Marketing

Cart abandonment is a rising challenge for eCommerce brands. People visit a site, add a product to their basket and when it’s time to check out and pay, they simply abandon it. At this point you’re probably wondering why they left and what you could possibly do to reduce this or win shoppers back. Right?

What is eCommerce cart abandonment?

Let’s start with the definition. According to Big Commerce, eCommerce cart abandonment is when online shoppers add items to the shopping cart, then leave your site before completing the order. Barilliance reports global cart abandonment rates of 77%, with results even higher on mobile devices.

What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are sent to potential customers that have added products to their cart but failed to complete the order. It’s incredibly effective as a sales recovery tactic. According to SaleCycle, nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on site. Abandoned cart emails work to remind customers of items they have left in cart - enticing them to come back to purchase what they are close to buying.

Best practices for abandoned cart emails.

In order to be successful, there are some things you need to consider when it comes to your cart abandonment emails.

Get the timing right

The timing of your cart abandonment email is essential. Omnisend suggests to send your first email after an hour of abandonment, while you’re still at the top of their mind. If you wait too long, you will lose that shopping urge caused by the shopper in the first place. According to Omnisend, eCommerce brands that use a series of three cart abandonment emails (also known as a drip campaign) have the best order rates, seeing 69% more orders on average than those sending only one cart abandonment email. 

Hubspot defines a drip campaign as a form of automated sales outreach. It comprises a series of emails automatically sent to a specific audience after they take specific action. As a rule, it typically includes three emails:

  • Cart reminder: one hour after cart abandonment
  • Follow up email: 12-24 hours later
  • Promotional discount: send a last-chance promotional discount a few days later
Showcase trust and credibility in your emails

We’re all aware of the many scams on the internet. In fact, most of us will be able to tell a story about someone who lost money on a purchase they made and never received. According to Big Commerce, first time visitors to your website need a little more convincing before opening their wallets. This is where social proof can help you convert those visitors to buyers. For example:

  • Ratings
  • Comments
  • Statistics
  • Reviews 

You can start to establish trust and credibility with prospects by personalising the email subject line and content to establish a one-on-one conversation with your potential customer.

Provide a clear summary of cart contents.

The key aim of a cart recovery email is to remind people what they were about to buy, so the products should be front and centre in your emails. Show shoppers the products they were thinking about purchasing and be sure to include key information such as price, details, size and cost. It’s also important to provide a strong visual cue so images are a must.

Clear Call-To-Actions (CTAs)

Your CTA is one of the most important elements to your cart recovery email, so it’s important for it to stand out. Try:

  • Placing them as high up as possible 
  • Ensuring they’re easy to pick up (contrasting colours work well) 
  • Repeating them throughout the email
Make the most of subject lines

In your first email, don’t be too pushy. You simply want to remind customers they left something in their cart but you also don’t want to pressure them. Headlines such as “There are still items in your cart” or “Hey, we think you forgot something” can serve as a gentle reminder.

It’s always better to lose a battle but leave a good impression and save your long-term relationship rather than come across pushy and spammy.

Don’t overdo the discounts

We all love a good discount. According to Sale Cycle, while it may be tempting to offer discounts in cart abandonment emails to temple people back to the checkout, discounting too much and too often can affect profit margins and could condition shoppers to abandon in the expectation of discounts.

Instead, use discounting tactically. If you have an offer on anyway, it’s worth highlighting this in the emails. Otherwise, selective discounts in the third email cycle could be a better strategy.

Keep it simple

It’s important never to overload readers with information. Instead, focus on what is necessary for the prospect to return to their cart and to make their purchase. Developing a cart abandonment email strategy (or a cart recovery email strategy) is a cost effective way to recover sales and grow your business’s revenue on autopilot. 


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