Resources Hub » Blog » What Every Small Business Needs to Know to Beat Cart Abandonment

If you’ve launched a new ecommerce business, you might feel overwhelmed by all the abandoned carts (i.e. the incomplete purchases) you see every day.

Luckily, abandoned carts happen to virtually all ecommerce businesses. So, while you certainly want to create a seamless checkout process, you can take solace in knowing that incomplete purchases are normal.

In fact, roughly 70% of customers fail to complete their purchases, according to 2019 Statista data.

Still, every ecommerce business should understand why abandoned carts happen, and they should have a strategy to convert those hesitant shoppers.

And a crucial part of that strategy is the implementation of an automated email campaign triggered by abandoned carts.

Why? Abandoned cart emails work. Businesses that send three abandoned cart emails drive 69% more sales than those that send just one. But your emails need to address the reasons that your shoppers left.

Oberlo Abandoned Cart Email Chart, Based on Omnisend Statistics

Source: Oberlo

Read on to learn why shoppers abandon their carts and suggest strategies that you can implement in an abandoned cart program to lure them back and convert them.

Abandoned cart facts you should know

But before we dive in on how to tackle cart abandonment, here are the five reasons why ecommerce shoppers most typically fail to finalize their orders.

Primary reason for digital shoppers in the United States to abandon their carts as of November 2018

Source: Statista

1. 63% percent of shoppers abandon their carts because of shipping costs.

Being online doesn’t change how people shop: In other words, online visitors roam. In a store, for instance, they might leave one display to browse another.

The difference online is that your shopper may leave the site altogether.

How do you get them back, especially if they’ve shown intent to purchase but were put off by your shipping costs?

Show the value of the products your visitors left behind.

Consider a series of emails that trigger your shopper to re-engage because your products are just that good. To do this, your email needs to get them excited about the items they left behind.

Use your messaging to provide details about specific features. Include distinctive and high-quality product images.

J.Crew uses this tactic in its abandoned cart emails.

J. Crew Cart Abandonment Email Example

Source: Really Good Emails

Something to notice here is the succinct wording that explains the products’ quality. Each description is a single line, but each shares a couple of key elements—for the sweater, “lambswool,” and for the shorts, “broken-in.”

Plus, there’s an offer shared in a different color and an italic font: “Now on sale.” Be careful about always giving a deal, however.

Here, the offer is distinct from shipping, meaning buyers won’t abandoned a cart in the future just to get a deal.

2. 46% of shoppers fail to convert at the purchase point because their discount code doesn’t work.

Everyone loves a discount—it’s why coupon sites are among the most popular online destinations. But if your customer enters a code and it fails—no matter the reason—it’s a key trigger that leads them to shop elsewhere.

Remind customers of the discounts they could enjoy.

Here’s the secret, though: Even if customers’ discount codes fail because they’re outdated, or you had a backend dev issue with your site when they were shopping, don’t leave it to chance. Instead, be straightforward and offer the discount again.

Make the messaging direct and simple, in the subject line and throughout your email. That’s how Uber Eats tackles it.

Uber Eats Discount Code Email Example

Source: Really Good Emails

The email’s main text offers the discount and reminds customers they still have discount options.

The email also provides a quick button to continue to purchase, and it spells out the code in a large font in a different color. Make your calls to action obvious, clear, and easy for your customers to use.

Another tactic Uber Eats uses in its email is to make sure its customers know how its ecommerce app works.

The email provides a simple 1-2-3 guide in case would-be buyers had additional issues. The steps are simple, commuincating that the app is equally easy to use.

3. 36% of shoppers abandon their carts because their orders will take too long to ship.

Shoppers often will question the ease and convenience of shopping online if it takes too long: Checking out and shipping should be quick for any purchase.

Automation becomes a critical component. It lets your site respond in near-real time when a cart is abandoned to break that chain of thoughts and to interrupt would-be customers from making their purchases elsewhere.

Use email messaging to create a sense of urgency.

One way to keep your wandering customers engaged with your ecommerce business is to use urgency in your email messaging.

