What’s Hindering Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Campaign

By Sherry Chao | Small Business

One Sunday afternoon, I went to my favorite “independent” grocery store, leisurely filled my cart with delicious munchies for the week, only to see that the checkout line snaked all the way to the seafood section in the back! I waited for about ten minutes, and came to the sudden realization that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my day standing in line with a bunch of grumpy, impatient shoppers. So, I…

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abandoned my cart. Yes, I pushed my cart into a random aisle, and I left.

My behavior may have been a bit weird and hasty, but the truth is, this happens all the time in online stores. According to the Baymard Institute 67.44% of shopping carts are abandoned online for reasons like unexpected costs, website crashes, and an overly long checkout process (similar to why I stepped away from my cart at Berkeley Bowl). Of course, retailers will want to remove these purchase impediments by increasing pricing transparency, making sure their website is stable and reducing the number of checkout pages.

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Beyond improving the overall purchase process, e-commerce companies can also implement highly effective cart retrieval email campaigns to invite shoppers back to check out their cart. In fact, a study by Salecycle revealed that 46% of all cart abandonment emails are opened and that on average, each cart abandonment email generates over $5 in revenue.

Despite the effectiveness of shopping cart abandonment campaigns, still less than a quarter of the top 500 retailers are sending these types of messages. Why are retailers leaving money on the table by not implementing these campaigns?

1. Features gap in current email setup

After reaching out to hundreds of companies for product feedback and as part of our sales process, I noticed a trend, or perhaps the lack of a trend: companies handle email in very different ways. Some use one product for triggered emails and another for blast/promotional emails, while other companies have home grown systems or rely on an all-in-one email platform. But unless your current email setup supports multi-step triggered campaigns based on events from your online store, chances are, you’ll need to add another email solution to enable a shopping cart abandonment email series.

2. Lack of technical resources

Shopping cart abandonment emails are triggered campaigns that generally require help from an engineer to set up. Unlike promotional blast campaigns, which marketers can launch by uploading a CSV list and HTML template, triggered campaigns require a little to a good deal of backend work, depending on the complexity of filters and triggers. Plus, these email templates must include template merge parameters to dynamically show the abandoned items and price of the items for each user. Not every company has engineering hours readily available to set up and launch cart retrieval campaigns and to code up templates.

3. Lack of cart retrieval campaign design knowledge

Finally, shopping cart abandonment campaigns may seem tricky to design and implement. Some common questions may include, “How long should we wait before sending a cart retrieval email? How many should we send?” or “How do we prevent the same person from getting too many emails?”

Generally, you should wait 1-3 hours before sending the first email. If you don’t wait long enough to reach out, your shopper may still be browsing and could get annoyed at your premature communication. If you wait longer, your customer may have already purchased the item from a competitor. In terms of the number of emails to send, a series of messages work best. Send the first one 1-3 hours after the cart has been abandoned, then wait another 24 hours before the next communication. You can also consider adding “ladder style” promotions to each subsequent email. To prevent the same person from receiving too many shopping cart abandonment emails, make sure that the chosen drip campaign solution has rules in place to ensure a shopper does not get more than one shopping cart abandonment email within a given period of time.

The easiest way to get started in creating a multi-step cart retrieval campaign is to find a solution that can send triggered campaigns based on cart events from your online store. Also, make sure the platform is easy to implement for engineers and contains logic for preventing multiple entries into the campaign (you definitely do not want to annoy shoppers with too many emails).

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: What’s Hindering Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Campaign

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