Cart abandoners are a nightmare for online retailers. According to a study by Baymard Institute, on an average, 69.23% prospects and shoppers abandon their shopping carts. When shoppers leave the items halfway without purchasing, retailers face loss in sales and revenue.

Considering the above number, if you have 1,00,000 shoppers visiting your online store daily, there are higher changes that 60,000-70,000 of those shoppers would abandon items in the cart. And even if we consider the average product value to be $50, the loss you bear will be worth $3 million. Isn’t that huge?

Retaining lost customers is easier than acquiring new ones.

Imagine this…

You are at a brick-and-mortar store, searching for a dress for your evening party. While you look out for a certain design and color that you have in mind, a salesman approaches you asking if you need any help. You tell him your requirements and he helps you with several options and makes your purchase hassle-free. When you do not find the desired item, he recommends you similar and better items and gives you discounts to ensure you are happy with the purchase.

Similarly, for online stores it happens many a times that before your shoppers check out, they go to your competitors’ website and check for a better product in terms of the price, design, features, delivery time, shipping, etc. When the same experience of a brick-and-mortar store is given to your online shoppers, in the form of free shipping, product recommendations, and discounts, they will be enticed to purchase from your store instead of going to your competitors, and this will lower cart abandonment.

A Cart Abandonment Email Series can help…

Cart abandonment emails can be a great sales recovery tactic. It can help you in retaining your customers who dropped their purchase halfway. By sending timely emails to the abandoners, you can build loyalty and trust in them and prevent them from going to your competitors.

The best practice to retain your lost or uninterested customers is to know the reason for abandoning the cart and then coming up with a suitable solution to bring them back and complete the purchase. This can be done by setting up a proper cart abandonment automation campaign with a series of emails.

How to Set Up a Cart Abandonment Campaign?

You cannot always retain your customers with a single email. There is a lot of clutter and your customers can easily get distracted. To bring them back to your online store, you need to research on their online browsing behavior and purchase pattern, so as to build a full-fledged cart abandonment email campaign. Here are a few steps you need to follow:

Know the reason for Abandonment

Your prospects and customers abandon the carts for various reasons. When they do, try to find out the reason for their abandonment by studying their browsing pattern and past purchases or by asking them to get in touch with you in case of questions and concerns. The reasons for abandonment could be one of these:

  • No intention to purchase
  • Higher shipping/extra costs
  • No express shipping
  • The need to create an account
  • Payment security concerns
  • Complicated checkout process
  • No coupon code
  • Website errors
  • No satisfactory returns policy

Build A Plan

Once you figure out the reason for abandonment, you now need to find a suitable solution to the problem and build a plan to get them interested in the product again. Firstly, keep transparency in your pricing so that those visiting your website do not change their minds at the end due to the additional costs.

Also, make it as convenient as possible for your subscribers. Bugs in your website or app and tedious checkout procedures can cause friction. Provide ‘guest checkouts’ and ask for information at the time of checkout, only if necessary – for quicker and hassle-free transaction process.

Moreover, be available to solve their issues and concerns and provide necessary solution for a seamless customer experience.

Send a Series of Emails

Now that you know the reasons why your customers might abandon products in their cart, you need to build an email automation strategy that would work well in bringing them back. An ideal abandoned cart email series should have three emails sent one after the other, based on the response from your subscriber.

Sending a series of 3 emails with the right combination of customization and solution to their problems will help you increase the abandoned cart recovery rate and retain sales.

1. First Email: Remind your subscribers that they have incomplete purchases

The first email needs to be sent immediately after the customer leaves your website. The ideal time is within an hour as this is the time when the prospects have the need for the product and are still considering options. By giving them a nudge and reminding them to come back to finish checkout, there are more chances of them taking note of your (cart abandonment) emails.

In the first email, mention nothing about other products or offers. This email should be a plain reminder email with just the details of the product abandoned. Here’s one from the brand Lulus. The email features a striking headline and CTA, followed by the product image and details. Check it out:

Subject Line: Your cart is waiting!

First Email- Lulus

Source: Milled

This email also prominently focuses on their contact details, which would help the customers to get in touch with them in case they face any issues.

2. Second Email: Encourage them by giving free shipping or cross-selling similar products

The second email also needs to be sent within 24 hours after the products are abandoned in the cart. If the customer does not open your first email or take any actions after viewing it, you need to immediately send the second email to stay on top of their inbox and mind.

Shipping costs are one of the most common reasons why customers do not complete the purchase. In the second email, offer free shipping. In case the order does not meet your free shipping threshold, try including product recommendations and cross-sell similar products to encourage them to make a purchase. Cross-selling will also increase your average order value, and thereby boost sales.

Here’s an example from Asics which is their second email in the cart abandonment series. The brand gives free shipping, displays the abandoned products and features the best sellers. Take a look:

Subject Line: Don’t get left in the dust

Second Email- Asics

Source: Really Good Emails

Here, the key focus is on Free Shipping and has been mentioned multiple times throughout the email. You can also mention this in the subject line or pre-header text to boost open rates.

3. Third Email: Give Discount Offers or Free Gifts as a last resort

When there is no positive action from the customer even after the second email, then you need to send just one more email as the last try. In this email, try reducing the prices of the abandoned products or discounts, give exciting Offers or provide special gifts. There are chances that such incentives will push the customers over the line to make the purchase.

Also, give them a specific timeline for the Offer, to create a sense of urgency. Mention the offer in the subject line or pre-header text so that it doesn’t go unnoticed. This email below from LovelySkin does just that, offering a free surprise gift along with the purchase. Have a look:

Subject Line: Only 24 Hours Left Until Your Cart Is Gone For Good!

Third Email- LovelySkin

Source: Milled

Focus on creating a sense of urgency and be open to solving their concerns and queries.

Quick Tips for Creating a Winning Cart Abandonment Series

  • Set up a cart abandonment email automation series, instead of sending a one-off cart abandonment email to boost recovery and conversion.
  • Make sure you display the product image, its price and other necessary details in all the emails, to keep the customers on track.
  • Add dynamic and personalized content and images by studying their shopping habits, browsing behavior and the data provided by them.
  • Use striking images and visuals in the form of animation, video or interactivity to engage users and persuade them to take action.
  • Make the CTA prominent and link it to the cart.
  • Include all major details in the subject line and pre-header to make them open the emails.
  • Use a similar theme and typography across all three emails in the series to maintain continuity.
  • Come up with innovative copy and headlines to grab the abandoners’ attention.
  • A/B test your cart abandonment emails with various versions of customizations, send timings and recommendations to see what works best.
  • If the prospects still do not purchase even after the third email, stop sending them any more emails for the abandoned products, as they are more likely to have bought the product from somewhere else.
  • If the cart abandonment rate of your business increases, take timely surveys and ask for suggestions to improve your online store and service.

Wrap Up

If by using a cart abandonment series, you can bring back even 10-20% of your lost customers, you can gain an average revenue of $3,00,000 to $9,00,000. Now that you know why setting up an automation and sending a series is better than creating individual cart abandonment emails, start implementing it for your business.