Cart Abandonment Email Best Practices

July 21, 2015 | Don Pottinger

With 95% of customers not ready to buy when they visit your site, you would think that abandoned shopping cart tracking and strategies would be top priority for ecommerce stores. Unfortunately, survey’s tell us a different story. Studies show that only 28% of online merchants deploy triggered abandoned cart email marketing.

With practically 70% of users adding items to a cart before leaving the site, there is a big reason we should be looking at tips and trends to help recover this lost opportunity. So big, in fact, that Econsultancy believes that online retailers are globally losing $3 trillion USD in sales each year from abandoned carts.

Before we dive into cart abandonment email best practices, let’s first take a look at a few success stories. Shopify published very encouraging numbers for cart abandonment programs. Within 12 months of launching a cart recovery strategy, Shopify was able to recover $12.9million through emails. With over 4 million emails sent to help redirect the user, almost 150,000 converted and purchased items they had left behind.

GetElastic surveyed over 200 brands and found that nearly half of all cart abandonment emails are opened. Why does that matter?

Show me the money – $5.64.  For every cart abandonment email sent, these brands returned almost $6 in revenue. How many users abandon carts on your site? I am no mathematician, but try multiplying that number by 6 to see how much revenue you could recover simply by sending an email.

Author of eCommerce Fuel, Andrew Youderian, implemented a cart abandonment strategy for his company Right Channel Radios and provided the results on his blog. Let’s start by taking a look at his email.Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 10.50.51 AM

What we like:

  • The picture of the item left is the focus of the email
  • Simple redirect button back to cart
  • Content that adds value – “Did you know that you can email your product questions to us 24 hours a day?”

Within the first few months, Right Channel Radios recaptured between 3% – 11% of abandoned carts.

We would like to see open rates a bit higher, but the recovered sales are encouraging So, how do other stores emulate similar results? Great question – here’s how.

Act Fast

Engage the shopper while your brand is still fresh on their mind. Waiting too long to send an email results in lost opportunity. Obviously, you want to test timing and track the results over a period of time, but we find that sending a reminder email within 1-3 hours is best.  “Analysis of over 60,000 abandoned carts by SeeWhy found 54% of all carts that are successfully recovered are won back within the first few hours after abandonment. Another 10% can be saved within the first 48, with 82% recoverable within a week”.  The first email should not be pushy (see below). This email is a friendly reminder to keep your products top of mind.

cartrecoveryKeep it Simple  

Make sure to always include the item left behind in your retargeting email. Madewell does a great job of simple, clean cart abandonment emails (As seen on Kevy’s site).

Be careful not to clutter up your email. Shoppers are interested in the product(s), not an overly busy email cluttered with information. One nice addition to consider would be a cross sell product – show how another product you carry could complement what was added to their cart.  

Court the Customer

Sending a second abandon-cart reminders (a follow-up abandon-cart message to an initial email) garner an average 54% lift compared to just sending one abandon-cart message. One and done does not always do the trick. If your looking for cart abandonment email best practices – studies show that if the first email reminder does not convert them, try sending a second one within 24-48 hours that includes an additional incentive. If you don’t offer free shipping, this would be a great time to create a coupon code to do so. The number one reason a customer abandons a shopping cart is due to unforseen expenses. In fact, 56% of shoppers say being presented with unexpected costs is the reason they don’t complete their purchase. This is a great opportunity to remove that roadblock!

Capture the Email

How can you court a new customer without their contact information? You can’t. In honor of all you sports fans out there, “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In other words – ask. Integrating a friendly, non-invasive pop-up early on in the shopping experience will help you capture vital information to ensure that the above steps will be seamless.

What’s next? It helps when you have a tool that lets you accomplish all of these best practices in one place. So check out Kevy – you’re already here so you might as well test it out with a free trial.