What Is It and How To Retarget Shopper

Abandoned Cart Email: What Is It and How To Retarget Shoppers

Imagine that you walked into a store, picked out an item, put it in your shopping cart, and then left the cart in the middle of the aisle and started to leave the store. What might happen? 

Well, first of all, you might get some strange looks. But a retail employee might also say something to the tune of, “You forgot something!” or “Are you still interested in this item, or can I put it back?”

Shopping online, of course, is a significantly different experience. While you don’t have retail employees who can attempt to solidify the sale before a shopper leaves, there’s another way ecommerce brands can capitalize on a consumer’s strong intent to buy: abandoned cart automation.

So, what exactly is an abandoned cart email, how do you implement an abandoned cart automation, and why should you consider a cart abandonment strategy? Keep reading to find answers to all of your abandoned cart questions, plus a few abandoned cart examples from brands that are doing it right

Why is Shopping Cart Abandonment a Problem for Retailers? 

In the same way that adding an item to a physical shopping cart in a store signifies a shopper is probably going to make a purchase, adding an item to an online shopping cart is a heavy indication that the consumer is interested in the item. But that sale doesn’t always come to fruition immediately.

In fact, setting up a cart abandonment email can be the difference between making the sale and losing it, whether your shopper forgot to complete their purchase, sought out options from another brand, or just didn’t have their credit card nearby.

Still not convinced? Here are a few online shopping cart abandonment statistics that may change your mind:

According to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is approximately 70 percent.

Even more, people abandon their carts when shopping from their phones. Mobile devices see an average shopping cart abandonment rate of over 85 percent, according to Barilliance.

Forrester Researcher suggests that Ecommerce brands may lose up to $18 billion in yearly sales revenue from abandoned carts.

Clearly, shopping cart abandonment is a major problem for online retailers. But how can an abandoned cart strategy help, and do abandoned cart emails work? Great questions.

Abandoned cart emails have great conversion rates. Consumers open 45 percent of cart abandonment emails and 50 percent of the users who click make a purchase, according to Moosend.

All in all, cart abandonment emails have a purchase rate that’s slightly higher than 10 percent. This means that implementing an abandoned cart email automation can only help you convert more customers who you may have otherwise lost, for whatever reason.

Now that you’re aware of the value of abandoned cart emails, let’s take a closer look at what they are and how to set up abandoned cart automation.

So, What is an Abandoned Cart Email? 

An abandoned cart email is an email (or a series of emails) that shoppers receive after they’ve added an item to their online shopping cart without making a purchase; either they left the website without checking out, or they haven’t purchased after a certain amount of time. For example, if an item is sitting in a shopper’s cart for five hours without them making a purchase, you can safely assume they aren’t still actively shopping.

There are a million reasons that shoppers might leave your site after adding an item to their cart and not purchasing. Regardless of the reason for abandonment, an abandoned cart email can remind them that they were interested in your products. These emails can also entice them to purchase with a special offer or through some other strategy (more on that later).

Most abandoned cart emails are automated, which means that they’re sent to shoppers based on certain triggers that are set up by someone, whether it’s you, an email marketing specialist, or someone else on your team. Many modern email service providers (ESPs) and even some ecommerce platforms allow you to send cart abandonment automation and will often even have pre-made templates for you to use.

How to Create an Abandoned Cart Automation 

When creating an abandoned cart automation, there are two behaviors you need to be able to identify and track:

  1. When a shopper starts checkout, and

  2. When a shopper completes or doesn’t complete their order. 

When someone starts the checkout process but doesn’t complete their order, that’s when you should send out your abandoned cart email. 

There are a few other things to consider when creating an abandoned cart automation:

How many emails will be in your abandoned cart email series? (Klaviyo recommends 2-3)

How will you grab attention with your subject line?

How long do you want to wait to follow up with your shopper about their abandoned item?

What content are you going to include in your abandoned cart emails?

How are you going to encourage people to complete checkout? Are you simply reminding them of their cart or will you present a special offer?

