While you may have a basic ecommerce marketing strategy in place to recover abandoned carts, chances are good that you are only focusing on the most obvious steps. Abandoned carts are something that every online store dreads. At the same time, they are also extremely common and impossible to avoid completely. Rather than trying to prevent any carts from being lost, it is far more effective to look at strategies that can help minimise potential lost sales and bring customers back in a way that is not pushy or annoying.
To do this, you first need to understand WHY customers abandon carts. There are numerous reasons for this to happen – not all of them within your control. Some customers may delete their carts after struggling to get through checkout. Others may be frustrated at prices that don’t clearly show shipping costs. Some may delete their carts for purely personal reasons such as budget restrictions, while others may do so after failing to be inspired by your product descriptions. Remember that many customers add products to their carts during the decision-making process. This means that not all customers are quite ready to complete their purchases. These customers use their carts a bit like they would use wishlists.
Improving the cart abandonment of your online store
Whatever reason that customers are abandoning their carts, it is essential to have a solid ecommerce marketing strategy in place that deals specifically with cart recovery.
If your abandoned cart ecommerce marketing strategy is limited to triggered emails, you will need to do a bit more to see a genuine difference. Cart recovery comes down to targeting customers on a holistic level, not only bringing them back once they’re gone but also preventing them from leaving their carts in the first place. Some of the ways that you can improve your ecommerce marketing strategy to target abandoned cart recovery include the following:
1. Exit-intent pop-ups
These are a fantastic tool for just about every type of website. For online stores, they are very useful to target customers before they leave. Although it is not always easy to tell whether customers have items in their carts before leaving your site, it is safest to assume that this is the case. You may also have customers who have browsed without adding items to their carts, who can also be reached with an exit-intent pop-up. To get the most from this pop-up, look at how you can incentivise customers to make their purchase. You could offer a once-off deal, free shipping on their order, points that can be redeemed in-store or anything else that makes them want to complete the purchase. Get creative and use imagery and scarcity to create a sense of urgency.
2. Customer reviews
You should be using customer reviews in all areas of your site, from the home page to product pages. You can also use reviews strategically in other parts of your site, including checkout. They are very effective when used in your cart recovery emails, too. Reviews act as social proof, helping to reassure customers and prompting them to finalise their purchases. To go one step further, you can use highly targeted reviews of products that have been left in the cart. For example, if your customer had skincare products in their cart, you could show reviews on the exact products left or you could show reviews on your general skincare range. These are great as follow-up emails rather than immediate emails that alert customers to items left in their cart.
3. Chatbots and support
Chatbots are an essential element for any online store. They can be particularly useful for preventing lost carts. A big cause of lost carts is frustration in not being able to get help during the checkout or payment process. Being proactive is key to avoid increased frustration. The easier you make it for customers to shop, the more likely they will be to complete their purchase. Look at interactive chatbots and make sure that your support contact details are displayed at all points of the process – especially checkout. You also need a team on hand to back up your customer service promises. Along with interactive chat tools, you can try FAQ as well, with clearly shown questions relating to shipping, payment, and checkout. This will help customers find answers without having to reach out.
4. Custom discounts
Every customer loves a good discount. Although generic discounts are a good incentive to complete purchases, customised discounts are even more enticing. You could look at exclusive offers specifically relating to the products that have been left in the cart, with a limited time offer such as a percentage off on the product in question. You could look at something like free shipping on products within the broader category, such as face cleansers in our skincare store example. The trick here is to bridge the gap between creepy and useful. Customers might feel uncomfortable if you are too specific. Instead, fine-tune your ecommerce marketing strategy to see how you can add genuine value by helping them save on products they have left behind.
5. Optimised error messages
Few things annoy customers more than error messages. These are even more frustrating when they appear at any point during the checkout process. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a moment and think back to the last time you did a purchase online. Hopefully, you got through checkout quickly with no trouble, with a clear progress tracker that kept you updated until your order arrived. What would your experience have been if you had seen an error message at any point after hitting that checkout button? Errors can happen for numerous reasons and are generally caused by issues in the backend. That does not mean that customers need to see a generic error message. Likewise, customers can sometimes make mistakes and wind up seeing error messages when they click the wrong link. Whatever the case, it is extremely helpful to have a pre-made error page in place in the event of errors. These can include links to your FAQ, chatbots or support details, clear buttons to continue shopping or head to checkout, and a friendly message that lets customers know that you care about helping them finalise their purchase.
6. Hyper-personalised emails
Personalisation is essential in any ecommerce marketing strategy. Hyper-personalisation is even more important. This type of personalisation goes one step further, crafting an experience that feels made specifically for your customer. You could look at carefully planned retargeting campaigns that are done in a way that is not overly annoying to customers. You could use ideas such as our customers offers mentioned above. You can email templates that speak to customers on a more personal level. Look at all of the ways that you can personalise your ecommerce marketing strategies to address concerns, make connections and interact authentically.
Ecommerce Marketing Strategies to Reduce Lost Sales
Once you begin to put more thought into your ecommerce marketing strategies that specifically focus on abandoned carts, it will be much easier to reduce lost sales. This will also help you re-engage customers and build loyalty in the process, adding even more value to your ecommerce marketing strategy.