Abandoned Cart Email and Cart Abandonment Remarketing is becoming an increasingly hot potato. The idea that 70% of online consumers engage with your site to the point where they are about to check out and abandon is nerve-wracking. The Baymard Institute, an eCommerce usability think tank, has aggregated cart abandonment data from various industry sources over the last 9 years. Bad news: Despite major advancements in technology and eCommerce user experience design, the average cart abandonment rate has remained constant. Industry pundits portray cart abandonment as a problem that costs online retailers billions of dollars in lost revenue every year. Good news: This is an exaggeration. It’s human nature to test the waters before making a purchase. There’s no technology in the world that will eliminate it. We must accept the fact that cart abandonment is a very natural part of the eCommerce buying cycle.
What we can do is change our perspective and see shopping cart abandonment as a conversion rate optimization and customer service opportunity for us as eCommerce professionals. How? By taking a customer-centric approach. Customers are giving you an amazing signal of purchase intent when they abandon a transaction on your site. Think of cart abandonment emails as your second chance to continue the conversation with this incredibly important group of potential customers.
By using our quality abandoned cart and personalised loyalty-building email program, one of three things will happen when you follow up: You’ll win the order 10-15% of the time. You’ll find out why the customer didn’t buy and use this qualitative information to proactively improve your buying process. You’ll create a great customer service moment and leave an everlasting impression on the customer.
This guide is written to help you maximize those three outcomes with every cart abandonment email that you send. In addition, you’ll learn to measure the cart abandonment rate on your site, how to identify a higher percentage of customers shopping on your site and how to calculate the expected ROI of an abandoned cart email solution.
Why Customers Abandon Cart 70% Of The Time
Though shopping cart abandonment is a behaviour that we can’t eliminate; we can try to understand its route cause. The study we commonly reference was conducted by WorldPay in 2012. A sample of 19,000 consumers were asked why they leave eCommerce websites without paying (multiple answers permitted):
Presented with an unexpected cost 56%
Just browsing 37%
Found a better price elsewhere 36%
Overall price too expensive 32%
Decided against buying 26%
Website navigation too complicated 25%
Website crashed 24%
The process was taking too long 21%
Excessive payment security checks 18%
Concerns about payment security 17%
Delivery options were unsuitable 16%
The website timed out 15%
Price presented in a foreign currency 13%
My payment was declined 11%
As you can see, three out of the top five reasons given for abandoning an eCommerce website are cost or price related. The others describe customers who weren’t quite ready to buy yet: Presented with unexpected costs Just Browsing Found a better price elsewhere Overall price too expensive decided against buying.
Below, you’ll learn about strategies to make sure you never miss out on an order because of a price concern or unexpected shipping charges. You’ll also learn how to target those “just browsing” customers and uncover million-dollar insights into why customers aren’t buying from you.
Live Cart Abandonment Rate Index by Device
In Abandoned Cart Email and Cart Abandonment Remarketing, Cross-device shopping has created an enormous challenge for online retailers. If eCommerce managers thought it was difficult to create a great experience on desktop, imagine how difficult it is to create a consistent, usable experience across mobile, tablet, and desktop via mobile sites and native applications.
As of Q3 2015, 40% of all eCommerce transactions involved multiple devices and mobile commerce now represents 35% of total eCommerce transactions globally. The rate at which consumers are using mobile devices to shop is outpacing the average retailer’s ability to build experiences for these new mediums. This is reflected in the data we see from our own client installs.
How to Measure Your Cart Abandonment Rate
There is an endless supply of tools available to help you measure how customers move through each page of your checkout funnel and can visualize where the dropoff occurs. A common approach is to use a free tool like Google Analytics in combination with another specialized analytics provider like KISSMetrics, or Mixpanel. Most solutions are intended for aggregated reporting on how all customers are moving through the funnel, but an important feature is the ability to make the distinction between an identifiable customer and an anonymous one. We’ll cover more ways to identify a higher percentage of site visitors shortly.
If you’re just getting started, setting up a conversion funnel in Google Analytics is a simple task that you can use to establish a baseline cart abandonment rate. Not only does it empower you to understand how and when people drop out during your conversion process, but it also allows you to measure your cart abandonment rate over time.
There are two central ideas when it comes to setting up these reports for your site: a goal & a funnel.
SOME GOAL EXAMPLES ARE:
- URL Destination
- – Example: Confirmation page
- Duration (on-site/page)
- – Example: On a website for 5 minutes
- Number of Pages/Screens Visited
- – Example: User visited 5 pages
- User Event
- – Example: Clicked Buy Now Button
A funnel represents the path that a customer takes to reach your goal. For the purposes of measuring cart abandonment, we’re going to use a URL destination as our goal. Typically, that destination is your thank you page or order confirmation page after a user completes an order.
