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Tessa Wuertz Posted by Tessa Wuertz on November 13, 2018

Five Ways to Turn Cart Abandonment into an eCommerce Asset

Five Ways to Turn Cart Abandonment into an eCommerce Asset

More Carts Are Abandoned than Not—Here’s What to Do About that Figure

Did you know? One of the places on your eCommerce website where you’re losing out on potential revenue can be supercharged with automated processes to help your company win back major profit.

And the better you’re able to mitigate the abandoned cart issue, the bigger the leg up you’ll have on the competition. Some stats suggest that as much as 80 percent of all carts are abandoned. There is clearly a huge opportunity to lessen this figure for your own business and devise ways to work around the issue when abandonment does happen.

In my experience, a lot of eCommerce sellers know their stats when it comes to the number of carts abandoned each day or week. What they often don’t know is what to do about it. As a marketer by trade, this fires me up because it gives me the opportunity to share with these business owners some tips on preventing abandoned carts in the first place and how—with a little work upfront—they can utilize abandoned cart email offers to save them tons of time and money later on.

Are you curious to know my tricks of the abandoned cart trade? Here’s five of them.

Tips for Turning Around Your Abandoned Cart Situation

1. Use a One-Page Checkout

There is a bank of information you need from customers to be able to sell and send them products; the average number of steps in a checkout process is 5.08. Rather than having your customers click through arrows upon arrows and wait for pages to load, offer them a simple, accordion-style checkout page.

2. Offer a Guest Checkout to Appease New Customers

On average, 35 percent of customers who abandoned carts did so because they didn’t want to create an account. Some businesses use logins to keep track of customer purchases, offer rewards, etc, but sometimes customers just don’t want to go through that hassle. By providing a guest checkout, you are still able to get your customers’ emails, and you also help guarantee the sale by offering them a shorter process.

3. Accept More Payment Options

To make things even easier for your customer, you can offer a plethora of payment options at your checkout. If you only accept traditional credit cards, you may be limiting your customer base. Increasingly, users are wanting to pay with platforms like PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. The more you meet your customers where they’re most comfortable, the fewer reasons you give them to say no.

4. Offer Free Shipping

A Paypal study found that 43 percent of shoppers abandoned carts because they didn’t anticipate that the shipping costs would be so high. Offering free shipping is a quick way to remedy this. If the cost is too prohibitive to do that for all items, consider offering free shipping once customers have hit a certain price threshold in their carts. A 2014 comScore study suggests that as many as 58 percent of shoppers in the United States will add extra items to their carts in order to get free shipping. That’s not just better for your conversion rate, it’s also awesome for your bottom line.

5. Send a Discount Code or Free Shipping Code in an Abandoned Cart Reminder Email

We’ll get into setting up effective abandoned cart emails below, but as a general point, all good abandoned cart email campaigns should include the following: an initial reminder, a discount or free shipping code, and then a final reminder. Notice that the discount comes second, not first. Many eCommerce specialists are now pointing out that some customers are “trained” to expect discounts right away. If your first email is a simple reminder, it may encourage them to finalize their purchase without holding out hope for a final discount. But as BigCommerce points out, by including a discount in an email after your initial reminder, you’ll help account for the “61% of abandoned cart customers who leave because of final price.”

Our Most Effective Formula for Abandoned Cart Emails

Setting up abandoned cart emails is extremely easy if you’ve got the right software. BigCommerce’s own abandoned cart email service automatically sends all abandoned cart-related info to your online store’s back end. Some newsletter platforms—including Klaviyo, Mailchimp, and Conversio—work just as well and allow you to include custom designs in your email blasts.

And the best part about abandoned cart emails? They’re typically “set it and forget it.” You can take some time upfront to tweak your emails to make sure they’re optimized—and perhaps do some additional tweaking once you’ve gathered data on your existing campaigns—but for the most part, once you have a set plan in place, you can just sit back and enjoy the savings.

If you really don’t believe in the benefits of a well-executed abandoned cart email campaign, check out the abandoned cart stats in your own online store's back end, and then head over to this BigCommerce calculator to see how much revenue you’re missing out on.

Given all this, here’s a little advice on running an effective abandoned cart email campaign as inspired by our friends at BigCommerce (and deemed effective by our own clients’ experiences).

Send an Initial Reminder

Sometimes a simple reminder is all it takes. Depending on the product, for some customers, just seeing a picture of the product again can entice them into completing their purchase.

Send a Discount Code

As implied above, the goal is to not make it to this step; that said, some customers will hold out due to cost. You can add a sense of urgency to the purchase by making your discount code available for a certain time period only.

Send a Final Reminder

Offer your would-be shopper one final reminder either the day before or the day of their discount code expiring. You should also offer your customer a space to answer any questions they may have. While the majority of your shoppers may abandon carts due to price, there may be another reason behind some decisions to hold off on hitting “Order Now”—maybe they need more info about your products or are concerned about your return policy. Link to a customer representative number, chat, or email to help your team win these hesitant buyers over.

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