Continuing our series on Best Business Practices, we take a look at how you can tempt those customers back who don’t quite finish your checkout process.
A certain procedure takes place between the moment when the customers visit an e-commerce store and the moment when their money appears on the retailer’s account. The procedure implies placing goods in shopping carts. Whatever optimization of shopping experience retailers may implement, there is always a risk that something goes wrong. The checkout flows vary from business to business, and in many cases, the selected goods remain abandoned in shopping carts, as e-commerce practice shows.
On the one hand, the abandoned shopping carts reflect a negative customer experience. On the other hand, this is a good chance for retailers to re-engage customers turning them into followers and regular visitors how odd it may sound. The efficient marketing technique capable of bringing consumers back to their online shopping carts as well as transforming buyers from the potential into the actual ones implies the abandoned cart emails. Let’s consider what should be prioritized in such email campaigns in order to create them properly.
Reasons Of Abandonment
Even though the results of numerous marketing studies vary indicating the exact percentage of abandoned carts, an average rate always exceeds 60% nevertheless. Too many people – too many minds and nobody is able to define a single universal reason of why shoppers abandon their carts. However, the most frequent cases can be described as follows:
- Visitors are not ready to buy while browsing e-stores in order to find goods comparing them with analogs somewhere else;
- Some extra fees, taxes, and shipping costs appearing at the final stage of completing a purchase process can affect an initial price;
- The checkout flows are too complicated requiring to create an account or to indicate an email address;
- Shoppers do not want to disclose their credit card information having no other payment options;
- The return policy seems unfair or unsatisfactory as well as the delivery timeline is too slow;
- People often lack the time to complete the entire purchase procedure;
- Low bandwidth, website errors, and the other purely technical reasons affect shopping experience;
- The absence of a guest mode when checkout can proceed on the fly.
Before Your Email Campaign Starts
Whatever explicit or implicit reasons deter purchases, they imply rather surmountable constraints than a complete loss of interest. It means that both the optimization of the checkout procedures and the abandoned cart emails can help to improve the shopping experience leading to the better customers’ engagement and, as a consequence, to higher revenues.
The following measures are worth taking in order to improve your e-store usability before sending re-engaging emails to the customers.
- Offer various payment options in addition to credit cards. The contemporary automated online fintech solutions include PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, online banking, and even cryptocurrency payment options your customers might prefer instead of disclosing their credit cards’ data. Besides, such “traditional” methods as wire transfers, personal checks, and cash on delivery should not be ignored. The wider choice of payment methods your customers get, the bigger chance they complete their purchases occurs.
- Add a guest mode to your checkout procedure. A lot of random visitors can buy from you without creating an account in such a case. Besides, it is always possible to add a signup option on a course of a checkout flow. Making checkout easy to use for your e-store visitors can reduce the abandoned cart rate significantly.
- Optimize your checkout process to display it on only one page. It is necessary to create your e-store user interface compatible with various platforms and browsers. Remember that more than a half of your potential customers visit your e-store from mobile gadgets. A screwy design with unreadable fonts or a repeatedly lagging website can bring your customers an impression negative enough to leave purchases uncompleted.
When Abandoned Cart Emails Come Into Play
When all possible improvements to your e-store checkout usability are executed, a series of reminder emails can be created for the customers who failed to complete their purchases for whatever reason.
Although there are different opinions regarding the number of emails sent in response to such a triggering event as the unpaid goods left in a shopping cart, even a single reminder email is better than nothing. Even if such a single message contains just a plain text and a link, it is worth sending. Oftentimes, it means a manually created message, therefore try to create a read-provoking subject line at least. It should be a call to action evoking emotions in readers. Remind them that their abandoned goods are still in a cart sadly waiting for their attention. Hint at the deadline which is threatening to “annihilate” the goods in the cart shortly. In other words, excitement, fear of missing out, and urgency should be the feelings aroused by the message. And of course, the email must be personal.
Three Steps Of Customers’ Conversion
When the online sales are significant, the number of the abandoned carts is also big respectively. The contemporary big-scale e-commerce business implies automation one way or another. And the email marketing is not the exception. That’s why the automated email campaigns require the advanced tools in the form of professional bulk sending platforms (more on that later).