HOW TO SET UP A SHOPPING CART FUNNEL IN GOOGLE ANALYTICS: For the sake of this example, we’re going to use a multi-step checkout as our path to a completed order.
Sign in to your Google Analytics account and click Admin in the upper right-hand corner.
Choose the profile that you’ll be setting up the funnel for and click on Goals
To set up a new goal, click Goals, then click the + New Goal button.
Create a Custom template, and click Continue.
Next, you’ll set up your Goal Description and the Type of goal you’d like to track. Name your goal Completed Order and choose Destination for cart abandonment and select Continue.
Now enter the URL of the last page in your sales funnel – where you want your customers to end up – inside the Destination Equals to field. Think Confirmation page.
IMPORTANT: You will need to select Destination Begins With for your URL if your website dynamically injects a number at the end of your confirmation page.
Next, set the Funnel Option to On. Do a test checkout as your customer would, noting each step in the process. Add in the additional steps as the funnel leading up to your confirmation page. Leave the Required option Off your first URL*.
– Checkout page (example: yoursite.com/checkout/onepage/)
IMPORTANT: Note that setting your first URL to be required means that customers will only be able to enter the sales funnel listed in step one. Save your new goal.
The data for your funnel report will begin aggregating over the next 24 hours.
You can view your funnel report by clicking Conversions in the left-hand sidebar of Google Analytics, then Goals > Funnel Visualization
The end result will look something like:
How to Identify a Higher Percentage of Site Visitors
On eCommerce websites where only a small percentage of customers make it into the checkout process, and an even smaller percentage are registered, this presents a challenge (fewer people to follow up with if we don’t know who they are – because we don’t have their email address yet. (But you do know their IP address to identify browsing and purchase history when they tell you).
There are several strategies that can be employed to identify a higher percentage of customers even before they get to the checkout, thus capturing a larger number of people for our cart abandonment program to follow up with: Triggered Pop-Ups/OffersTriggered on-site offers can entice anonymous visitors to opt-in, creating an identifiable session much earlier in the buying process. On-site lead magnets can be paired with your abandoned cart email program so that after a customer opts-in, their session is tagged while shopping on your site.
SwiftERM appends the customer’s email address within a query string parameter, should they click through the email. This enables your cart abandonment field to identify the query string parameter and tag the session, so you’ve just increased the percentage of identifiable sessions on your site.
Using pre-submit tracking, high intent customers can be identified in real-time, as soon they enter an email address on your checkout form, even if they don’t complete the checkout form. SwiftERM double checks that the customer is opted-into your email list before sending them your abandonment campaign.
Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices
Approach Your Campaign With a Customer Service Focus
Abandoned Cart Email & Cart Abandonment Remarketing, Abandoned cart emails are your chance to continue the conversation with an extremely important group of customers: those that demonstrated the highest amount of possible purchase intent but still didn’t buy. Your job is to provide amazing customer service. SwiftERM’s fully automated facility addresses getting exactly the correct product back into the consumer’s hand within minutes and converts in excess of 46% as a consequence.
Assume Your Customer Will Open Abandonment Emails on a Mobile Device
Over 50% of the 5,000,000 monthly emails sent by SwiftERM are opened on a device that is different than the one the customer originally abandoned on. Think about that for a second. More than half the time, customers will consume your email on a different device than where the first touch occurred.
If you are not employing session regeneration and customers are not signed in on their mobile devices (hint: they probably won’t be), customers will have a disjointed experience and will be less likely to go back and re-add items all over again.
Design & code responsive emails so that they render well on mobile devices, as this is more than likely where customers will consume them. More importantly, regenerate cart sessions across devices so customers have a seamless shopping experience from device to device.
Personalise Abandoned Cart Emails for Better Targeting & Filtering
There is no need to segment using SwiftERM it is personal and targeted for your customers.
It is able to identify your most valuable customers. The algorithm is geared towards maximising profitability selecting particularly high-value products over fewer ones for a customer shopping a particularly high margin SKU.
Track Guests, Registered Customers & Existing Subscribers
SwiftERM’s successful abandoned cart email program engages both guests & registered customers. Pre-submit tracking enables you to identify anonymous customers as soon as they enter an email address on your site, in real-time. Within the first month of using pre-submit tracking, we tracked almost $1.3 million in revenue abandoned by customers who were only filling out the few form fields on their checkout page and were never hit submit.
So, place your email capture field as high on the checkout page as possible to give yourself the best chance to identify a guest customer before they abandon. Since registered customers have already given you their email address, you can use this to track their behaviour as they move around your site.
To identify more customers earlier in the funnel, consider a triggered pop-up or opt-in that encourages customers to provide their email address earlier in the process. Tieing the opt-in into your abandoned cart email program will enable you to identify a higher percentage of customers that express purchase intent, even if they don’t make it to the cart or checkout page.
