Imagine yourself as a storeowner with 1,000 visitors per day. Your store has a good amount of foot traffic coming through, sales associates are busy helping customers, and everyone is able to find what they are looking for. Now imagine that over 600 of those people went to your checkout counter with a product, made it all the way to the register, and then mysteriously put their product(s) down on the counter and left without making a purchase. Now try to imagine not saying anything to that customer to win them back and letting them walk right out the door!
Shopping Cart Abandonment: The Struggle is Real
If you have an eCommerce site this is the reality you are faced with every day. A 2014 study by Fireclick showed that over 60% of visitors to an eCommerce site added something to their shopping cart, but never completed their order. And depending on your company this could mean millions of dollars left in shopping carts each and every day!
This is what we call shopping cart abandonment, and I am here to show you how you can recover some of those sales through a Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA) email marketing campaign.
With a variety of different email marketing solutions out there, the complexity and capability of your shopping cart abandonment campaign can vary drastically, but the overall strategy remains fairly constant for those using it. Here are my 4 things to consider for a successful SCA campaign.
Your SCA emails should contain enough engaging information to convince the customer to return to the site and complete their purchase. Below are some of the main points to consider when creating a shopping cart abandonment email.
- Product Images: Since online shopping is so visually based, be sure to entice those potential return customers with images of “the one that got away” – i.e. the product they abandoned
- Call to Action: This call to action should be a link back to your shopping cart. Lots of retailers make the mistake of assuming that a link on the product photo will suffice, but best practice is to include checkout-like button in the email such as Complete Order or Return to Cart.
- Customer testimonials (when applicable): Never under estimate the power of customer testimonials. If you are not a powerful brand that supersedes the reliance on customer testimonials, then a few positive reviews can help wonders to get people back to their cart.
- Contact Information: Most customers abandon a cart due to unanticipated costs or a lack of information. Help to combat this by giving them an opportunity to reach out directly to your company with any questions or concerns.
- Humor: Shopping cart abandonment might not be new to you reading this, but it is definitely something that the average consumer doesn’t know exists. These shopping cart abandonment emails are seen as a pleasant surprise to people receiving them for the first time, so if humor fits into your overall branding go ahead and use it!
The average Shopping Cart Abandonment campaigns sends 1-3 email follow-ups to clients over the course of 3-7 days with varying wait times in between. Some of the more common frequencies seen in SCA campaigns today is:
- First email sent within 24 hours
- Another email sent after 72 hours – if no action made on previous email
- A final email after 5-7 business days – if no action made on previous email
Tracking Opens and Activity– When designing and building your SCA campaign you will want to be sure to track opens and clicks to keep track of people who actually open and click through the email. Once someone has opened and clicked through an SCA email you generally want to terminate any subsequent sends to avoid frustrating a customer or making them feel like your SCA emails are ‘spammy’ instead of helpful.
The decision on whether or not to include a promotion or discount on your SCA follow-up emails has been a popular debate in eCommerce circles recently. There is a common thought that if you include discounts in your follow up emails you can actually hurt your conversion. This happens by word-of-mouth where your potential customers have become aware of this easy to obtain discount and would rather leave an item in their cart for a possible discount rather than simply purchasing the product the first time.
This is, of course, more likely to happen for larger and more powerful brands, since they have larger market penetration, higher social media engagement, and are generally seen by more people than your smaller websites. However this is a pattern that can happen to any website, so be sure to put some thought into this topic.
Just like every other aspect of your eCommerce website be sure to track your data and review your analytics! There is valuable information to be gained when you review and analyze your data, and optimizing your SCA campaigns frequency, content or discounts to suit your businesses needs is normally quite simple regardless of the platform you are using.
In considering these 4 pillars, and utilizing your own marketing research and existing business knowledge, you will be able to properly engage those customers who left items in their cart and generate revenue, which would otherwise be lost. Be sure to put thought into your campaign, and be sure to monitors its results for continued success. You can do it!