Each time we want to achieve something we set a goal and it’s absolutely necessary to have it as detailed and clear as possible.
It may sound a bit surprising, but often people have no clear ideas before they start accomplishing a task and that’s usually the main reason they fail. The thing is that a goal is not always the desired result. I mean, if you’d like to sledge down the mountain you need to move the sled most effectively. So, the result you need is pleasure and the goal is to push the sled down.
It's a simple task, but if we have a multi-factor environment the search of that ‘real’ goal may become truly difficult.
Abandoned cart emails is an example of that real life situation, when the result depends on multiple success components. So, if the final result requires to run several subsequent or simultaneous processes, it also demands to set up a number of intermediate and resulting goals.
Why Do Customers Abandon Carts
There is a million of reasons why customers abandon their carts, and we should consider them all. Of course, it’s impossible to remove each of them, still you can try to handle them in the most effective manner as far as usually they arise from only few issues.
Unexpected Costs and Other Price Related Reasons
The statistics show that the biggest number of shoppers abandon carts due to ‘unexpected costs’ related ether to shipping, card processing or other services having nothing to do with products. So, you can handle it in two ways. You can either remove all extra fees and take them as operational costs or include them into the prices, if the surrounding competition allows you that trick.
However, unsatisfactory prices are also among most popular reasons for cart abandonment and include next options: 'found a better price elsewhere' and 'overall price is too expensive'.
In this case, you’ll need to convince customers that additional costs and high prices are compensated by better customer and support services, fast delivery or else, and that you have some other lures able to recover their credibility. For example, bundle discounts, limited time deals or tire reward point systems highlighted in your abandoned shopping cart emails may take the necessary effect.
- “It’s still in your cart. Take advantage of free shipping.”
- “Forgot a wallet in your cart? Better for you. Today you can also grab a phone cover at the same price.”
- “Wait a second. You are almost in our Silver Cohort. Please, take a look at the possible benefits.”
Just Browsing Visitors
At first sight, those visitors are useless as far as they have no intention to purchase something, but you should think about them once again carefully. No one is going to do something without any reason, so at least they have some interest in the products they browse. And, isn’t it the reason to consider them prospects and potential customers?
So, let them know that you have some other items that deserve their attention using related product blocks and highlighting new arrivals, discounted collections or recently viewed items.
- “Since your last visit we’ve updated our collections. Take a look at the items you may also like.”
- “These are the products you viewed during your last visit. Haven’t you found something really interesting?”
Complicated Navigation and Checkout
The next group of the abandonment reasons are related to on-site usability and work stability, including complicated navigation and checkout processes, necessity to register accounts for purchasing, inconvenient shopping, website crashes, website timeouts, etc. Surprisingly, those reasons are multiple and even exceed price related issues.
Of course, you can't turn back the clock in those cases, but it doesn’t mean that you are doomed to suffer from this constantly. Do not hesitate to follow such customers with emails, especially since they had quite a distinct intention to purchase from you.
- “Whatever is the reason to leave your cart unfinished, let us fix it with a great offer…”
- “Give us a second chance to get things right.”
It’s going to be a bit more complicated, if the reason behind the abandonment is bad navigation or complicated checkout. Still, nothing is lost and you can show customers either recently viewed, bestselling or viewed by other customers products equipped with ‘add to cart’ buttons. This way, customers will be able to put items to carts right from the abandoned cart emails avoiding navigation and proceed to checkout immediately.
- “For your convenience we’ve selected the items you viewed last time and the products appreciated by other customers. Add them to your cart immediately and save time.”
Trying to complete their orders customers may face some payment issues or just be unable to complete their purchases due to some technical obstacles. So, as soon as you discover an abandoned shopping cart you should allow customers to know that you are ready to help them immediately if necessary. Also, it’s going to be beneficial to let customers know about your new payment methods or payment security updates. Send them something like:
- “We’ve just noticed that you abandoned a cart in our store. Please let us know if you need some help to complete the purchase.”
- “Glad to notify that now you can also pay with Stripe for your purchases in our store. We have also updated our encryption and tokenization procedures, and now payments are even more secured.”
Unsuitable Delivery and Return Options
This group is rare enough, but we should also consider it among other possible abandonment reasons. Purchasing products customers think about delivery and, naturally, return options since they purchase just a virtual representation of a product, in fact. So, if the returns are difficult or impossible, they will better leave orders incomplete rather than waste their money.
