Shopping cart abandonment is a fact of life for online retailers. 18% of digital shoppers in North America who browse a retailer's site intending to buy something end up not making a purchase and abandoning their shopping cart. The primary reasons, according to a recent report are that the consumer decided it wasn’t needed (28%) or that more research was necessary (27%). With almost a quarter of your customers not completing their purchases, there’s a lot of money being left on the table (or in the shopping cart). Marketers need to continually investigate into their cart abandonment statistics and create tactics to entice customers to return and complete their transactions or, even better, to never abandon their purchases in the first place.
How to Take Advantage of Shopping Cart Abandonment
In a 2014 study by Visual Web Optimizer (VWO), over half of US shoppers polled said they would be likely to purchase products they abandoned if those products were offered to them again—by email or elsewhere—at a discounted price. This fact alone should be encouraging retailers to make it a priority to capture customers’ email addresses early in the purchase process to ensure they have the ability (and consent!) to send follow up emails.
We know that for many customers, it is the unexpected cost of shipping that leads them to abandon their shopping carts. Try offering free shipping in your first email to those customers. If you discover that this doesn’t do the trick, experiment with other forms of discounting. Test various offers until you uncover the incentive that works best with your audience.
A Word of Caution
Sure, you can offer 10% off or free shipping right away but don’t always give away the margin if you don’t need to. You can always start with those offers, but be sure that you test against them to determine what offers (if any) will entice your shoppers to return to their shopping cart. Offers can be other things aside from money/discounts. Pending on the type of industry you are in, you could offer a free webinar, a free gift (like a cookbook), or bonus points on their customer loyalty card.
Interactive Email is Going to Change the Game
The future of email (which in many cases is already here) is going to change the game for digital marketers. CSS hacks in email will enable marketers to take their emails into uncharted territory. Soon recipients of emails will be able to modify their shopping cart, change the colour of a shirt, and check out, all from within the email. Other advancements, like being able to scroll through several hero banners, will refresh the look of email templates and provide a level interaction that users have never seen before.
If you can, try to avoid abandonment all together. Follow these 7 tips to decrease the likelihood of your customers abandoning their cart:
- Provide out-of-stock notifications on product pages.
- Allow customers to easily modify their carts (removing items, changing the quantities, colours, etc.).
- Offer real-time customer support – if a customer has a question or issue, provide them with an easy way to contact you for help.
- Display verified security icons so customers know their information is safe.
- Provide links to customer reviews on products as well as positive online shopping experiences with your company.
- Provide a progress indicator so they know how long the checkout process will take right off the bat.
- Inform your customers about delivery rates and timing upfront so there are no surprises at the end.
Take your email marketing programs to the next level. Sign up to receive the latest tips, trends and news. Subscribe to our Smart Marketer newsletter.