10 techniques to recover abandoned shopping carts in e-commerce

In online sales, it sometimes happens that visitors fill the shopping carts and then abandon them. How do you recover abandoned shopping carts?
recovering abandoned baskets
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When a customer puts products in the shopping cart and abandons it, it represents a considerable loss for your online business. But if the customer has abandoned the basket, it is surely not for nothing. It may be due to the high delivery costs, the lengthy purchase process, the feeling of insecurity, the obligation to create an account, etc. Whatever the case, you should do everything you can to get those baskets back. In this article you will find out how to recover abandoned shopping carts and what to do to prevent this from happening.

E-mail marketing: the perfect e-commerce technique

E-mail marketing is the ideal technique for recovering abandoned shopping carts. Thee-mail marketing technique will allow to attack the users in order to really make the sale. It is not about forcing users who have abandoned shopping carts through a series of spammy e-mails! If you do this, customers will probably flee instead.

Abandoned cart emails are actually emails that remind the customer that they have forgotten their valuable products or items in their cart. They represent a second chance for the customer to make a purchase. By doing this successfully, you will increase your revenue considerably.

To this end, you can make abandoned cart emails automatic. This way, once they are activated, every time a customer abandons their basket, they will automatically receive them. Now let's take a look at the most effective techniques for resending your customers.

1. Get the timing right

Indeed, timing is critical and very important when you need to recover the sales you have lost through shopping cart abandonment. You need to send out dunning emails at the right time. According to a study of 200 brands by SalaCycle, it was found that when a follow-up email is sent within 20 minutes, the average conversion rate achieved is 5.2%. For emails sent within an hour, the average conversion rate achieved is 4.5%. At more than 24 hours, after the shopping cart has been abandoned, the e-mails that customers receive achieve an average conversion rate of 2.6%.

All these statistics show that the best time to send the first email to follow up an abandoned basket is immediately. The important thing is not to let the 24 hours pass before you send a reminder to the user. Why not? Simply because the customer should not have had the time to forget the products they wanted before they received the dunning email.

2. Take care of the subject line of your marketing e-mails

When the inbox is opened, the subject line is obviously the first thing that the customer you have re-sent will see. It is therefore necessary for this subject to be striking in order to attract their attention. It must make the customer want to click on it to discover the content of the e-mail. To do this, you must start by making sure that the name of your company or brand is visible to the customer before they open the e-mail. It should therefore be identifiable either in the subject line or by the sender's name.

Secondly, the subject of your email should be clear and precise, for example: "You have forgotten some items in your basket". Finally, you should specifically name the category or product that has been abandoned.

By including these three elements in your dunning email, you will certainly achieve your goal. However, it may happen that you lack inspiration. In such cases, one of the following 5 elements will help you to formulate your subject line properly:

  • Personal interest: in this type of subject line, you will talk about theparticular benefit your customer will receive if they open the dunning email;
  • curiosity: this type of object reveals a little information, and therefore arouses the customer's interest;
  • theoffer: through this subject, the recipient knows that in the e-mail, he will benefit from an offer(delivery costs or discount for example);
  • scarcity or urgency: this object shows the client that he should act now;
  • politeness: through this subject, you thank the customer (recipient of the e-mail). This will encourage them to open the e-mail. You can say: "Thank you for stopping by and showing your interest in this product".

3. Personalise abandoned cart emails

To encourage a customer who has abandoned his basket to come back and complete his purchase, one way to motivate him even more is to personalise his e-mail. This will show your customer that you are interested in them. So make sure you personalise your marketing emails as much as possible. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to include the user's first or last name.

Nevertheless, take care to reassure the customer about the confidential nature and use of their personal information. To do this, adopt a conversational, light, humorous and friendly tone, and why not a little offbeat? This will allow the reminder to be made in a light-hearted atmosphere that inspires confidence in the customer.

