You work hard to engage and encourage online shoppers to visit your website. The shopper loads up a virtual shopping cart, but then something happens before checkout is completed. What do you do next? Is that sales opportunity gone? Do you try to reach the shopper again?
Cart abandonment is far too common in retail. In fact, according to research conducted by Baymard Institute, the average rate of cart abandonment is 69.57 percent.
We have probably all been there. You browse a site on a whim because an ad caught your eye. You drop the merchandise you like in the cart, but when it comes time to check out, something stops you. Maybe you are rethinking how much money you are spending, maybe the shipping costs are too high, or perhaps you decide to finish checking out later and simply forget to come back.
Whatever the reason, stores that follow up with shoppers on abandoned carts have the opportunity to earn more sales. So, we have gathered some cart abandonment email best practices to help get you started.
Best Practices for Cart Abandonment Emails
- Plan to send more than one email
A successful cart abandonment email depends on several factors, including timing and the message. Let’s start with timing. You don’t want to send the cart abandonment email too soon after the cart has been left, but you also don’t want to wait too long. A good rule of the thumb is to send the first email 12 to 24 hours after the cart has been left. With the first email, simply remind the customers that items were left in their cart, and they can still complete the transaction. This gentle nudge might be enough to bring some shoppers back to your site.
However, for the customers unmoved by the gentle nudge, a more specific message could help. One to two days after the first email, let them know what items were left in the cart, and, if reviews are enabled on your site, let them know what other customers are saying about the items.
If that also doesn’t work, consider giving shoppers a further incentive to complete their purchase like a discount or free shipping. Send this email 24 hours after the second email.
According to research, sending a series of emails to recover abandoned carts is 63 percent more successful than sending just one email.
- Create a sense of urgency
A way to create more compelling emails is to build the sense of urgency a customer feels to take a clear and decisive action. Make sure you share how and where customers can get to their carts, ideally link them directly to it. Also, let them know about any time sensitive items in their cart. Is there a sale item in their cart that will only be that price for a limited time? Is there a limited amount of store stock for the item? This can help you create a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and prompt a faster response to your email.
- The email subject line matters!
It doesn’t matter how great the deal is you offer or how compelling the product reviews are. If the customer doesn’t open the email, they cannot be persuaded. The email subject line you use has to be short enough people can read it at a glance (ideally six words or less) and tempting enough to get customers to open it.
Also, avoid words or symbols that can get your emails flagged as spam, such as exclamation points, the word free, or nontraditional formatting. Check out our best practices to increase your email reach.
Do you have a cart abandonment email that has worked well for your college store? We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!