This is a guest post by Nick Rojas. Freelance Writer, Californian, Traveler, Loving Husband. Fan of Oxford Commas and cursive.
In 2015, it was estimated that about $4 trillion worth of merchandise would be abandoned in online retailers’ shopping carts. Although that number may seem staggering, it was predicted that 63% of it could be converted into a sale. How? Retailers can use shopping cart abandonment as a way to increase conversions using these tips:
Send an email.
Perhaps the most effective way to recover abandoned shopping cart sales is to send a follow-up email to customers who have left items behind. When a customer leaves your website with items still in the card, send an automated email within three hours reminding them of the merchandise they left behind.
When this follow-up email is sent within three hours, it typically receives a 40% open rate and 20% click-through rate of customers returning to the website, therefore increasing your odds of converting to a sale. Of course, this tactic can only be completed with a site has asked the customer to fill out a lead generation form with their contact information prior to completing the order. Be sure that this information is collected in the beginning steps of the checkout process to capture it before they leave.
If the first email is unsuccessful, try sending a second email within 24 hours after the shopping cart abandonment. This time, include a small incentive for the customer to return and follow through with the sale such as free shipping. The number one reason why customers abandon a shopping cart is because of unexpected shipping and additional fees added to the order. By offering a reduction or elimination of these fees for completing the order, you’re more likely to win this customer back and convert the abandoned shopping cart to a sale.
Save the cart.
Many people leave items behind in order to browse other websites with the intention of eventually returning to complete the transaction. However, some e-commerce websites are not designed to save the shopping cart past a certain timeframe, so the customer returns to complete the transaction only to find he or she has to start all over again. Few customers are likely to go through the hassle of searching for their items again, so make it easier by saving the cart. This can be done with a persistent cookie that is used to keep items in the cart as long as they are still in stock.
Even if you do lose one sale, it’s important to take a look at your shopping cart abandonment data to improve for the future. Are customers leaving because there are too many forms to fill out? Is the site loading too slowly between pages? Or are you charging extremely high shipping and processing fees? Take a look at your data to see when customers are leaving to try to determine why.
Use a sidebar.
Sometimes, customers will add items to a shopping cart even though their intention was just to browse through the side, similar to window shopping. In this scenario, customers are more likely to come back to the site on their own and browse again at a later date. When they do, tempt them with a sidebar that reminds them what’s in their shopping cart. Use enticing images of the items that could evoke an impulse buy from the customer, and highlight any price drops that may have occurred since the last visit.
Have you ever abandoned an item in a shopping cart only to see that exact item follow you on every webpage you visit afterwards? This is thanks to an effective Google remarketing campaign. Using these campaigns, businesses can target people who have left their site with items still in the cart and create display ads with these items that appear on webpages that they visit afterwards. This way, customers will be tempted over and over again to revisit the site to complete the transaction.
Every business will encounter shopping cart abandonment at varying rates, however with these tips, businesses will be able to capitalize and recover these so-called lost sales.