Your e-mails should be formulated from a customer service perspective. For example, in the content of the e-mail, indicate the e-mail address or telephone number of the customer service department. Minimise the effect that the e-mail is sent by an automatic messaging system. However, be sure to keep your e-mails concise. Therefore, avoid other promotions as much as possible in the content of the reminder emails.

Read also: Why you should install a chatbot on your website

4. Adopt a good design for your marketing e-mails

You know that in e-commerce, the design of your different marketing supports is an important element. Your website, your blog, your different pages must have an attractive design in order to attract users. However, follow-up emails for abandoned shopping carts are also marketing tools. It is therefore advisable to think about making them responsive, attractive and convincing as well.

5. Don't stop at sending a single marketing e-mail

Generally, when you send the first reminder e-mail between 1 and 3 hours after the customers have abandoned the shopping cart, your conversion rate increases. 24 hours later, if the customers have still not come back to complete their purchase, it is recommended to send a second reminder e-mail. Sending a second e-mail may also help to improve your conversion rate. But only when your e-mails really revive the customer's interest.

A third reminder e-mail could be sent a few days or a week later. As we have seen in relation to timing, as soon as you notice an abandoned cart, you should work immediately to recover the sales. The more time passes, the harder it will be to get the customer to come back for the purchase. Don't forget this.

In addition to this, you should diversify the content of the three different e-mails. In the first e-mail, you can courteously ask why the customer was unable to make a purchase. Depending on their response, you can redirect them to a customer support page or a help page. In the second e-mail, you can remind them of the discontinued items, while reiterating their various benefits. But try to adapt your second e-mail to the customer's response to the first e-mail.

In the third e-mail, you can, for example, inform the customer of the expiry date of the price of the articles or the expiry of the shopping basket itself. It is therefore up to you to diversify the themes and contents of the e-mails according to your e-commerce shop.

6. Clearly and precisely recall the item(s) abandoned

Before consulting your various articles, the customer had probably consulted others on other e-commerce sites. This means that he probably still has a plethora of products in his mind. It is therefore necessary for you to be very precise about the products that the customer has abandoned, since you will surely know them. So give all the details you need: size, colour, price, usefulness, advantages, specificities, etc. To make things even better, you can include an image of the article in the e-mail.

7. Create a sense of urgency through your content

You are an e-tailer. You must therefore be ingenious in taking advantage of the scarcity of sales. In fact, to get the customer's attention, you can create a sense of urgency. This can already be present in the e-mail preview, the subject line or the body of the e-mail. The aim is to encourage immediate purchases.

For example, you can use countdowns to encourage customers to take advantage of an offer that is available within a limited time. Above all, don't be afraid to use emotional content in your e-mails. Include creative elements that can rekindle customers' interest. Distinguish yourself and your brand.

8. Use social proof

You may notice that despite your creative e-mails, some customers still haven't got their products back. To avoid this, use social proof in your emails. In other words, present them with positive and convincing testimonials from other customers who have bought and enjoyed the same items they wanted.

To achieve this, include a separate section in the email with the most excellent comments from customers who have chosen the products in question. If possible, integrate the service or product reviews into the content. This technique will certainly convince hesitant customers.

9. Make Call-To-Action (CTA)

CTA buttons should definitely be placed in abandoned cart follow-up emails. A good tactic is to link the action button to the customer's shopping cart. It would also be a good idea to have the CTA automatically link to a checkout page with all the items in the customer's basket. This would be better than sending the customer to a generic category or product page.

To entice the customer to click, your Call-To-Action buttons should also be attractive, with nice bright colours and the message should be written in capital letters. You can phrase them as follows:

  • check your basket ;
  • go to the basket ;
  • complete your purchase.

10. Offer your customers a discount

The discount offer should not be the first solution that comes to mind to get the baskets back. It is not very recommended (some customers might abuse it) but it is a way to motivate your customers who have been scared off by the price of the items. Only really use it if the customer has mentioned the price as the criterion that made them abandon their basket. You can offer a 5% discount, which is a good alternative. This will give the customer the feeling of having an opportunity.

