Even if you’re lucky and hardworking enough to have a successful e-commerce store, you might be losing an important source of income without even knowing about it.
One of the main sources of lost revenue for today’s e-commerce stores is cart abandonment. Potential customers in every industry have a tendency to browse through a website, add some items to their shopping cart, and then leave – never to return.
In fact, statistics aggregated by the Baymard Institute indicate that just under 70% of potential e-commerce customers abandon their shopping carts. That amounts to billions of dollars in lost revenue across the e-commerce industry – how much are you losing?
There is a solution to potential customers leaving you hanging, however. The key is using an email marketing strategy that includes abandoned cart email messages.
Abandoned Cart Emails Win Back Lost Customers
Each customer that abandons a shopping cart leaves you with an important piece of information – their email address. You can use that information to bring them back and make sales that would otherwise be lost forever.
Think of every customer who abandons a shopping cart as an undecided buyer. They like what they see, but something holds them back from simply making the purchase. This can be due to any combination of reasons – the most common of which are listed below:
- High prices
- Lack of time (especially on mobile)
- Shipping costs
- Complicated checkout
- Checkout requires too much data
- Lack of payment options
- Insufficient funds at time of checkout
- Internet connection was cut off, or other technical issues
- Customer not ready to purchase yet
Importantly, customers rarely, if ever, abandon a cart because they don’t want the product they almost ordered. Instead, there is simply an obstacle that prevents them from buying right now. Once you address that obstacle, the customer is perfectly happy to purchase the item.
In this sense, adding an item to the shopping cart is a way to save it for later, like bookmarking the page. However, busy customers tend to lose interest over time and will forget about your store if you don’t take action to remind them.
Five Ways to Use Abandoned Cart Emails to Boost Sales
Use a tool like Segmentify, which integrates with MailChimp and lets you send automated, personalized email messages to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts. With this application, you can begin testing abandoned cart email strategies like the ones listed below.
The Simple Reminder
In this example, the message serves as a simple reminder for the customer to purchase the product they abandoned. This simple strategy makes it easy to recuperate lost sales by focusing specifically on the product that the customer left in his or her cart.
This strategy produces the most results with customers who abandon carts due to insufficient funds, lack of time, or checkout data issues – if they read the email at the right moment, they’ll go through with the purchase.
The Product Recommendation
This is a strategy large online retailers often use to generate sales. E-commerce stores that have access to a large catalog of items can leverage access to similar products to promote items that their customers may not otherwise have found on their own.
At the moment, major retailers use AI to make product predictions with ever-increasing accuracy – using past customer data to determine what new customers are likely to want. This makes the approach well-suited to customers for whom high prices, shipping options, or other issues get in the way of making purchases.
The Special Occasion Promotion
In certain industries and niches, paying close attention to the dates and times when customers make purchases is the key to solving the abandoned cart problem. You can link special holidays, anniversaries, annual vacations, and other events to customer purchases and create personalized recommendations based on customer behavior.
This is a very powerful tool for e-commerce customers that aren’t yet ready to purchase. For them, buying a product is a time-sensitive affair – being aware of this factor can be instrumental for increasing sales.
The Discount Offer
One of the simplest and most effective ways to generate sales through abandoned cart email marketing is by offering discounts to customers who abandon their carts. Creating discount codes is easy – almost every e-commerce platform makes it a one- or two-click affair. It has the ability to give customers the feeling that they are getting a bargain drives sales.
This is a great option for customers who don’t have sufficient funds for the purchases they wish to make, or for whom shipping costs are too high. Giving them a small incentive to make the purchase at a discounted rate is often all you need to make the sale.
The Appeal to Scarcity
One of the most powerful psychological tactics for closing a sale is the appeal to scarcity. This tells customers that they might not be able to get the items they want if they don’t act now. The tactic works beautifully in cart abandonment email campaigns because customers already feel like they might miss out – nobody guarantees that you can keep all items in stock all the time.
This strategy works best when the obstacle preventing the sale from occurring isn’t something you can directly address. Customers who want to compare product reviews but don’t have time might simply purchase if they feel like they’ll lose the item otherwise.
Timing is Key
Since cart abandonment emails rely on a now-or-never mentality, timing is critical to achieving success. Try to send out your emails within 24 hours and pay close attention to the time of day when you send out your emails. Each customer’s unique profile will determine when the best time of day for abandoned cart email contact is – some have free time in the morning, others are most responsive at night.