If you are not utilising abandoned cart email as a way to prevent lost sales, now is the time to look at how easy it is to lose a customer forever. According to UK web research company, Baynard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is an astounding 67.45%. That means that 67 out of 100 customers are likely to leave your store without finalising their purchase.
If you are not doing anything to stop those customers from leaving for good, you are missing out on a massive chance to reduce lost sales. What makes this study especially interesting is that it collates a huge number of studies on abandoned cart email rates over the last few years. Some of these studies indicate an even higher rate of close to 80%. One reason for the variation is that there are many different factors that influence shopping cart abandonment.
In order to find out where your cart recovery email efforts are going wrong, it is first important to understand why customers leave their carts before completing checkout.
Statista has a great list of some of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment, which include major reasons such as:
Although this number decreased between 2016 and 2017, over 50% of carts are still left after shoppers were confronted with unexpected costs. Shipping costs can be hugely off-putting to customers, while hidden costs not clearly stated on product pages are equally frustrating. To avoid this, add your shipping cost to your final price and offer free shipping.
In 2017, 40% of carts were left because shoppers were not yet ready to purchase. Many customers browse without buying until they feel ready to complete the purchase. They may return a few times before finalising the purchase. This is where trust comes in to help. You could display FAQ, quality seals, customer reviews, product videos, and any other content that may put customer minds at rest in your abandoned cart emails.
Around 38% customers who left their carts were doing product research. Customers in this stage may leave to come back again, or they may leave and head to a competitor. Factors that could influence the decision include outstanding customer service, incentive to purchase, such as a bonus or special offer, related products, personalised emails, and useful content that helps position your store in a way that drives trust.
Now that we've covered some of the biggest reasons for abandoned carts, let's take a look at some of the reasons why your abandoned cart email strategy may no longer be working as it should.
Why Your Abandoned Cart Email Strategy is Failing
Carts left at checkout are, needless to say, a major conversion killer that can impact on revenue drastically. When we think about the fact that around 67 out of 100 purchases are not completed, it is easy to see why this is cause for concern. Although you cannot completely eradicate abandoned carts, there are a few ways that you can reduce the impact by targeting customers who have left without sealing the deal. If you have been battling to see any difference even after planning emails that target uncompleted purchases, here are a few mistakes that you may be making with your abandoned cart email strategy.
1. Not timing the emails correctly
Timing is everything. In the case of this campaign, timing is especially important. You may have spent a huge amount of resources, effort and time creating beautiful emails that target customers perfectly, but if your timing is off, you will likely not see any results. To use an example, a customer may be researching gift ideas a few days before Valentine's Day. They may leave their cart to look somewhere else. If you wait 24 hours or more to send them an email with tailored Valentine's Day gifts, it will likely be too late.
Although there is no fixed best time, it is always a good idea to think carefully about the type of products, the sense of urgency, and even the price of your product when deciding on the right time. For products that require little research, such as lower value items, a shorter lead time of a few hours will be fine. For products that require more thought, such as higher-value items, sending within the first 24 hours will be perfect. The best way to determine what works is to test, test and test again.
2. Sending just a single mail
Automating a single email and forgetting about it is also a mistake. This type of email requires a bit more thought and planning. An email series is the best way to get full value from your email, with a far higher chance of conversion compared to a once-off email. The first email could act as a simple reminder of the items in the customer's cart. Additional emails could include links to important content, such as FAQ, return policies, payment options or product videos. You could also send customers an exclusive incentive, such as a one-time sign-up discount or a percentage off their sale when completing the process. Once again, A/B testing is the best way to determine what works with these types of emails.
3. Failing to personalise your emails
If you are sending the exact same message to every single shopper, you are missing out on the chance to genuinely convert customers. The simplest way to target cart leavers properly is to segment your list, with different lists for brand new subscribers and those who have shopped at your store before, as well as those who have signed up previously without spending or completing purchases. This will help you create personalised emails that are better suited to the shopper, rather than simply sending out a generic email that may not have the same results. You could entice a new shopper with a discount, but an existing shopper may require a different approach, such as express shipping.
4. Emailing too often
Frequency capping is the best way to prevent emailing cart leavers again and again to no avail. Because these emails are not designed to be sent frequently, they should not ever be annoying. This is no time to automatically add shoppers to a list. You are reminding shoppers that they have left items in their cart, not marketing to them indefinitely. Make sure that you cap frequency to 3 or 4 emails at the most, after which the lead is removed from your list or moved to a cold lead list. It is also a good idea to not send out promotional and cart recovery emails on the same day to the same person.
5. Not testing your cart recovery email campaigns
Testing is essential to determine whether your efforts are hitting their mark or not. Many things can affect your results, from timing to your offer, abandoned cart email subject line, personalisation, call to action or even your actual products. Split testing is the best way to fine-tune your strategies and perfect your email as you go, with regular, consistent testing required to see genuine results. Try splitting your list into segments, testing different subject lines, offers, CTAs and other variables. You can then determine which have better results and which do not perform as well.
6. Not including product recommendations
Adding in product recommendations can make a huge difference in your conversion. Try to include similar or related products to those that have been left to get the best results. Adding random products or top sellers may end up doing more harm than good if the product is not what the shopper was viewing in the first place. Looking for more ways to fine-tune your email marketing efforts?
Get in touch with the Grapevine Interactive team to learn how to take your abandoned cart email strategy to the next level in 2018.