Top tips to rescue abandoned shopping carts

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Web research specialists The Baymard Institute calculated that, on average, 69.99% of online shopping carts are abandoned. The good news is: there are plenty of effective ways to win back some of that lost revenue.

Abandoned shopping carts can be a frustrating reality for e-commerce businesses, but with the right approach, they can also be an opportunity for growth. By smartly rescuing abandoned carts, e-commerce companies can increase their revenue and strengthen customer relationships. However, businesses that seek to do so must first understand the underlying causes behind online shopping cart abandonment and high cart abandonment rates. 

Where do they all go?

Statista recently did a survey to find out why US digital shoppers abandon their carts. For 48% of customers shipping costs was the main issue, followed by 'The site wanted me to create an account', 'delivery was too slow' and those perennial e-commerce bugbears – 'too long or complicated checkout procedures' and ‘I couldn’t see total order cost up-front’.

Whatever the reason, leading commerce experience cloud, Bloomreach, gives a compelling reason to get smart about rescuing your abandoned carts, citing how online shopping cart abandonment costs e-commerce businesses about US$18 billion in sales per year.

Why should businesses seek to recover abandoned carts?

First and foremost, recovering abandoned carts can help increase business revenue. For example, if a business receives 125,000 visitors per month and the average order value is US$100 with a 0.92% visitor-to-sale conversion rate, increasing the conversion rate by just 0.5% can lead to an additional US$62,500 in monthly revenue.

Another reason businesses should seek to recover abandoned carts is to improve the overall consumer experience. Abandoned carts can often be the result of poor customer experience on an e-commerce website, such as checkout processes that are way too long or confusing navigation. By addressing the root cause of high cart abandonment rates, businesses can not only recover abandoned shopping carts for higher revenues, but also improve the overall experience for their customers.

Moreover, recovering abandoned shopping carts can also help build customer loyalty. By reaching out to customers who have abandoned their carts online and directly addressing their concerns, businesses can show that they value their customers and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their satisfaction. This can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations that further boost business revenue.

How to recover abandoned shopping carts

Retarget, re-activate

AdRoll, the retargeting company, puts it like this: “2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98%.” If your customer leaves your site without buying an item, you can use a retargeting service to show them the item again in another feed. The hat they abandoned in your cart may suddenly look irresistible when it’s displayed on one of their go-to social media sites.

And retargeting has certainly produced some impressive results. Watchfinder, an online retailer of pre-owned watches, used it to increase their ROI by 1,300% over a six-month period. While Total Wine, a wine retail chain with an e-commerce storefront, was able to achieve a lifetime return of 6:1 on ad spend and a huge 50% increase in year-over-year reach through abandoned cart retargeting.

Segment and conquer

Some of your customers will be more responsive to retargeting than others. That’s why it’s worth segmenting your abandoned carts and using behavioral targeting. Customers who have spent more than 15 minutes on your site before heading to the checkout may be a better remarketing target and more prone to click on retargeting ads than those who’ve spent less time there.

You should also consider other factors such as your audience’s needs. Different demographic segments can react very differently to retargeting ads, so it’s important to personalise your retargeting campaigns accordingly. Users can be easily identified using Google Analytics based on their gender, age, location, language, interests and other characteristics. Taking the time to obtain and analyse that information can help you create campaigns that are more relevant to your target audience’s needs, resulting in higher conversion rates and sales.  

Have a good follow-up

You’re never going to be 100% sure why your customer abandoned their cart. The good news is there are number of effective email follow-up strategies to re-awaken your customers’ interest. You could be direct, with a straightforward 'complete your purchase' email. Or take a more solicitous approach – 'is there anything wrong?'/'can we help you?' You could play it friendly – 'we’ve missed you'/'where did you go?' Or play on your customer’s fear of missing out – 'the item you ordered cannot be reserved and may sell out.' You could even try a more practical tack – 'did you experience any technical difficulties?' – which could help you fix a few glitches in your checkout process at the same time. While abandoned cart e-mail templates are abundant, be sure to customise one of your own that best fits your business.

Save this thought

Life can be distracting. And an abandoned cart isn’t necessarily permanently abandoned. To improve your conversion rates, make it easy for your customers to return to carts-in-progress. Or as the WordStream tech blog puts it, “saving a shopping cart should be as easy as clicking a single button. It’s crucial to allow shoppers to complete their purchase at a time that’s convenient for them.”

Be there for your customers

Sometimes an interaction with a real-life human being can be the difference between an abandoned cart and a successful purchase. Chat boxes and live help on sites add a human touch which has proven to have a positive influence on purchase decisions. According to a study by Gartner, “Live chat is the number one service choice for shoppers between 18 and 49 years old.” You may also fix a few glitches in your checkout process at the same time.

Take a few tips from brick-and-mortar stores

Some good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar sales techniques have been found to reduce online cart abandonment too. E-commerce loyalty programs encourage customers to complete their purchase and keep them coming back for more. Accenture found that “loyalty program members boost annual revenue growth by 12% to 18%.” Online coupons and promotional codes are also a huge incentive. In fact, according to BigCommerce, “63% of shoppers say they want coupons to be more available.”

Don’t get gamed

Online shoppers have rapidly learned how to game the system. They’re wise to the fact that if they abandon their carts, a discount will most likely be pinging their way within 24 hours. Thankfully, there’s technology out there that enables you to identify these serial cart abandoners and target them with customer service emails rather than discounts. Because, as Scott Catlin of predictive marketing firm, Windsor Circle, puts it, “it’s important that retailers don’t ‘train’ their customers to abandon shopping carts.”

Make timely deliveries

According to Statista, 22% of consumers abandon online shopping carts because ‘delivery was too slow’. With the increasing competition in the e-commerce industry, businesses must strive to meet high consumer expectations for delivery times  ⁠— stipulated delivery times of too long a period can easily result in abandoned carts and loss of business.

At DHL Express, we understand the importance of timely order fulfilment for improved shopping experiences. Our global network and robust shipping and delivery capabilities enable us to provide fast, reliable and cost-effective shipping services for businesses worldwide. 

Whether you're looking to recover abandoned shopping carts or just want to improve overall e-commerce operations, DHL Express can help. Open a business account with DHL Express today, and find out how you can prevent abandoned shopping carts in the first place.