Fabulous products. An attractive, easy-to-navigate website. Lots of buzz on social media. You’re doing everything right to run your e-commerce business. Then why aren’t you seeing the sales you expect? The problem could lie in the all-too-common problem of shopping cart abandonment. That’s when browsers spend time shopping your store, fill their virtual shopping cart … then click out of your site.
If your e-commerce site is a victim of shopping cart abandonment, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, it is estimated that more than two-thirds of online shopping carts are deserted before the shopper clicks “buy.” Just imagine what your numbers would look like if those abandoned carts all became orders!
One effective method of recovering lost customers is an abandoned cart email recovery campaign. Simply put, it is a personalized message to gently remind shoppers of their filled shopping cart. It’s quite possible that the shopper intended to complete the sale, but had technical issues or was confused by the checkout process. And, of course, some shoppers become hesitant to check out for other reasons. The aim of abandoned-cart emails is to spur their memory and gently prod them to return to checkout.
Here are five easy tips to help you set up your own abandoned cart email campaign.
Tip 1: Provide a reminder. Those impulses that made the shopper put an item in her cart can be easily replicated with an email. It is easy to become distracted by other things, so a reminder of what is in the cart is helpful for the customer. Sending the email is most effective within 24 hours of cart abandonment. The email can be as simple as an all-text message: “We’re holding your cart for you! It’s not too late for you to purchase the following: Silver Cuff Bracelet, Flower Pendant.” Provide a direct link to the shopper’s cart in the email.
Tip 2: Word it wisely. Effective copy is a powerful tool, and it’s particularly noticeable in abandoned cart emails. What’s more, emails can serve as a marketing opportunity. Use the email to impart your store’s character, and take the opportunity to make an emotional connection with the shopper. For example, if you own a princess costume store, you could use a catchy subject line like “Your royal highness, your cart awaits!” Then word the email along these lines: “Don’t be stuck wearing rags. Your fairy godmother would love to send your Princess Costume order before the clock strikes twelve!” Still, keep in mind that your copy doesn’t necessarily have to be clever to be effective. A warm, personal message is always appropriate: “Dear Sarah, We noticed you had some great items in your cart! Hope they are exactly what you were looking for; we’d love to send them out to you right away.”
Tip 3: Make a deal. For shoppers who abandon carts because of price, a little incentive can go a long way. Offer a personalized discount code, and give a firm end date to that discount to spur action. For example: “Dear George, We noticed that two Batman comic books are still in your cart. We’d love your business; for 10% off your order, use code “BATMAN10” within the next 24 hours for 10% off your order.” A word to the wise, however: Don’t make a habit out of this, or your shoppers will routinely leave their carts full in anticipation of a price break.
Tip 4: Use HTML. A graphically enticing email gets attention. Remember, this is a marketing opportunity in addition to an attempt to close a sale. Use this opportunity to impart your branding and voice in a way readers will remember.
Tip 5: Keep the cart reserved. Your inventory is likely limited, so decide how long you can reasonably hold items for a shopper – and let her know that timeframe. You’re doing her a service by keeping her purchases in checkout mode, and it’s fine to gently remind her of that fact in an email; for example, “Hi Sarah! We’d love to make your princess dreams come true. The items in your cart have been reserved for you for the next 48 hours. Please hurry … we don’t want your cart to turn into a pumpkin!”
The Bottom Line
Sometimes shoppers need a little bit of reminding – or gentle persuading – to complete a purchase. Abandoned shopping cart emails can be just the push they need to buy … and for your sales to grow further!