3 Ways to Bring Back Shopping Cart Abandoners

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming. 

And they bring with them visitors to your site - visitors who may also leave your site empty-handed because regardless of the amount of preparation you do to make sure they go through with the sale (e.g. an optimized e-commerce checkout page), there are factors that are beyond your control. Forrester Research shows that 27% of people who abandon their carts want to compare prices, while 24% want to save their cart for later purchase.

The good news is these “abandoners” are very hot prospects who need just a little more prodding to complete the checkout process. Here are some techniques you can implement to get these customers back and get them to push through with the purchase:

Triggered E-mails

urban outfitters email

 In a survey conducted this year by The E-tailing Group, triggered shopping cart abandonment e-mails topped the list of personalization tactics with 61% of retailers reporting that they were “very/somewhat” successful using the tactic. 

There’s a caveat for this tactic to work:  timing is crucial. Ideally, you should send out e-mails in this sequence:

•First  e-mail:  immediately right after the customer leaves your website. This is the “Oops … Was there a problem checking out?” e-mail to gently nudge the customer. 

•Second e-mail: in just under the 24-hour mark which should be focused on reassuring the customer with testimonials or customer reviews. 

•Third e-mail: in just under the seven-day mark offering an incentive to the customer. 

The goal of this timing is to catch the customer in the same situation and mindset as when they initiated the purchase. The other goal of sending out e-mails is to keep the customer’s excitement for the product fresh, so a photo of the product in the e-mail is important.  You also want to make sure that the “Complete My Order” button is front and center and reinserts the customer where they left off with the order. 

Of course, the visitor’s e-mail address is key to this tactic. Make sure you capture it as early as possible, ideally on the first page of the checkout process. You can also already save the visitor’s e-mail address once they’ve typed it even if they don’t fill out the entire form and click “Submit.” As long as you only use their e-mail address for the sole

purpose of reminding them that they left something in their carts, and not to market anything else, then you’re in the clear. 

Ad Retargeting

Another great way to get visitors to reactive their session is by “following them around” the web, by showing them your ads. This ensures that you retain mindshare after they’ve left your site. Remember, the more touch points somebody has with you, the more likely they are to buy from you. 

Ad retargeting is particularly useful when no email address has been captured from a visitor, as is the case when a new visitor views a product page and then leaves without completing any of your desired conversion actions. 

Similar to e-mail remarketing, timing and relevance are crucial to the success of your retargeting efforts. Serve your retargeting ad when your potential customer is most likely to buy. Look at your data so you know the time of day and context of your customers’ buying habits. That way, you’re more likely to show your ads when they’re highly motivated to return to your website and complete the buying process.

Segmentation is also important in increasing ad relevance. Here, AdRoll CEO Adam Berke offers a useful piece of advice: serve product specific ads rather than generic ones. If your data tells you that your visitor browsed your site for shoes, serve ads that are not only related to shoes but are either the exact products they looked at or are highly similar to those.

Now, badly done retargeting can turn customers off, so make sure you use frequency capping to decrease the “creep” factor, and stop badgering customers with the ads once they make the purchase. 

Multi-Channel Strategy

Conversion strategies have never really been simple, at least when treated the right way. Still, they didn’t use to be THIS complex. With a range of devices being used by prospects (PCs and laptops, tablets, smartphones) across a range of different touch points, (web site, mobile version, email, social, paid search, display) your multi-channel strategy - and the visibility required for it - has never been more complex. It has also never been more rewarding.

At minimum, you should enable multi-channel funnels if you are using Google Analytics. This should help you get your feet wet in the complex world of being wherever your prospects are - it will let you see which conversions have occurred through emails and ads, ads and the web site, and whatever other conversion paths your visitors are taking.

One step above that is making everything work together. Smartphones usually get used to check for availability and to compare prices, so those experiences need to be optimal. The web site’s conversion paths are usually used to actually make the sale, so the user experience for the checkouts on those devices need to be stellar. Emails need to stop being sent out as soon as the sale is made, so the logic for the marketing automation system or CRM needs to be impeccable. 

And all of those things need to work together to create a unified experience for the visitor, and a holistic view for your analysts.

Crafting a solid plan for the entire range entire range of digital touch points and creating a strategy for visitors who abandon carts are just some of the things you need to do to prepare for the traffic spike. And spike, your traffic will - are you ready? 


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