You need to explain that the difficulty of returns is overestimated and in order to succeed they just need to meet several mandatory conditions. It’s going to be just like a following service notification:
- “We provide free shipping, convenient delivery options and easy returns. You can return any product you need following just the main clauses of our Return Agreement.”
Other Abandonment Reasons
Except the provided above ‘business’ reasons quite often customers abandon their carts due to more trivial ones, including ‘distracted suddenly’ or ‘intended to purchase later and forgot about the order’. So, such visitors have all chances to convert into real customers if you follow them without delay.
Studies show that the faster is the first email the better conversion rate it has. For example, the follow ups sent within 20 minutes after the abandonment get on average 5.2% conversion rate, within one hour - 4.5%, and 2.6% conversion rate within 24 hours. So, if you send an email delayed for only one day you will lose 50% of possible sales.
What Will Make Them Change Their Mind
When the reasons that made customers to abandon their carts are removed, comes the turn of the incentives able to turn them back effectively and without negative impact.
To Discount or Not to Discount
Of course, price and cost related incentives are usually most effective, but this tactic is not always undoubtedly beneficial. On the one hand, according to the Marketing Sphera study, 7% of respondents confirm that they always complete their purchases if they get a promotion or discount with an abandoned cart email. It’s great, especially when you know that this way you can increase email conversion rates twice, from 6% to 13%.
But, according to other case studies, the follow ups with and without incentives make almost the same influence on total sales on the long run. Smart Insights unveiled the study, where $3000 of provided discounts didn’t bring any total sales uplift in the two month period and just appeared to become unnecessary net costs.
Of course, this decision is up to you, and we do not call you to neglect price incentives. Still, you should carefully use them in order to avoid manipulations and deliberately abandoned carts.
Design and Usability
Great design and elaborated usability can significantly strengthen your messages and increase conversion rates. The opportunities to create original and convincing emails are multiple, of course, but you can certainly take advantage of the below tested practices:
- Include images of the viewed and related products to your emails;
- Provide customers with ‘add to cart buttons’;
- Make your call to action take customers directly to carts and checkouts;
- Take advantage of funny styles. It always works;
- Make your emails mobile friendly;
- Create urgency with countdowns.
Technically abandoned cart follow up emails are created using numerous recovery email templates tailored either for different customer groups, email chain steps, cart content or triggering events. So, each one of them should be written in different writing styles, voices and tones depending on the circumstances and current goals.
Dedicated and clear subject lines is the next step towards maximal personalization of abandoned cart emails. The lines that perceived immediately as personal appeals are the best ones for any purposes, including abandoned cart recoveries.
Friendly tones and conversations make customers relaxed and remove any possible hostility.
Effective Abandoned Cart Follow Up Email Chains
Taking advantage of all the provided tips, we created several examples of generic abandoned cart email templates going to be effective and convertible for most online stores.
But before, we need to remind you that according to multiple investigations, email chains recover much more abandoned carts than isolated sendings. Naturally several emails have more chances to be opened and recovered. For example, if the first email converts 4.5% of notified customers, subsequent second and third email may generate e.g. 3.5% and 2.5% conversion rates respectively adding additional 5-6% of converted abandoned carts to their initial quantity.
So, we can suggest you the next example of an abandoned cart email timing:
Email 1. 20 Minutes
Notify customers on their abandoned carts and offer them some help to complete purchases.
Email 2. 24 Hours
Show customers the products they viewed and other alternatives from your best selling and most popular products. Remind them about free shipping, fast delivery, and other available benefits.
Email 3. 2 Days
Provide customers with discounts and try to engage them into your loyalty program.
Email 4. 2 Weeks
Take one more try to get customers back highlighting your new collections, new payment options and security enhances, etc.
Taking into account the experience above you can create truly efficient abandoned cart emails. But, for the stores with multiple abandoned carts we offer to automate the entire process and significantly save time and manual efforts.
Magento based stores can take advantage of our Abandoned Cart Email extension for Magento 2. It's automatically sends scheduled emails differentiated by cart contents and customer group conditions. So, customers get highly personalized offers and notifications just at the right time.
Using this extension, you can implement all the described above abandoned cart email strategies and tactics and more, including store view targeting, preview options, test sending modes, etc. As a part of our Small Business Kit the extension is offered for only $79.
You can try the module in action and purchase Abandoned Cart Email in our Magento 2 store.