Cart abandonments have become the bane of e-commerce businesses. In addition to costing e-tailers 2 to 4 trillion every year, cart abandonments are on the rise across all industries and demographics.
A recent research done by Baymard Institute shows the following as the top reasons why buyers abandon their shopping carts:
Marketing experts claim that making necessary tweaks to the checkout page design and navigation can increase the sales conversion rate by as much as 36%. Therefore, if you can see the possibility of improving a few of these customer complaints in your e-commerce shop, you are already on a good start.
Abandoned carts by themselves are not entirely a lost cause. Every cloud has a silver lining, and in the case of abandoned shopping carts, it’s the potential to tap into the thousands of dollars of revenue from these carts that somehow managed to leaked through your sales funnel. And it’s not just about money; it’s a chance for you to engage with your customers better and restore meaningful relationships with them.
Emails are, undisputedly, the best lifeguards in the wild waters of e-commerce drop-offs when it comes to recovering lost cart abandonments. Multiple marketing surveys across industries have found that shoppers open more than 40% of abandoned cart emails and click-through more than 50% of the open emails. Those are huge numbers for any e-commerce business to ignore.
Of course, there are other ways such as sending push notifications, triggered live chat application messages, sending text messages, or deploying retargeting ads to make customers come back to finish their checkout. But emails are still the most effective contenders to recover abandonment carts, especially in conjunction with the above mentioned techniques.
What are abandoned cart emails?
Abandoned cart emails are attempts by a brand to entice lapsed customers into completing their purchase journey that they left mid-way. It’s a way for brands to reconnect with customers who deserted their shopping carts and convincing them to go through the entire journey. Below, we have plenty of examples to elucidate on what are abandoned cart emails.
Crafting abandoned cart emails is no joke, though. They have to restore a customer’s trust for a purchase and push them to go through the checkout without any friction.
Ingredients of a great abandoned cart email
Take a few moments to recall the various reasons why a buyer abandons a shopping cart. Complicated navigation, lack of trust in the website, unmet customer expectations, so on and so forth. Shoppers abandon carts not because they lose interest in items they so carefully added to their carts, but because of an unexpected hiccup.
Emails can intervene as the right catalyst to fix those issues. Abandoned cart emails can put the buyers back in touch with the items that are still awaiting checkout.
Here are a few must-have tips to include in your abandoned cart emails so that your recovery process becomes more fool-proof.
1. Trigger a recall
The abandoned cart email that you send should be a follow-up job, not a surprise visit to a customer’s inbox. It shouldn’t read like an ad copy that a customer is seeing for the first time. It should connect the dots in the buyer’s head and bring them back to the time when they left something incomplete, i.e., leaving the cart items. Perhaps, that will make them feel a tinge of guilt in their heart about being so reckless.
2. Make them go “wow” with your copywriting
Winning back lost customers is like winning the trust of a loved one once again; you have to right the wrongs and say all the right words to make them fall in love with you again. Using humor to your advantage is a great way to achieve this because it feels personal and it increases the chances of customers liking you again, but it’s harder to pull off humor. Just don’t cross the line and keep it in good taste.
3. Create an urgency
It’s marketing in general to play with people’s psychology on scarcity and urgency, and it works like a charm in the case of abandoned cart emails. However, I would caution you to keep it real and not create artificial urgencies that your marketing campaign doesn’t actually include.
4. Give them reasons to come back
Incentivise their return—either monetarily or emotionally. Send abandoned cart emails with discount codes, credit coupons for their next purchases, or flattering praise about how it will make the customer feel eventually.
5. Personalize their journey
Although your abandoned cart email is most likely going to be an automated trigger email campaign, there is no reason why you can’t personalize its tone. <stat> If you can personalize the nitty-gritty of the email like a shopper’s name and purchase history, that’s great. If you can’t, you can still make it read very personal with the help of a great copywriting.
6. Let them know everything is under control
If a customer isolated their shopping cart because of a technical snag on your website, you should have the insight to monitor such events. You should also set up a “we-fixed-it” email campaign to automatically follow-up on customers who went through the ordeal. You can go a step further and offer options for them to contact you instantaneously in case they still have some apprehensions.
7. Make your UI/UX seamless
If customers abandoned a shopping cart, it’s possible that they faced a problem with the checkout page, payment gateway, or something else. Your email should solve that problem instead of making the process more complicated. Make sure the email resembles your website UI and the links in your email work perfectly and land to the right pages.
8. Follow-up email
You can send an abandoned cart email just once, or set it up as an email cadence for increased impact. Remember what Earl Nightingale had to say about the power of repetition: “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.”
Don’t abandon your hope just yet
Abandoned shopping carts are full of hope and dreams, not only for the customers but for your brand too. The majority of shoppers who abandon their carts are just on the fence about their checkout, and nudging them with a little bit of positive affirmation goes a long way. Emails fill that gap nicely and can give repeated second chances for customers to complete what they left unfulfilled earlier.
And when customers do click-through your emails and land on the checkout page, make sure you have the red carpet rolled out for them. Create the right kind of engagement touchpoints for them to feel great about their return to your website. For example, use live chat for your e-commerce store to engage with them on a personal level so that there are no missed connections this time around.
(Cover illustration and images by Karthikeyan Ganesh and GIF by Akshay Panneerselvam)