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Lisa Manthei
Lisa Manthei

“68% of all e-commerce visitors abandon their shopping cart.” (Baymard Institute)

Automate Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails

Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for ecommerce companies, with Ecommerce Managers all fighting for their consumers diminishing attention. Ecommerce Marketers are challenged with increasing their marketing spend effectiveness and here’s how to tackle the challenge.

The key question here is – how do you win back lost revenue? In this post, we’ll explain how automating your shopping cart abandonment emails will help do this.

Firstly, the objective is to find a marketing automation provider who can run the entire abandoned shopping cart strategy through advanced ecommerce tracking. This may sound expensive, but fortunately, most providers offer this as a standard package, and what’s more, the same all-encompassing strategy can be applied throughout the lifecycle. That’s all ‘welcome’, ‘upsell and cross-sell’, and ‘reactivation’ campaigns.

For now, let’s focus on shopping cart abandonment. It may initially be tempting to send the first email campaign immediately after the basket is abandoned, but extant research suggests this actually unsettles customers. However, we have found that a subtle reminder anywhere between 1 and 4 hours after abandonment tends to be the optimum time.

Automated email campaigns vary greatly depending on the product you are selling, however, when in doubt, A/B testing can determine the optimum timescale for your products. And, if you’re really lucky, the marketing automation provider you partner with will have prebuilt programs ready to go.

This will enable you to run the program how it is or use it as a starting point and customize it to your unique requirements.

How Difficult Is It to Implement Cart Abandonment Campaigns?

Your marketing automation provider will send you a code to embed in the checkout and confirmation pages of your website. When an email subscriber places something in the basket and does not go through with the purchase, the first email would be triggered at a predetermined timescale decided by you. The benefit is that the email subscriber would not need to sign-in again to their existing account to trigger the email, which makes the process a lot simpler and we know that ease in ecommerce is priceless.

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What Should the Email Contain?

The contents of your shopping cart abandonment email must be carefully considered. After all, you are trying to get the customer to come back. That’s a big task. Make sure your email contains the following:

  • Don’t Lose Their Attention: Incentivize the email with free shipping or discounts to encourage them to return and purchase. Be aware of advertising and other promotions on your site so the customer doesn’t become distracted.
  • Read the Signs: They’ve chosen an item because they want it there and then. Time sensitive offers are highly effective way of encouraging them to continue with the purchase.
  • Contextual Relevance: You’ve got the timing right, make sure the products are too. You know what they intended to buy; why not include images of items to complete the purchase, up-sell, cross-sell. Sell, sell, and sell!
  • Customize It: It’s not all about product recommendations, the accompanying copy needs to be customized and relevant. Remembering someone’s name can make all the difference, and the customer has already provided their first name, last name, email address and preferences, put them to good use.
  • Keep It Simple: Consumers like things that are simple, if they click on a link that returns them directly to the shopping cart, they’ll be more likely to purchase.
  • Automate:  Automated email campaigns are also a great way to grow your customer directory. If someone places a product in the basket who is not an email subscriber they will need to register as a new user on this page, after which you will have their email address. The benefits of this are that the closer someone comes to placing the order the more likely they are to be a serious buyer, so the closer to confirmation that the user can be before the abandoned email is sent, the better.

It is worth mentioning some providers take commission from orders that are placed through the abandoned basket emails. However, these companies are usually amongst the less reputable and should, therefore, be treated with caution.

Who Should Automate Abandoned Shopping Cart Emails?

The short answer is that all ecommerce companies should instigate this practice. But according to the Econsultancy Email Marketing Census an astonishing 67% of companies have not yet implemented an automated abandoned shopping cart email campaign.

If you’ve got a large product database, abandoned shopping cart emails can be a fantastic vehicle for promoting products low in stock. If you’re already sending triggered emails such as birthday or newsletter campaigns and tracking ROI, the benefits of abandoned cart email follow-ups will very likely come as a welcome surprise.

Final Thoughts

Shopping cart abandonment rates continue to be an ongoing problem for major brands. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple solution to completely eliminate the issue, but by heeding the advice above you’ll have a greater chance of seeing a reduced rate for your brand.

Want more information on how to reduce your shopping cart abandonment? Below are some additional posts you might like to read:

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