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Shopping Cart Abandonment: How to Recapture Lost Revenue

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Conversion Optimization

Have you left something behind? Every year, millions of online shoppers add items to their carts and then walk away (or in this case, browse away). The average Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA) rate is over 65% for most online stores. Now that’s a lot of orphaned carts floating around out there! And these missed purchases are the equivalent of millions of dollars in lost revenue for online retailers each year.

So, why are there so many customers choosing not to buy?

There are many reasons why shoppers may leave their carts behind:

1. Confusion or Complexity

Poor site design and bad user experience can cause customers to become confused if they cannot figure out or understand your site’s navigation. In addition, if there are too many steps in your checkout process expect high abandonment rates.

2. Second Thoughts

Customers having second thoughts on making their purchase can lead to abandoned carts. Higher priced or larger items may need some additional time (or persuasion) before committing to the purchase.

3. High Shipping Costs & Complex Returns

Have you ever been super keen to buy a product and then once you go through the entire checkout process you discover how expensive shipping will be? Within that moment you abandon and usually begin searching for alternatives. Customers also abandon cart when they find out what kind of return processes the merchant has, if it’s not simple, why bother going through the hassle?

If you want to try and minimize cart abandonment, then it’s worth reviewing of the above areas of your site. Improving usability will always help, but no matter how easy your checkout process, there will always be carts left behind.

The good news is that there are ways to recover some of those lost sales.

So how do you get them to come back and complete the purchase? Converting an unsure buyer is not always that difficult. They have showed intent to buy, so now give them incentive to finish the job.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Email Campaign

Re-engage customers with personalized messages and incentives through a triggered Shopping Cart Abandonment (SCA) campaign. Remind customers of the items they left behind and give them a reason to come back and purchase them. These types of email campaigns are becoming more and more common and can be very effective.

The sky’s the limit on the how you create these customized messages, so be creative! Test out different combinations of messages, subject lines, timing and offers to see what converts best for your audience. The recommended structure for SCA is a 3 tiered campaign.

3 Tiered Campaigns

First email: sent 3 hours after abandonment.  Personalize the messaging and remind them of the items they left behind.  Keep it simple and show the actual items from that user’s cart. Provide links directly back to the cart to make it as easy as possible for them complete the purchase.

Second email: sent 2 days after abandonment. Give a small incentive. Offer them a percentage off their purchase.

Third email: sent 1 week after abandonment. Give a little more and add some urgency to the messaging.

Offers can be anything you want and it is recommended to test out different offers to gage your audience and determine what will work best for your brand. A common practice to use 5% and then 10%, however free shipping or other discounts are worth exploring.

There will always be abandoned carts and shoppers that need incentive to make a purchase, but with some good creative and clever messaging you can surely recover some of these abandoned sales!

Happy converting!

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