Capture Lost Customers with Content: Cart Abandonment Programs Work

Written by: Chris Donald

The shopping cart. The place where upwards of 80% of purchases go to die. A distressing reminder of a conversion that could have been.

An item in the shopping cart doesn’t mean that the purchase is complete—nor does it mean the prospect is no longer interested in buying your product. If you don’t have a shopping cart abandonment email program in place to spur those customers forward, you’re simply losing customers.

Why do prospects abandon their cart? There are lots of factors that prevent your customers from finishing that purchase:

  • They leave to compare prices
  • Shipping costs are too high
  • They use the cart to save items for later
  • They get distracted
  • Your checkout process is too complicated
  • They use the cart to see the sale price

What should you do to complete the sale?

A cart abandonment email program is a must and a successful cart abandonment email strategy depends on the right mix of content—across one or more emails—sent at the right time.

For a shopping cart abandonment email campaign to be successful, we typically recommend a 3-email series:

  • Triggering the first campaign within 1-2 hours of abandonment
  • Sending the second email within a day or two,
  • Then the third between 3-5 days of the abandonment.

What content works best?

Research states that 54% of shoppers are likely to purchase the products left in their cart if offered again at a discounted price. However, you don’t have to limit yourself to just providing incentives. Potential content or content that can act as a carrot to lure prospects back can be classified into five categories:

1. Financial Incentives – The obvious option, minimizing the cost barrier to stimulate purchase.
2. Shopping Guidance – “Can we help?” messaging to provide access and support
3. Missing Information – Fill in the knowledge gap with detailed product description, shipping times and costs, return policies, warranty information, etc.
4. Emotional Stimulus – Use persuasion techniques like price reductions, offer expirations, product reviews and ratings, etc.
5. Reminder – The simplest and least costly option, sending prospects a gentle reminder about what they left in their cart.

This may seem like a lot, but you can always start small. If you don’t have a program in place, start with a single email. See how that performs.

As you get the hang of it, start tweaking the content accordingly. Plan a full-fledged email series to win back your lost prospects. You will have to learn what works for your customers that generates the most sales for you at the least amount of cost.

Need help building your cart abandonment program? Deploy InboxArmy to construct a cart abandonment program for you! Also get a full Email Marketing Audit to enhance your program.

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies.

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