The Power of Cart Abandonment Emails

Hey eCommerce merchants, if you’re not sending shopping cart abandonment emails, you’re throwing money out the window. The estimated value of abandoned carts in 2015 amounted to $4.975 trillion. The average cart abandonment rate is 68.63%. It’s a cold, hard fact that not everyone who places items in their shopping carts will purchase them. Some abandoners are lost causes. Perhaps they found something better, perhaps they were drunk shopping at 3 am and changed their minds in the harsh morning light of reality – we’ll never truly know. But not all customers who abandon are lost. For other shoppers, it could be technical reasons like the site crashing or they were simply interrupted. There is a high chance that you can recover those sales through the power of an abandoned cart email.

Cart Abandonment

Let’s look at the potential of these simple, but effective emails:

According to SaleCycle,

  • Nearly half (46.1%) of all abandoned cart emails are opened.
  • 13.3% of all abandoned cart emails are clicked.
  • 35.3% of clicks lead to a recovered purchase back on site.
  • The AOV (average order value) of recovered purchases is 19% higher than typical purchases.
  • Every recovery email sent delivers over $5 in revenue.

What you should include:

  • A clear subject line. Of course, it would be best if you can have both but if it comes to it, choose clarity over creativity. Here are some subject line ideas:
    • Oops… Was there a problem checking out?
    • Your Saved Basket
    • You didn’t complete your purchase…
    • We’ve saved your basket for you…
    • Your [Company Name] Shopping Basket
    • 5% Off Your [Company Name] Order
    • Come Back and Save 10% Off Your Order
  • Persuasive copy: evoke emotions to get them to return to their shopping cart (i.e. urgency with low stock alerts).
  • Compelling visuals: show don’t tell customers what they could be missing out on.
  • The item(s) they left behind: price, color, size, etc.
  • A clear CTA such as “Go back to basket” or “Continue to Checkout”.
  • The link that takes them back to their saved cart.

You can also include:

  • A discount incentive (because who wouldn’t say yes to some savings?). A discount such as free shipping can lower the barrier to check-out for those customers that were hesitant over price. Many customers don’t take into account extra costs such as taxes and shipping. The top reason for abandonment is unexpected shipping costs.
  • Guarantees to save their items for a limited time. Customers are more likely to take action when they know that popular items are being held for them.
  • Related recommendations. You have a great opportunity to upsell other products. This is especially helpful if they’re no longer interested in the item they put in their shopping cart.
  • Your return policy to reassure them that they have options if they aren’t satisfied with the product(s).
  • Customer reviews of the item as social proof.
  • Mobile-friendly emails because consumers consume content on the go.

Timing is key:

Don’t wait more than 24 hours before you send out the reminder email because you risk the customer going to a competitor or losing the emotional attachment to the item. 22 minutes after abandonment is the magic number. According to SaleCycle:

  • Emails sent 20 minutes after abandon had a 5.2% conversion rate.
  • Emails sent after an hour had a 4.5% conversion rate.
  • Emails sent after 1-4 hours had a 3.6% conversion rate.
  • Emails sent after more than 24 hours had a 2.6% conversion rate.

You can also send more than one email but make sure you don’t inundate customers with too many messages. If you want to send more than one, two is probably the safest. The discount incentive is best saved for the second email. While discounts are a strong motivator for consumers to purchase, you should think about only offering it to those whose potential sales meet a minimum value or else you risk losing revenue.

Omnichannel magic

Cart abandonment emails are powerful on their own as a tool to recover sales but it also functions as a cog in the overall omnichannel experience. Consumers jump around from channel to channel, both researching and purchasing. An omni-channel experience helps facilitate the modern consumer’s shopper habits. Consider this: a customer is browsing on their laptop, putting some items in their shopping cart but decides to hold off on buying. Later, they open the shopping cart reminder email on their phone, clicks through and purchases, and opts to pick up in store. The customer moved through multiple channels and each transition was uninterrupted, aided by the help of the cart abandonment email.

Shopping cart abandonment emails are a simple yet effective tool that every eCommerce merchant should consider implementing. Any sales you recover are sales that would have been lost if you had not taken any action.

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