Welcome to the second column of the website personalization series. Today we will talk about using cart abandonment emails to recover lost sales and this strategy’s effectiveness.
What is cart abandonment?
Cart abandonment occurs when customers add items to their online shopping cart but exit the website without making a purchase.
Cart abandonment is a major issue in e-commerce with an average cart abandonment rate of 71.39% in 2015. This number represents the high average lost potential sales of e-tailers. Indeed, cart abandonment is contributing to approximately $18 billion lost revenue per year according to CPC strategy.
There are numerous reasons for why customers abandon their carts that range from personal hesitation to technical difficulties to concerns about shipping and security.
Some of these reasons can be tackled by optimizing your customers’ shopping and checkout experience to prevent cart abandonment as much as possible.
However, there are also tools you can implement post-cart abandonment to recover abandoned carts. One of the most effective tools for this is the multi-stage cart abandonment emails.
What are cart abandonment emails?
Cart abandonment emails are triggered emails (a part of a multi-stage campaign), that are sent out after a cart is abandoned with the purpose of motivating the customer to recover his/her cart.
To be able to execute such campaign, the company must have the customer’s email address. Because most abandoners abandon sites without providing any details you could implement some strategies to capture more visitors’ email addresses.
This includes optimizing the checkout form, using exit intent popups and the triggered email booster feature. The more emails you capture, the more email campaigns you can send out and the more carts you can recover.
Once you have done this you can send out your emails.
The campaign is composed of several triggered emails (most often three), that are sent out at a set time after cart abandonment. Each email can contain different (and combinations of) messages, such as the cart content, personalized product recommendations and discounts.
The messages are to be personalized, according to the abandoned cart content, purchase history and more, and generated in real-time, in order to send the right message to the right shopper at the right time.
So how can those emails benefit you?
Cart abandonment emails improve conversion rates
The most obvious benefit (as it is the main reason for implementing this strategy) is recovering sales and improving revenue and conversion rates.
First off, sending out automated triggered emails instead of manual ones allows you to save time and costs and so to become more efficient.
These emails help you to motivate customers to return to the site and complete their purchase. The emails can simply remind them of the items (to reach out to forgetful customers), present them other relevant items (to help hesitant customers) or incentivize them (to motivate price-sensitive customers). This way you are able to retain your customers and decrease costs of acquiring new customers.
Barilliance has found that personalized cart abandonment emails reduce cart abandonment by 10%-30%. A Barilliance study found that the average conversion rate from cart abandonment emails is 18%, with some achieving as much as 40%.
Econsultancy has found cart abandonment emails to be very profitable, with each one delivering more than $8 in revenue.
Furthermore, it has found such emails to be more profitable than normal purchases, with an average order value of purchases via such emails being 14.2% higher. It is logical that those emails can lead to upsells or cross-sells due to the personalized product recommendations that the emails most often contain.
For example, SurfStitch implemented Barilliances’ abandoned cart email solution and achieved 300% increase in conversion rate from emails, 50% increase in click-through-rate and and doubled their ROI.
Cart abandonment emails improve customer relationships
Cart abandonment emails allow you to re-engage with abandoners, interact with them and thereby build a relationship with them.
With personalized emails and personalized product recommendations, you increase the relevance of your communication with your customers and let your customers view your brand as relevant and helpful.
In addition, injecting your brand’s personality into the emails allows you to be unique and memorable.
All of these increase your customer’s’ trust and loyalty in your brand, resulting in a higher likelihood of future purchases.
Cart abandonment emails improve customer experience
Using the cart abandonment emails you can find out why the shopper abandoned his/her cart.
With this information you can improve customer experience by showing you care for the customer and finding them a personal solution. You can also improve future customer experience by tackling this issue to prevent future cart abandonment from that reason.
You can find out why the shopper abandoned the cart in many ways. You can ask directly what was the problem and how can we help, ask the shopper to fill out a short survey or provide the customer with tools to reach out for help (email address, telephone number and live chat).
What to do next?
Cart abandonment is a dangerous phenomenon in e-commerce that cannot be completely eliminated, but can be tackled.
Cart abandonment emails are proven to be very successful in reducing cart abandonment rates and recovering carts. As a secondary effect they build customer’s’ relationship with the brand, improving trust and loyalty and enable the company to explore and solve some of the reasons for abandonment.
It is important to use a cart abandonment software, to implement triggered cart abandonment emails and recover as many carts as possible.
Credit Inbar Granat
Author : Guy Cizner
Inbound marketing director at Barilliance. Barilliance helps eCommerce sites of any size to increase sales and conversion rates by providing visitors with a personalized omnichannel shopping experience. The Barilliance eCommerce personalization suite includes cross-channel personalized product recommendations, behavioral triggered emails, real-time onsite personalization, and Live social proof notifications.