Measure Your Organic Return to Purchase Time and Ratio
Cart abandonment is a natural part of the eCommerce buying cycle. What’s also natural is that a percentage of cart abandoners will return to your site and convert without further intervention. Develop an understanding of what percentage of customers come back and convert on their own (organic return to purchase ratio) and how long it takes. These data points help SwiftERM schedule your abandoned cart sequence so that order cannibalization is minimized and will ensure that you only follow up with true cart abandoners.
Send a Customer Service Email Within 30 Minutes of the Cart Being Abandoned
The first abandoned cart email you send should have no other purpose other than to provide responsive customer service. Customers will abandon a purchase simply because they have distractions, had a payment issue, or experienced a network delay while checking out.SwiftERM uses the opportunity and only cart abandonment email to deliver the perfect reminder and buying facility.
Trigger in Real-Time Using the Customer’s Last Action On Your Website
It’s hard to believe that there are still email vendors and eCommerce platforms sending “batched” cart abandonment email campaigns in 2015. This is a big missed opportunity for the retailers they serve. A batched approach sends to all customers who abandon in a twenty-four hour time period, at the same time.
In comparison, a real-time campaign triggers email sends on a per-customer level based on their last interaction on your website.
Getting that first email out within 60 minutes of a customer’s last interaction on your site is critical for two possible outcomes:
Customer Success is as Important as Campaign Success
Abandoned cart email success is about more than just conversion and revenue. Though it’s important to track engagement/conversion metrics with Google Analytics and your Email Service Provider of choice, these metrics only tell one part of the story. Open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, attributable revenue, and revenue per email are the baseline engagement metrics for your campaigns. You have none of the headaches from these commonly experienced problems with ESP by using SwiftERM.
Maintain CAN-SPAM Compliance
The best way to combat the SPAM folder is to send personalised abandoned cart emails that your customers actually want to open. SwiftERM abides with the best practices for CAN-SPAM compliance. Including your physical mailing address and a click opt-out link at the bottom of every abandoned cart email. Sync your unsubscribes across email vendors if you use more than one to maintain continuity. Never use misleading subject lines or envelope information and honour opt-out requests as quickly as you can.
Go Beyond “Cart” Abandonment With “Browse” and “Wishlist” Triggers
Don’t forget about tracking other important signals of purchase intent. Cart abandonment represents a customer with high purchase intent but browse and wishlist abandonment are also effective triggers.
Browse abandonment campaigns focus on customers who are opted into your in-house email list, have engaged with your newsletter or other email marketing, but haven’t made it to the cart yet. They may have browsed specific product or category pages and your goal is to help them pick up where they left off after they leave your site. SwiftERM extends this into the nirvana of data-sets – browsing tracking too.
Wishlist abandonment focuses on customers who have expressed buying intent by saving items for later using the wishlist feature on your site.
Recommend Other Products That Your Customers Might Be Interested In
Recommendations increase click-through, conversion and the relevancy of your abandoned cart email program. SwiftERM uses specific means of integrating product recommendations into abandoned cart emails, but our strategy focuses on recommending products in the same product category that a customer has abandoned. It also recommends top sellers, items frequently purchased together, or new products to get your customers buying more from you.
Increase Deliverability with SPF & DKM Authentication
A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record is a DNS record that identifies third-party mail servers that you have authorized to send an email on behalf of your domain. In the eyes of a receiving email server (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), an SPF record is a signal that you’ve given third party permission to send an email using your domain in the emails “From” address.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a method to verify that your messages’ content is trustworthy and was not altered from the point at which the message left your servers. This is achieved by adding a public key to your site’s DNS record, which must match the private key your server uses to sign outgoing messages.
Use Preheaders to Get More Opens
An email preheader is a small amount of copy that renders under the subject line in the preview pane of most email clients. SwiftERM uses the product title of the lead item as subject line as it positively influences open rates.
Personalize Beyond Salutation
Personalization broadly refers to any tactic that makes an email more relevant to the person receiving it, based on what information you know about the recipient. Basic personalization includes things as simple as including the customer’s first name in the salutation or subject line. For abandoned cart emails, including the contents of the customer’s cart is also a common personalization tactic. This could be as simple as including the name of one of the products they abandoned in the email copy or recreating the cart itself inside of the email template. SwiftERM does this automatically for you.
Handle Conversion Tracking for Phone Orders and Third-Party Payment Processors
Unified conversion tracking across all of the payment methods you offer to customers is essential to staying in step with customers. Customers may abandon an order on your website, then complete the order over the phone. Tie conversions from your internal order processing systems back to those being tracked by your abandoned cart email provider. Ensure that customers are never confused by abandoned cart emails because one system wasn’t talking to another.
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