Techniques to reduce basket abandonment

Now you know the different methods you can use to recover abandoned baskets. It is necessary that you also learn the techniques to avoid shopping cart abandonment.

Use online chat

The online chat allows thecustomer to be accompanied throughout the purchasing process. An identifiable and visible chat during the entire purchasing process gives the customer a sense of confidence. They can therefore ask any questions they may have at any time.

This technique works mainly because customers don't have the patience to go looking for the page you have dedicated to customer service. Thanks to the online chat, they feel like they are talking directly to someone. So you'll agree that a satisfied customer who has received good support through to the purchase stage will be less likely to abandon their shopping baskets!

Reduce the steps to purchase in your shop

Carefully analyse the steps that need to be taken before making a purchase in your online shop. Then try to reduce them if you find them too long. And this as much as possible! One of the reasons why customers abandon their shopping baskets is the long shopping process or its great complexity. A study by Baymard has confirmed this.

The more clicks you have to make before buying, the higher the abandonment rate will be. You can follow the whole process step by step in the "enhanced ecommerce" option in Google Analytics.

On the other hand, there is the problem of the payment method. If, like payment platforms such as Paypal or Redsys, you direct the customer away from the page to complete the transaction, you risk losing them. Do what Stripe does by integrating the payment step into your page. This avoids interfering in the purchase process with another third party web page.

To achieve excellent results on your e-commerce site, integrate the entire purchasing process, from item selection to payment, into a single page. This way you can combine efficiency and speed. Your abandonment rate will decrease considerably if you apply this technique well.

Ask only for the information you need

It would not be appropriate to scare your customers with your requests for information. Your site should inspire real confidence. For this reason, don't ask for too much information, such as a landline telephone number, date of birth, or other inappropriate data. For the record, the Baymard study mentioned above also revealed that 37% of shopping carts on e-commerce sites were abandoned because ¨thecreation of an account was required¨.

Offer your customers the possibility to make their various purchases as if they were visitors. They will feel more comfortable. To make the product arrive, ask only for information that will be useful.

Offer a convenient collection method with fast delivery

If the delivery time is too long, there is a risk that the user will abandon the shopping basket. If the customer has to wait three weeks before receiving their item, they will lose interest. From the beginning of the process, be precise and clear about delivery times. But take the time to reduce them as much as possible. You will see the effect this will have on your abandoned cart rate. Your customers must also be able to receive their parcel at a time that suits them. They must be satisfied with the delivery and collection service offered by your e-commerce.

Offer multiple payment methods

shopper worried about the problems of buying online with a credit card and a laptop in a small office

It may happen that when it comes to paying for the selected products, the payment options you offer are not suitable for the customer. They will be frustrated. This may be rare, but it happens. You do not need to offer a range of payment options. But depending on your target customers and their profiles, determine which options will be most suitable. In any case, remember that you need to be covered. Whether it's a Stripe, credit card, Paypal or your bank's payment platform.

Adopt a transparent policy on shipping costs

Although we talk about it at the end, this is the number one reason users abandon their shopping carts. If you don't clearly state the shipping costs at the beginning of the process, most customers won't expect them to appear in the shopping cart. And they will then abandon the cart.

Imagine that in a supermarket, when you get to the checkout, 10% is added to the overall price. You will certainly not agree. This is exactly how customers on your e-commerce site feel when this happens. And because it's online, they won't continue with the purchase. So don't try to create hidden costs in order to gain a few extra pounds on your customers. A beneficial way to do this is to include the cost of shipping in the price of the item. Your sales weapon will therefore be free shipping. Your customers will certainly be delighted! So be transparent.

Recovering abandoned baskets: in brief

In the end, remember that cart abandonment occurs when the customer does not complete the transaction, even though they have started to select products. You will need to use the good techniques listed above to get them to complete their purchase. However, you must also adopt good practices to reduce your cart abandonment rate.

So, do you find these techniques useful? Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to reply in the comments.

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