A colleague of mine here at Lyris recently published a blog about browse abandon email programs and why marketers should set one up. I’d like to pick up where he left off – just as powerful as the browse abandonment program is a cart abandonment program.
A cart abandonment program is an automated email triggered by a customer placing products into your online shopping cart but not actually purchasing.
Think of it as a helpful friend just reminding your shoppers that the products they were interested in are sitting in their cart waiting for them to purchase. Many consumers abandon their carts because they get interrupted or plan to finish off later. A gentle reminder though a cart abandonment program will jog their memories and encourage them to return to purchase.
Why should you set one up?
According to April 2013 data from the Baymard Institute, roughly two out of every three (67.35%) ecommerce shopping carts are abandoned after consumers have selected items and placed those items in the cart. At the same time, other studies have shown that cart abandonment programs can result in 4% – 6% increases in revenue.
A cart abandonment program will steer shoppers back to your site where they already have the products conveniently waiting in their cart. Without this reminder, shoppers may do a Google search when they remember they want to buy and could find the product on a different site, or forget their purchase all together.
What makes a good cart abandonment program?
Here are three key action items for executing an effective program:
1. Plan a series of emails
Lyris recommends a series of shopping cart abandonment emails, with two or three emails sent at scheduled intervals. The content of these emails will vary depending on the nature of your business, but this is a fairly standard approach:
· A first email inquiring if the customer needs help completing the transactions
· A second email simply informing the shopper that you are holding his or her items; you might add some sense of urgency by including, for example, a reminder that many of your popular styles sell out quickly.
· A third email that includes a follow-up offer – often this offer would be a discount or even free shipping, such as, “We were just about to put away the items in your shopping cart, but we thought we’d give you another chance to claim them. Order within the next four hours and we will include free two-day shipping.”
2. Send emails immediately
While conversion rates from successful shopping cart abandonment emails vary greatly, sending the first email in the series within 60 minutes of the cart abandonment can dramatically boost the recovery rate.
For instance, SaleCycle reported in 2012 that merchants who sent first emails within 20 minutes of a shopper abandoning a cart enjoyed a 5.2% conversion rate, while those who waited 24 hours to send a first cart abandonment email experienced only a 2.6% conversion rate.
3. Measure, review, adjust
It is important to continuously measure and adjust a shopping cart abandonment email series. Make small, specific, distinct adjustments and analyze the results. Does changing the subject line impact conversions? Does the timing of sending the emails result in different levels of conversion?
Earlier in October Lyris introduced a new Real-Time Retargeting solution designed to help online retailers increase customer loyalty and conversion through browse abandonment and cart abandonment programs. The solution is immediately available for users of Lyris applications, and is proven and delivered in partnership with Triggered Messaging.
Download the data sheet to learn more, or call 888-465-9747.