Written by Michael Keenan

October 20, 2020

It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried every marketing tactic out there. If you’re not capturing abandoned carts, your marketing strategy has a gaping hole that needs to be filled. 

Why would you spend your hard-earned money, time, and resources generating interest in your products but slack off when it comes to converting them? 

Unlike intrusive exit-intent browser pop-ups (don’t you hate them?) and retargeting ads, abandoned cart recovery tactics like SMS and email are effective solutions for recovering lost sales. In a world where, on average, 88% of shoppers leave an online checkout process before the end, SMS and email offer you the ability to get customers back in your store to finish their purchase. 

What are abandoned cart recovery tactics? 

When someone adds items to their shopping cart but doesn’t buy them, you’ll want to send a gentle reminder about what they left behind. Abandoned cart recovery tactics automatically send reminders to would-be customers after they desert the checkout process before finishing. 

Considering most shoppers abandon their online shopping carts, you’ll want to plan a sound abandoned cart recovery strategy for your store. Such an approach—which consists of well-timed email, Messenger, and SMS messages—can recover almost $11 of revenue per recipient. That may not sound like much, but if nearly 90% of your customers are abandoning their carts, over time, that $11 per person adds up!

Do abandoned cart emails work?

You may not be entirely convinced that abandoned cart emails and conversational messages truly work. But the results from cart abandonment email campaigns speak for themselves. 

According to Klaviyo’s abandoned cart benchmark report, the average campaign results in: 

  • A 41.18% average open rate 
  • A 9.50% click-through rate
  • An average of $5.81 revenue per recipient 

The results from your shopping cart abandonment campaigns will vary depending on how many carts are left behind in your store and your store’s average order value. After you draft and send your abandoned cart messages, document a baseline against which you can measure future results. This will help you conduct A/B tests and see what works best for you.

What is a good abandoned cart recovery rate?

While knowing the average click-through rate, open rate, and revenue per recipient is helpful to evaluate your campaigns’ success, expected cart abandonment recovery rate is more inconsistent and highly dependent on company specifics like average order value.

Klaviyo’s benchmark report revealed the following stats:

  • Businesses with average order values between $100 and $500 recovered 4-5% of abandoned shopping carts
  • Businesses with basket values lower than $50 were able to save around 3% of abandoned cart sales 
  • The top 10% of eCommerce companies were able to outperform the rest by at least 3x on average 

Want to capitalize on this strategy for your own business? Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is your current abandoned cart recovery rate?
  • What would you like it to be in 30 days?
  • What would you like to see it increase to over the next six months to a year?

If you’re getting above average results without any extra help, that’s great! Keep up the good work. If not, use the following abandoned cart recovery tactics to improve your campaign results. 

The top abandoned cart recovery tactics

Here are seven tactics you can start implementing today that will make building your abandoned cart recovery campaigns easier. 

  1. Add a live chat option to your online store and recovery campaign messages
  2. Give shoppers a variety of payment options
  3. Offer free returns
  4. Set up an automated email remarketing campaign
  5. Send abandoned cart text messages
  6. Perfect your subject lines
  7. Offer a discount or coupon

1. Add a live chat option to your store and recovery campaign messages

Shoppers may have questions about shipping, returns, the product, etc., which can make them hesitant to purchase their desired items. If they don’t know whom to contact with their concerns, potential customers may leave before checkout. 

While you may already offer customer support in the form of email or social media, it can often take time for agents to respond, giving potential customers more time to reconsider their intent to purchase. Live chat fixes all of that. 

With live chat, your team can provide ongoing support to eliminate any doubts or concerns shoppers may have. The conversational service style keeps customers on your site and engaged. Most critically, it’s an immediate and intimate way to make customers feel valued.

La Repa De Sueños is a great example of exceptional live chat customer service. The shopper only needs to click the chat bubble and sign in with their Facebook profile or as a guest to get prompt assistance. La Repa De Sueños replies right away, and the shopper can use the automated service support or talk to a live representative.

