have abandoned their cart, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they went through with a purchase yet. It’s time to step it up, or get the e-commerce equivalent of “the friend zone.” A follow-up email with an incentive is definitely the way to go. Offer free or next day shipping, for example. Or maybe a discount code. Whatever is most appropriate for the item.

32% of abandoned cart shoppers report that the overall price is too expensive.
There may not be much you can do about the overall cost with taxes and shipping. But sometimes a 10% discount or discounted shipping offer is just enough to put them over the edge. Plain and simple, if you’re charging too much, or the customer perceives that you’re charging too much, it’s possible you’re targeting the wrong demographic, you need to reconsider your price structure, or you’ll need to convince them it’s worth it.

Nevertheless, an email could remind them of what they’re missing. If you can’t offer a discount, be sure to highlight the value of the product. Give them a direct link back to their shopping cart to make it as easy as possible for them. And cross your fingers, you never know, maybe they’ll bite.

25% of abandoned carts are due to complicated website navigation.
Repeat after me: Customers are impatient. If they have to jump through hoops, click too many links, or fill out too many forms, you’ll lose them. This goes double for mobile eCommerce sites. Have you ever tried to fill out a long form with a touch screen? It’s just not going to happen unless they’re really committed to making a purchase. The easier you make it on customers, the more likely they are to buy your stuff.

In addition to an abandoned email strategy, Nextopia offers a variety of site search solutions, which are known to help your customers get better search results, increase conversions, and increase the average order value. They have some pretty useful tips for solving search and navigation issues.

This guest blog post was written by Rachel Braford – Digerati Group Content Specialist.

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