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3 Tips on Converting Abandoned Carts into Sales

by
July 29, 2014

 

No one wants to lose sales, especially when they’re so close – as close as an abandoned shopping cart.

A recent post in Get Elastic notes that shopping cart abandonment is rising. The post provides information from the e-tailing group’s 2014 Annual Merchant Survey. The survey shows that in 2014, there are trends of higher reported cart abandonment behavior compared to 2013. In fact, half of the retailers in the survey suffered from a shopping cart abandonment rate of more than 50%.

If you want to stop rising abandonment rates in your ecommerce efforts, check out these Good, Better and Best tips:

Good: Set up automatic cart abandonment emails.

According to the survey, only 28% of merchants are deploying triggered cart abandonment emails, although they are highly successful (more on this later). Most ecommerce platforms include the option of setting up automatic cart abandonment emails. Make sure to set yours up.

Better: Once you’ve set up your emails, tweak them to be more effective.

  1. Personalize your emails. Personalize the email with the shopper’s name and if possible, provide a list of the items in the cart, along with current price information.
  2. Send abandonment emails quickly. An analysis of over 60,000 abandoned carts found 54% of all carts that are successfully recovered are won back within the first few hours after abandonment. An additional 10% can be saved within the first 48 hours, and 82% are recoverable within a week.
  3. Create a strong, visual call-to-action. Your goal is to get the sale, without being too pushy. Similar to your website, however, you should include large, colorful buttons that get your prospect to buy.
    20140528-etail-cratebarrel

    The “Complete your order” button stands out in this example from Crate and Barrel, included in the Annual Merchant Survey.

  4. Send a series of emails. Just as a series of ads are better than one ad in generating sales, a series of abandonment emails produce higher conversion rates than a single email. Sending an email out within a few hours of abandonment, another after 24 hours, and another within a week, will increase conversion.
  5. Be cautious with incentives. According to the survey, only 35% of retailers who send out cart abandonment emails include an incentive. Typical incentives include a discount on your current or next online purchase. Some savvy shoppers may abandon their carts every time, in order to get additional discounts. One strategy to consider: offering incentives in a third or fourth email, if you’re sending a series.

Best: Test to determine what leads to your best conversion rates.

Every business is different. While the information from the study may apply perfectly to your business, you might find that by changing subject lines, calls-to-action or even offering incentives, that your conversion rates increase. Install Google Analytics to your site if you haven’t already, and take advantage of their URL Builder to figure out which of your campaigns are doing the best through customized links so you can track conversions back to each of your tests.

Remember, abandoned shopping carts are a great opportunity for sales. These tips will help you put processes in place to convert those prospective sales to actual ones!