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How to Convert Abandoned Carts to Online Sales

Understanding Cart Abandonment

What stops potential customers from abandoning their online shopping cart? There are actually quite a few factors that result in customers throwing the towel in the air and deciding it really isn’t worth the bother dealing with the rest of the checkout process. Having to create a new user account, confusing checkouts, concerns about payment checkout and an unexpected shipping/transport/delivery cost can really kill the experience. It’s our job as online marketers to instil trust and if the user doesn’t feel comfortable providing their credit card information, our only option is to show them that we mean business – but in a friendly, approachable way.

So, what can we do as marketers to convince them to revisit their carts? How do we tap into the shopper’s interest with relevant, personal messages to draw them back in? How do we add adequate value so that the customer gives us another try? We do it using a strategically crafted recovery email that firstly, grabs the reader’s attention, keeps them on their toes with value-based copy and lastly, offer product recommendations that are personalised according to the shopper’s past on-site behaviour.

Change the subject line

Sending the follow-up email is easy but getting noticed in the inbox might be a little harder. Choose a subject line that compels the reader to read the next line. You do need to realise that not all users abandoned their carts on purpose. Websites can crash, time out while loading or life happens, and they get distracted. That’s why the title should be snappy, funny or even a little indirect to create some mystery.

Focus on the added benefits

From straightforward discounts to free shipping, it’s a great way for the customer to capitalise on the goodwill of the brand. Let’s face it, everyone likes a good deal and getting a little bit of discount can be the last lure you need to finalise the sale. Another way to approach it is layering urgency onto the basic combo with expiring coupons to urge a real-time reason to act instead of postponing the sale.

Product recommendations

While every abandoned cart email needs compelling copy and an easy way to get back to the cart, why not through in a little added feature? Add extra value through personalised recommendations based on past on-site behaviour or cross-sales that show products frequently bought together. If done successfully, it can increase both the click-through rate and average order value.

Cart Abandonment

Persistency is key and while sending the right follow-up email at the right time might spark some interest, it still doesn’t guarantee an immediate sale. While some marketers believe in following a less aggressive approach – possibly sending one follow-up email for fear of being marked as spam or unsubscribed from, there’s one thing you need to remember: Customers react to value. If they see you spend time reaching out to them, they might be more inclined to take the bait. The trick is to make the emails valuable, relevant and timely. But when is the right time to send a follow up email?

Follow-up email sequence

  • 1st email: 1 hour after abandonment
  • 2nd email: 4-36 hours after abandonment
  • 3rd email: 72 hours after cart abandonment

We recommend that you don’t wait more than 24 hours before sending out the first email. It’s also a good strategy to send follow-up emails at exactly the same time just days apart. Remember, not everyone works shifts or shops during peak times. If they had enough time to add things to their cart, typically it should indicate that they are active online at that time.

An abandoned shopping cart should be seen as part of the increasingly complex series of steps a consumer might take before finally making a purchase and a strong indicator of consumer interest in a product or a brand. If you’re interested in what we can do to help improve the way you communicate with your customers contact FGX for a quote.