This works particularly well with items that have extended shipping times.

Harry’s, a men’s grooming brand, strategically uses a countdown timer in its emails to customers with abandoned carts.

Harry’s abandonment email reminder example

Source: Really Good Emails

Learn about Campaign Monitor’s Countdown Timer feature here.

The top signals the time left on a shipping offer with a specific window—in this case, tied to holiday delivery.

The email also clearly spells out the timing on the delivery, sharing with the customer when he or she must purchase by to ensure delivery by a specified date.

While this email relies on a highly desired holiday delivery date, you can use this tactic just as easily at any other time of year with clear messaging.

As a bonus email tease, Harry’s uses a clever postscript to encourage shoppers who might open the message after the deadline or who might want to make a purchase unrelated to a holiday gift.

In other words, give your customers options.

4. 30% of customers don’t convert if they have to re-enter their credit card information.

Customers leave when your site asks them to re-enter their credit card information, meaning your onsite user experience needs to be frictionless at every step.

If you don’t change how you gather payment information, or if your data shows card entry tends to lead to drop-offs even at the initial ask, you can directly target these customers through an abandoned cart email campaign.

Be direct in abandoned cart emails.

When it comes to credit cards and payments, don’t be cute or clever: Be clear and make it easy for your customers to complete their transactions with as few steps as possible.

This email from the customer engagement platform KISSmetrics gets right to the point.

Kissmetrics credit card reminder example

Source: Really Good Emails

The email states the purpose upfront and provides not one but three ways for the customer to finish the purchase.

The self-serve option is given the most prominence, using a hyperlinked blue button with a clear CTA: “Update Your KISSmetrics Credit Card.”

But the note also gives the customer the option to reply to the email or reach out to a second email address included as a hot link.

Always consider that your customers might like to interact with your business in different ways.

5. 25% of ecommerce customers abandon carts when asked to re-enter shipping details.

Having to re-enter shipping information might be the fifth item on our list of cart abandonment reasons, but if 25% of customers opt out, it should be high on your list of concerns.

Just think of the impact to your bottom line.

Abandoned cart email campaigns can achieve a 10% conversion. So, if you had 100 customers shopping, but 25 of them opted out, then 2.5 of those shoppers could be brought back into the fold.

Every sale counts.

Use abandoned cart email programs to convert.

You want to make your customers feel part of your ecommerce community, whether they make a purchase or not.

But, of course, you also want them to convert.

One way to be encouraging and make them feel welcome is to use an abandoned cart email campaign to keep them moving through the buying process.

Here’s a perfect example of that in an email from personal styling site Thread.

Source: Really Good Emails

The Thread email acknowledges that it might be a bit of a pain to become a new customer, but it then includes some value-add details about why it pays to keep going.

The message also uses storytelling to convey information about the business and shares that the would-be customer needs to add only a couple of more items to seal the deal.

Takeaways for beating the abandoned cart

A specific incentive to get your customers to return to their carts never hurts.

You can offer discounts or free shipping, but remember, you should also have a clear goal for your abandoned cart email program: getting your customers to complete their purchases and come back again.

Here are five methods you can use to tackle cart abandonment reasons:

  • Show customers the unique value of the products in their shopping carts.
  • Send a discount.
  • Use a series of abandoned cart emails to create urgency.
  • Be direct in abandoned cart emails that ask customers to provide payment information.
  • Use abandoned cart email programs to encourage your customers along the purchase process.

Wrap up

From welcome emails to re-engagement campaigns and beyond, we seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platforms—BigCommerce, Shopify, and WooCommerce—so you’ll have all the features you need to exceed your goals.
CM Commerce features:

  • Premade conversion campaigns to recover revenue from abandoned carts
  • Follow-up segmented and personalized emails for cross-selling
  • Product reviews that spotlight your happy customers and build trust (and sales)
  • Automated feedback to increase repeat revenue
  • Ready-to-go receipt templates or custom versions, coupons, and rewards with your branding

Try CM Commerce today for free.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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