La repa de suenos

Another way to incorporate live chat into a cart recovery campaign is by offering support through Messenger and SMS. You can transition a customer from an email into either channel to expedite the buying process. 

Want to reduce abandoned carts in your online store with live chat? Sign up for ManyChat free today.

2. Give shoppers a variety of payment options

One effective cart abandonment solution is to offer multiple payment options on your website, as retailers who limit payment methods risk losing 42% of their U.S. customers

Most eCommerce stores you patronize today offer payment options that have expanded far beyond the traditional credit and debit cards. One payment method that’s been gaining traction for over a decade is “express pay”: technology that stores credit and debit card information and saves users from having to dig out their cards every time they need to pay for items online. Popular express pay options include:

It’s well documented that people want faster checkout options; in fact, 23% of shoppers abandon online purchases because of a complicated checkout process. In response, savvy retailers like Culture Kings offer express pay options in addition to traditional payment methods like Visa, American Express, Mastercard, etc. 

Culture Kings Payment Options

Another smart abandoned cart recovery tactic that can help stop abandonment before it happens is offering a “Buy Now, Pay Later” option via Afterpay.

Nearly 40% of people surveyed by advisory firm 451 Research said that they’d be more willing to purchase an item if they had a financing option at checkout. This is particularly useful for shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday when people are looking for gifts for their loved ones but may not have the cash just yet.  

Most eCommerce platforms have integrations that help your online store offer different payment options. Make sure to highlight these options on your checkout page to increase conversions and reduce abandoned cart rates in your store. 

3. Offer free returns and flaunt customer benefits

Retailers that don’t offer free returns are losing money. According to research from eCommerce tech brand, Radial, approximately 51% of U.S. shoppers and 49% of Canadian shoppers would not buy from a retailer that doesn’t offer free returns. 

If a merchant’s return policy is too strict, shoppers will likely head to another site to buy their items. If you already have a good return policy, flaunt it. Use it to build trust on your checkout page by showcasing it, as Zappos does.

Zappos Amazon collaboration

The retailer offers free shipping and returns, plus a 365-day window to return your purchase for a refund—and they make it known! Zappos also assures customers that they won’t sell your information and highlights the cashback reward if you use your Amazon Rewards Visa Card to make the purchase. 

These added benefits can make shoppers feel more comfortable buying from you, which results in a lower abandoned cart rate for your store. 

4. Set up an automated email remarketing campaign

A tried-and-true way to recover abandoned carts is through a multi-step email remarketing campaign. These automated emails work by reminding a potential customer about what they left behind and encouraging them to come back and finish checking out.

You can include the contents of a customers’ shopping cart, product recommendations, incentives, and more as part of your communication. 

Abandoned cart recovery tactic example
Image courtesy of: Really Good Emails

According to Klaviyo, businesses using email to recover abandoned carts see an average revenue per recipient of $5.81. You can even create omnichannel campaigns by integrating SMS and Messenger into your email remarketing efforts. Reaching out to customers on multiple platforms can increase revenue and improve ROI on your paid ads. 

Whether it’s a browse abandonment or abandoned cart recovery campaign, any size business can send omnichannel messages using a marketing software like ManyChat to automate it. 

5. Send abandoned cart texts

How many times have you scanned your overflowing inbox and mindlessly deleted every message that wasn’t from someone you know? If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. 

Many shoppers may not even see the email follow-up messages you send to nudge them back to your website. Inboxes are crowded; messages can get filtered into sub-tabs like Promotions in Gmail. However, you can still break through the clutter on another channel. Shoppers are far more likely to open texts (which have a near 100% open rate) than an email.

Abandoned cart SMS push notification

You can apply the same best practices you would use for cart abandonment emails to your SMS campaigns. As your website collects data on individuals during their shopping sessions, you can then use that information to:

  • Send relevant text messages with eye-catching images
  • Offer personalized discounts that motivate shoppers to return to checkout
  • Provide SMS live chat support to answer any questions, and the data collected on shoppers will provide live agents the information they need to assist.
abandoned cart text example

To learn more about abandoned cart text messages, we recommend reading “How to Reduce Abandoned Cart Rate with SMS.”

