This is a guest blog from the CartStack, the advanced, yet simple, cart abandonment recovery solution.

There is probably no statistic more annoying to those of us in the eCommerce world than this: 7 out of 10 customers who fill a cart on your website will just leave it there and go off to walk their dog, eat a sandwich or watch cat videos.

The reasons behind this irritating “cart abandonment” statistic are many, varied and hard to pin down. But there are ways to recover at least some of those wanderers. In fact, running an abandoned cart email campaign following these 5 rules can bring back 10 to 20 percent of these distracted shoppers to finish what they started:

1. Retargeting Emails Must Be Quick and Supportive

CartStack’s research shows that sending a cart abandonment email to your distracted shoppers no more than 20 minutes after they walk away will bring the most shoppers back to complete the purchase. Timing is essential. The things they wanted are still fresh in their memories.

Using a supportive, “was-it-our-fault?” tone in the email also increases a cart abandonment email’s effectiveness. The text of the email should be brief but assume that it was something on your website that glitched and that you want to make it right for the customer. A subtly-apologetic tone, enhanced with an offer of help, triggers many shoppers to come back and buy.

Why this works: As much as 88% of people will purchase based on what they perceive as excellent customer service. Step up to the plate here and you delight people into buying.

2. Reach Higher Up into the Sales Funnel with Browse Abandonment Emails

Browse abandonment emails are a little different than cart abandonment emails. You send them to customers who left your website before they even filled a shopping cart. It’s hard to tell why these people bailed after lingering over a product page, but it can be worth an 8 to 7% sales increase to send a browse abandonment email to these customers to encourage them to come back and buy. It may not seem like a lot, but over time, that can make a very positive increase in your sales numbers.

3. Your Cart Abandonment Email Campaign Must Include the Following 3 Elements

These 3 elements, mixed in the proper way, can increase how effective your cart abandonment emails are in real life. You may want to do some A/B testing, and/or use a session replay app such as the screen recordings from CartStack so you can figure out the most compelling way to address shoppers and their behaviour on your website:

Images for Browse Abandonment Emails —The right images can speak to the mind more quickly than words, so make sure your browse abandonment email has a picture of the product the shopper spent the most time hovering over during their visit on your website. Include a clear invitation/link back to the website to purchase.

Images for Cart Abandonment Emails —Again with the images! Along with pictures of what the customer added to their cart, include details such as size, color, etc. – but leave off the price for now.

Social Proof, Star Ratings and Reviews —In other words, peer pressure. For either type of email, include the 5-star ratings and short, but pithy reviews saying why that product is simply fabulous and desirable. This type of social proof is incredibly powerful at tipping customers through checkout.

Also, you can and should experiment with including images of other products that go along with the product in the shopper’s cart as a way to up-sell. Keep in mind that too much data in a cart abandonment email can be distracting, but this is definitely something you’ll want to test.

4. Frighten with Scarcity, Entice with Incentives

People often make purchasing decisions based on two emotional triggers: scarcity and incentives. In other words, if someone left a shopping cart with a sweater or a camera or a book or what have you, include in your cart abandonment email that there are only a few of those items left—and that they’re going fast! This can spur many a fence-sitting shopper into action.

At the same time, you can entice shoppers back with special goodies like free shipping, a discount code or coupon, or some other special offer if they come back to purchase within a set amount of time.

Both of these techniques employ a technique called loss aversion. Psychologically, humans hate the idea of losing something they think they already have more than they hate the idea of gaining a new thing. So, using scarcity and expiring discount codes is one way of triggering shoppers to come back and finish their purchase.

5. Release Them to Avoid Permanent Annoyance

Finally, do not badger your shoppers into annoyance or they may never want to purchase from you. Seeming over-eager and pestering can be a big turn-off. Let the customer know they can unsubscribe anytime. If they’ve lost interest, well… let them go. If you don’t annoy them, they may come back later with a happier attitude to purchase later on.

In the end, following up with browse and cart abandonment emails can bring you a significant return in completed purchases over doing nothing. To learn more about recovering lost sales online, check out CartStack’s eCommerce Conversion Blog here.


About CartStack

90% of online shoppers never make it to the shopping cart & 74% of those that do will leave without completing the purchase. CartStack gives online retailers the power & leverage needed to recapture 30%+ of lost online sales with conversion-focused emails & tools to help optimize checkout flow & site conversion.

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