What will we see in this post
There’s marketing, getting customers to your e-commerce site, showing them enticing products, processing their orders, and keeping them coming back. One of the most frustrating of these obstacles is abandoned carts. But there’s an effective solution: abandoned cart email.
Maybe the person found something better, couldn’t figure out shipping costs, or just got distracted. There are many reasons why someone might depart without completing checkout. The good news, though: You can fix this problem.
One proven solution we’ll explore in this blog post is a shopping cart reminder or an abandoned cart email. But first, let’s take a deeper look at the problem.
What exactly is an abandoned cart?
SaleCycle reports that this could be for several reasons such as getting distracted, not being able to find their payment information, or simply changing their mind about the purchase.
How do you calculate your shopping cart abandonment rate?
To calculate your shopping cart abandonment rate, you will need to know two numbers: how many sales were completed and how many carts were abandoned (so the sale didn’t go through).
Once you have the numbers, add them together. Call these your potential sales. Now divide the number of abandoned carts by the potential sales. Let’s look at an example.
Example: How to calculate your shopping cart abandonment rate
Last month, 100 customers started to check out, but only 10 completed the sale. That is, they actually paid for the products. The other 90 abandoned their carts and disappeared. Now divide 90 by 100, and you get 0.90, which is 90%. So, in this example, the shopping cart abandonment rate was 90%.
What impact do abandoned carts have on sales?
Research shows that if you don’t tackle the cart abandonment problem and find ways to get those percentages down, then almost three-quarters of potential sales will be missed.
Example: Impact of abandoned shopping carts on sales
Let’s say your average order value is $100, and you have a 75% cart abandonment rate. Out of every $100,000 in sales that make it to your shopping cart, only $25,000 actually gets to your bank account. That’s $75,000 in potential sales that are being left on the table.
The truth is, abandoned carts hurt businesses — and they’re pretty common. The Baymard Institute reports that the global average for cart abandonment is 69.57%.
What’s a good shopping cart abandonment rate?
The typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers ranges from 60% to 80%. The average for e-commerce apps is 70%. A good rate is any percentage less than 40%.
But even small reductions in your shopping cart abandonment rate will increase your profits. Let’s look again at the earlier example.
Example: Sales impact of reducing your abandoned shopping cart rate
In the example above, $100,000 of sales made it to your shopping cart, but only $25,000 went all the way through the sales process. That was a shopping cart abandonment rate of 75%.
Now, let’s say you made some improvements and your shopping cart abandonment rate drops to 60%.
Now, instead of only $25,000 in revenue, you have $40,000. Your shopping cart abandonment rate may not be ideal, but even a little improvement can have a huge impact on your revenue generation.
Why do customers abandon carts?
Here are some of the many reasons the Baymard Institute study found that a customer might abandon a shopping cart.
- Afraid that the transaction is insecure and that someone may steal their credit card information
- Not willing to open an account too soon
- Unexpected high shipping costs
- Confusion or frustration with the checkout process
- Just browsing and daydreaming
- Their preferred payment option is not available
- Last-minute comparison shopping shows a better deal is available elsewhere
- Technical problems like a slow site or the site failing to load
How can you reduce the number of abandoned carts and increase your sales?
There are a few things that you can do to reduce the number of abandoned carts and increase your sales. One solution is to use a shopping cart reminder or an abandoned cart email.
This email is sent to customers who have filled their shopping cart but failed to complete the purchase.
The abandoned cart email reminds customers of what they put in their cart and encourages them to finish the purchase.
Another solution is to make it easier for customers to checkout. Make sure that your payment information is easy to find and that the checkout process is smooth and easy.
You can also improve your marketing efforts. Make sure that your products are enticing and that your website is easy to navigate.
Use effective keywords in your marketing materials and make sure that your site appears high in the search engine results pages.
If you follow these tips, you can reduce the number of abandoned carts and increase your sales.
Capture customer emails with lead magnets
One of the most important things you can do is get your customers’ email addresses before they make a purchase.
This way, you can target them later with cart abandonment emails, which have a high open and click-through rate.
To entice customers to your website, offer lead magnets (such as discounts) in exchange for their email addresses. For example, use a pop-up that offers 10% off their first purchase in exchange for their email address.
There’s no use in driving traffic to your website if you’re not going to capture their contact details.
A lead magnet is a perfect tool for this, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Just offer something of value that your target audience will find useful, and they’ll be happy to give you their email address in exchange.
Old Navy offers a good example below. After selecting items and starting the checkout process, Old Navy asks for an email to get started. It’s low pressure — just an email — and there is an alternative to going forward without entering your email. But there is a reminder that you get free shipping if you enter an email.
The key is not to ask customers to create an account until after they make a purchase. Thirty-seven percent of new customers see this as too great of a commitment too soon, and it’s one of the main reasons why people abandon their shopping carts.