Sending a series of emails when the same content goes to many shoppers is considered more effective than sending a single manually created message. The series implies a certain logic usually progressing in three subsequent emails as following:
- A reminder email # 1 informing customers that their goods are still in the cart. Once the exact reason why they abandoned the goods is unknown, offering some additional assistance seems reasonable in this message. The customers could hesitate about a purchase being confused about the final price due to the lack of information on your website. Offer them to ask questions to figure out everything they need. Add an image of the item they left in the cart to refresh their memory. Sometimes, it is reasonable to suggest some analogs or similar products in order to facilitate their choice. However, the very design of the reminder email should emphasize the abandoned goods pushing customers to get back to the purchase. Send the reminder message in 1 – 6 hours after customers left your e-store. Such a short period is important since their shopping experience remains quite fresh in their memory.
- Abandoned cart email #2 offering discounts. The price is one of the main reasons of why people abandon their carts. That’s why the second step of the customer’s re-engagement should offer some discount. Since the discount is not recommended for the first reminder email, the second one is the right message for enforcing the enticement. However, offering discounts is always a risky practice. The “smart” customers can notice the pattern of the abandoned cart emails’ logic easily – just wait for the second email and 10-20% discount is guaranteed. Nevertheless, the discount is important and it is up to the business owners to figure out how often the “arbitrary procrastination” happens among their customers. Instead of the price discount, the free shipping can be offered by the email. Whatever preference is offered, the time limit should be announced to define when the chance to buy cheaper is over. Besides, the deadline is the subject of the next email of the sequence. Send the email #2 within 24 hours after the first reminder email. Preferably, it should be done at the same time when your customers visited your e-store.
- Deadline reminder email #3 informing customers that the waiting period of their shopping cart is expiring. This email can push those procrastinators who always wait for the final price. Since the discount is already offered by the email #2, the present “last call” should give indecisive customers the feeling of urgency. The deadline reminder can be sent within 2-3 days after the second email.
The advanced email marketing suggests creating multiple series of abandoned cart emails customized for different audiences. The major variables to be used for it can include the following subjects:
- Figuring out the type of customers for each email campaign. Since the newcomers differ from regular shoppers by the behavior it is reasonable to create different content for both groups. This practice correlates directly with the e-store revenue since the discount offered to the regular shoppers, for example, should differ from the discount offered to a random visitor who abandoned the cart first time at your e-shop. The strategy can vary depending on both the abandoned goods and the type of business. In some cases, the discount is redundant for the first-time shoppers, in the other situations a “special discount for the first-time customers” can be highly relevant;
- Specifying the number of goods in the cart. Besides the type of the goods abandoned in the cart, the number of items matters. Several similar products left in the cart of a regular shopper could mean that s/he needs an assistance in making the final choice. Some additional information about the products seems to be relevant in the abandoned cart emails in such a case;
- Verifying the value of the cart. It is important to offer a special loyalty program to those customers who left many expensive products in the cart. Rich buyers matter and a special personalized approach to them can benefit a lot to the retailer in the long run. A different timing of the emails is reasonable in such a case since the high-value products’ purchase may require more time for consideration;
Advanced Optimization Tools For Email Campaigns
Both the customization and the advanced analytics are crucial for making the abandoned cart emails as efficient as possible. Besides, a multi-channel strategy when social media and push notifications work together can significantly facilitate bringing abandoners back to purchases. The professional bulk sending platforms such as SendPulse offer a “smart” combination of the most up-to-date approaches to the contemporary email marketing.
The AI-powered automation features for the large-scale e-commerce business along with various personalization opportunities are offered by the Automation 360 system where the creation of the abandoned cart emails achieves the new level of efficiency. All above-mentioned techniques and strategies become easily executable when Automation 360 is applied to increase the revenue of the e-commerce sites through the re-engaging email campaigns for shopping cart abandoners.
Processing the abandoned carts should be taken by e-commerce retailers as a part of their customer care. Both the potential revenue and the higher conversion rate are worth the time to be invested in creating the abandoned cart emails. The improved customer experience, as well as the completed transactions, can bring up your shopper audience transforming random visitors into regular customers. The highly efficient re-engaging email campaigns created with the help of such advanced email marketing tools as Automation 360 allow shoppers to be more satisfied once nothing valuable will be left behind.
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