6. Perfect your subject lines

Subject lines play a significant role in the success of an abandoned cart email campaign, yet they don’t have to be clever or catchy. According to Klaviyo’s research, those that simply reminded an online shopper of the items they left behind received a solid 47% open rate and 11% click-through rate.

Emails with emojis in their subject lines performed slightly lower, with open rates at just 39%. While emojis can resonate well with the right audience, brands considering using emojis in their messaging should A/B test them before rolling them out at scale.

Emails that mention discounts in the subject line also had a lower open rate (38%) but exhibited a high average click rate of nearly 11%.  

subject lines for abandoned cart emails from klaviyo study

Keep a few tips in mind when writing abandoned cart email subject lines:

  1. Keep subject lines simple. Remember, the goal of your subject line is to get people to open your email. When competing for attention in a shopper’s inbox, the last thing you want to do is complicate the message. Make it straightforward and to the point. For example, the subject line “Price drop on your favorite shirt!” conveys the idea more succinctly than, “Your favorite items are almost sold out! Take 10% off if you order now!!” 
  2. Personalize your message. Brands that send personalized emails see a 17% increase in revenue compared to emails that use generic subject lines, according to research from OneSpot and The Relevancy Group. Including a shopper’s name in the subject line to catch their attention (“[First Name], you left something behind”) can make it feel like the experience is unique to them.  
  3. Send compelling offers. Offering an incentive is a great way to encourage would-be customers to finish their purchase, especially with first-time shoppers unfamiliar with your brand. Use subject lines like “[First Name], your next order ships free!” or “[First Name], would X% off help?”
  4. Get creative. Add some personality to your emails by using copy that’s relevant to your customers and your brand. For example, if your brand voice is conversational and quirky, you could say, “Ohhhh, nice choice! We set it aside for you [First Name]” or “Don’t get left in the dust! Best offer available inside.” 

7. Offer a dollar-based discount or coupon

When you see a coupon in your inbox, what happens next? If it makes you want to jump on the opportunity to secure a sweet deal, you’re not alone. 

According to Klaviyo’s study, abandoned cart emails that included a coupon code saw an average open rate of roughly 44% and a click-through rate of nearly 11%. But each discount had its own results. 

Let’s break down the three main discounts used in abandoned cart recovery emails:

  1. Percentage-based offers: Although these tend to be the most common type of discount, they generate the lowest revenue per recipient and result in lower open rates. 
  2. Dollar-based offers: These discounts tend to outperform percentage-based offers, producing the highest revenue per recipient for retailers ($15.91).
  3. Free shipping: High shipping costs are one of the most common reasons people abandon their carts. If your margins can handle it, offering free shipping is an excellent way to encourage people to come back and buy. 

Regardless of which offer you decide on, make sure to auto-apply coupons at the checkout page, which allows shoppers to easily complete the purchase. 

Take a look at how Winc Wine Club adds a dollar-based discount to their amusing abandoned cart email. They aren’t flashy or in-your-face about it. Instead, they reel you in with witty copy, then throw in a $20 off your first order offer before the call-to-action button to seal the deal.

Winc club email
Image courtesy of: Really Good Emails

If you’re using Facebook Messenger to send abandoned cart messages, you can send shoppers a personalized coupon that sends them straight to the checkout page when they click on it. You can even provide them the option to complete the purchase inside Messenger (refer to the example from Fletcher Goods below).

 

Improving your abandoned cart workflow

Capturing lost sales is never easy, but embracing omnichannel marketing will make your abandon cart recovery tactics far more effective.

The best part about building cart abandonment campaigns using ManyChat is that they’re automated. You can set up an abandoned cart workflow for email, SMS, and Messenger, and a year from now, it’ll still be convincing cart abandoners to come back and finish the purchase in your store.

Want to reduce abandoned carts in your online store? Sign up for ManyChat free today.