Should you further segment your abandoned cart automation in any way?

Additionally, in order to send out an abandoned cart email, you first need to collect the shopper’s email address. In the case that they’re a first-time shopper and you don’t already have a customer profile, you can set up either a pop-up or embedded form to collect email addresses. From there, it’ll be easy for you to automatically follow up with these shoppers if they happen to leave your store without purchasing the items in their cart.



Abandoned Cart Emails: 6 Effective Strategies and Best Practices 

So, how do you win back a shopper who added your product to your cart and then left your site without clicking that confirm purchase button?

There are a few abandoned cart recovery strategies that you can use to entice consumers to come back, but it’s also important to understand why people abandon carts in the first place. While some of these issues may be more of an indication of your company website’s user experience, they can inform your abandoned cart strategy and how you choose to tempt shoppers back to your site, too.

You can see from Baymard Institute’s research that half of the respondents in their study claim that the top reason they abandon their carts is that extra costs like shipping and taxes are too high.

1. Present a Simple Reminder

Sometimes shoppers just aren’t quite ready to make a purchase when they add the item to their cart, as Baymard Institute’s data shows. Giving shoppers a little nudge can remind them of how great your product is and often entice them to make the purchase.

Additionally, in the same study, Baymard Institute found that over 58 percent of US online shoppers have abandoned a cart because they were just browsing and/or weren’t ready to buy.

2. Offer a Discount

Perhaps the most popular way to reel shoppers back in if they’re on the fence about buying is to offer a discount for a certain dollar amount or percentage off their first purchase.

3. Offer Free Shipping

As you may have noticed in the research above, a lot of the time shoppers don’t go through with checkout due to shipping costs. This means that sometimes converting shoppers to customers can be as easy as offering free shipping. This also has the added benefit of not cheapening your brand with a discount, if that’s something you’re worried about.

4. Show Related Products

One thing to consider with your abandoned cart strategy is the possibility that, even if someone added an item to their cart, they’re not totally sold on that item in particular. This presents a great opportunity to introduce shoppers to more products they may not have discovered yet.

5. Include Social Proof

You have to earn the trust of shoppers who might not be familiar with your brand yet. What better way to do that than by including ratings and reviews of the product they have their eyes on?

You can accomplish this by promoting your best sellers and similar products, or by making product recommendations based on the item a shopper already added to their cart.

That’s why another great way to convert potential buyers is with social proof. Social proof can influence consumers to purchase by using customer testimonials to communicate the value of your products and create fear of missing out (FOMO) with window shoppers.

6. Integrate your Loyalty Program

As previously discussed, sometimes shoppers are just browsing or not ready to buy, even if they add something to their cart. But, if you don’t want to offer a discount or free shipping, there’s another way you can convince customers to pull the trigger with their next purchase: by using loyalty points they’ve accumulated.

While many of these abandoned cart strategies are ideal for the acquisition of first-time purchasers, this is a great retention strategy you can implement with current customers who abandon an item (as long as your brand has a loyalty program built out).

Implementing user-generated content (UGC) in your abandoned cart emails is a great way to show shoppers how your customers use your products.

Including an FAQ at the bottom of the email is another great way for the brand to alleviate common purchase barriers by getting ahead of questions shoppers might ask.

Abandoned Cart Recovery: The Key to a Better Follow-up with your Customers

Some shoppers will add an item to their cart with no intention to complete their purchase, whether they found another option they like better or just decided that they don’t need the product at the moment. But, for many, that’s not necessarily the case.

There are plenty of distractions when people are browsing online, so if there’s a chance to win shoppers back with a simple follow-up email, why wouldn’t you? Having an abandoned cart recovery strategy is the best way to recover potentially lost revenue and ensure you’re not leaving money on the table.

Plus, they make your life easier! By allowing marketing automation to do the heavy lifting for you with your abandoned cart emails, you can focus on growing your business and watching your revenue soar.

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