Abandoned shopping carts and eCommerce all to often go hand in hand.
Let’s face it, if you own an ecommerce site, you can expect to have some sort of abandoned cart rate. That does not mean you have to accept that abandonment rate though. You can (and should) implement strategies to recover some of those potential lost sales. If you are not doing anything to try to recover them, then you need to think about starting.
A cart is considered abandoned when a potential customer adds items to their cart, starts the checkout process, but fails to complete that process.
After testing various strategies for one site, I found a mix that yielded a 51% recovery rate of previously abandoned carts. In addition to the carts that were recovered, we were able to gather superior feedback on why others did not elect to complete their purchase.
Using this information, we were able to make further adjustments to the site that reduced future cart abandons and helped increase conversion.
According to industry reports, the average abandoned cart rate for ecommerce sites ranges between 55% and 70%. Many of those visitors abandon at different places, with most coming during the checkout process itself. Recovering a portion of those abandoned carts can add sales to your bottom line that would have normally been lost.
There are all kinds of reasons why a user may abandon the shopping process including:
- Poor site design
- Lack of direction and communication
- Lack of proper customer assurances
- Site credibility
- and more…
Recovering Carts: Finding The Right Mix
When crafting solutions that attempt to recover sales from abandoned carts, you should test various tactics to find the right mix that works for your site. What works for one market may not necessarily work for others. Generalities may be present that can be implemented across multiple markets, however, it will come down to how each demographic responds to your message that will ultimately determine which tactic or tactics work best for your store.
I found that through my testing, the best mix was to send an email within 2 – 4 hours after the cart was abandoned. I wanted to try to recover the sale while the initial transaction was still fresh in their mind
In the “From” section of the email I used the name of the website. In the subject line I used the following text: “Question about your recent shopping experience with us.” The body of the email included the items that were in their shopping cart when they abandoned, asked them to help by telling us why they abandoned the cart, and reminded them that since the cart was saved, they could quickly and easily complete their purchase by coming back to the site.
Ideas on Where to Start
Depending on the technology implemented, eCommerce store owners fall into one of two boats when it comes to cart recovery. Those that have the ability to track and contact visitors who have abandoned their cart, and those that don’t have the technology in place to do this.
Either way, here are a few thoughts on what you can do to generate more sales no matter what your technology allows.
- If your ecommerce technology has a cart recovery system in place (one that allows you to see those users and contact them) use it. Test various time frames and copy for sending email reminders. Try different subject lines, various offers and incentives for recovering and closing the sale. Equally important is to listen to those that respond to you with reasons why they did not complete the process. Use that information to make the needed adjustments on your site to avoid future abandons for that same reason.
- If you do not have a program in place that allows you to see and contact those users who have abandoned their carts, but you know they are abandoning, then start with your analytics. Find the main areas these users are leaving and address those pages first. Look for problems with design, wording, presence of customer assurances, etc…
Where your site lacks them, add them. You may not be able to recover those carts who have abandoned already, but you may be able to reduce the number of future abandons by making the proper changes to avoid it before it happens.