Asking only for an email address in exchange for something valuable (like a discount) is much less imposing.
Combat Sticker Shock By Offering Free Shipping
Surprisingly high shipping costs are among the most frequent causes of abandoned shopping carts. You may have experienced this yourself. You find a new online shop with awesome products.
After you add them to your cart, create an account, and get to the final end, the shipping costs turn out to be higher than the items you really wanted. So you close the webpage.
High shipping costs are not the root of shoppers’ frustration. Rather, it is unexpected high shipping fees that bother them most.
If you wait to inform customers of additional charges at checkout instead of before, they will be agitated — to the point where they may leave their cart altogether.
There are a couple of ways you can solve this problem. By informing your customers of the shipping cost upfront, you’re more likely to decrease abandoned carts.
Lego uses this approach. After adding a selection to the shopping cart and starting to check out, the Lego website lets the customer enter their ZIP Code to get an estimate for tax and delivery.
You could also offer free shipping to those who have already abandoned their cart with a cart abandonment email.
Create a Sense of Urgency
This one can tie in with your free shipping strategy, as seen in the ad below:
When Reef uses phrases like “All Orders Now,” they appeal to the customer’s sense of urgency and show that this free shipping opportunity won’t be around forever.
Time is a precious commodity, and nobody wants to miss out on a great opportunity. Creating a sense of urgency will lead your customers to finish their purchases.
The example from Lenovo below does a great job of creating urgency. By entering their name and address, the customer gets a great offer now — and an even better one on Black Friday Sneak Peek.
Offer a Price Match Pledge
You just purchased a company and felt content with the product, even though it was priced higher than some of its competitors. Suddenly, you see an advertisement from one of those competitors offering the same product for cheaper. If you were in your customer’s shoes, how would you feel?
As you start to second-guess your decision to go with the first company, buyer’s remorse sets in. Customers always want to be confident they made the best choice and got the best deal possible.
With so many companies and options available today, customers are willing to spend time shopping around for cheaper prices.
The solution? Offer customers a price match pledge. If you can beat any rival’s price by at least 10%, you’ve got a great chance of improving your abandoned cart percentages and might even create some brand loyalty in the process!
Make checkout simple and intuitive
Add plenty of payment methods
Customers don’t like it when their preferred payment method isn’t available, so make sure you know what they want and offer it to them.
One study found that 8% of abandoned checkouts were a result of not enough payment methods offered. Adding a POS card reader is also a good idea because it makes transactions more seamless, bridges the gap between offline and online sales, and allows you to collect data on your customers.
This data can help you give them more of what they want in the future.
Make the checkout process simple and intuitive
If you’re asking customers to fill out several fields at checkout, you’ll need to change this. A complicated checkout process is one reason why people abandon their shopping carts.
Too many steps in your checkout process will kill any chance of making a conversion. Big companies with brand loyalty can get away with this, but time-consuming checkouts are killers for small businesses. For your startup, it’s best to stick to three or four checkout steps.
Avoid Surprising Shipping and Service Charges
As we discussed before in the ‘free shipping’ section, one way to combat this worry is by adding a calculator. This eliminates any nasty surprises at checkout that could lead them to abandon their purchase altogether.
In this example, the customer can see how much each item will add to the final shipping cost. You can also use a similar calculator to show how much more needs to be added to the shopping bag to qualify for free shipping.
In this example from Amazon Fresh, Amazon encourages customers to add just a little more to get free two-hour delivery.
Compare Different Versions of Your Shopping Cart Page
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your checkout page, run split tests and figure out why customers are leaving their carts. By doing this, you can make changes that’ll result in more conversions. Here are some things to test.
Trust and security seals
Although it might make sense that a trust and security seal would boost conversions, it’s often the opposite. Some customers get nervous about sharing information too soon.
If your trust and security logo seems small or hidden, it could drop conversions. In other words, placement matters, so conducting split tests would be beneficial to see where you should display the seal optimally.
Try out the guest checkout. See how important it is. Most websites let people who are not registered on the website check out as a guest. But you should test to see if you should make it more important than the login checkouts.
Does your navigation bar distract customers who are trying to check out? Or do your suggestions of things you might also like distract them from completing the sale?
Best abandoned cart emails
Here are some surefire ways to re-engage customers who have abandoned their shopping carts. Use popups and lead magnets to capture their email addresses as they browse your website.
Then, give them more of what they want — free shipping, a hassle-free checkout process — while also appealing to their fear of missing out with a sense of urgency.
Abandoned cart email is only one of the available strategies
If you want to sell more, there are many things you can work on. Investing in abandoned cart email is definitely one of the most important ones since it helps the ones who are at the bottom of the sales funnel to conclude their transactions.
It is a high-conversion strategy. Learn how to sell online from scratch and discover all the possibilities you have to make money online.