Posted on by Elspeth Devine

Depending on which study you read, 60-90% of shoppers abandon their cart at an online checkout. Representing both a waste of time for the potential consumer and a frustrating headache for the retailer, abandoned carts raise the question of how to tempt the purchaser onwards. Many businesses find that the best way is simply to ask the customer to complete their transaction via email, using one or more abandoned cart email strategies.

1) Provide Social Proof

If someone has got as far as your shopping cart, it’s likely that they have already seen your sales pitch and had a good think about whether or not the product is right for them. This means that all that is missing is likely to be a little extra reassurance that the purchase will be worth it – there’s no need to spell out your full value proposition again. Testimonials are often the most effective way of doing this. Companies can use testimonials as part of their on-going social media marketing campaigns and can also feed the information into carefully constructed emails.

2) Offer An Incentive

Incentives are a powerful psychological mechanism for overcoming the base reluctance of people to part with their money. The fact that people like to think they’re getting ‘something extra’ that other customers may not be getting is just part of a much deeper story. When consumers receive incentives by email following an abandoned shopping cart, they are often flattered by the personal contact, feeling better recognised and valued by your brand. When consumers feel valued, they are not only more likely to follow through with a purchase, but they are also more likely to sense the overall value of a product. Incentives can include personalised discounts, upsell opportunities, gated content, free shipping, buy-one-get-one-free offers etc – whatever is likely to appeal most to your target buyers.

3) Offer Help

There is always a reason that shopping carts are abandoned. Sometimes, the customer simply overloads their shopping cart and realises they can’t afford it, but often they have last-minute questions that need answering before they make a purchase, or they may have difficulty navigating the website, or want reassurance that their money is being well spent. You can discover the most common reasons for abandoned shopping carts by conducting customer surveys or referring to benchmarks for your industry. In any case, it never hurts to offer help by email, and this is enough to elicit a response from many consumers.

Even the best designed websites may have elements that irritate the customer, such as needing to confirm security details, create passwords, and validate accounts. Some shoppers will pull out of the process because they can’t be bothered to jump through every required hoop, whereas others will abandon the cart because they are confused. Web-based Live Chat can be an ideal way to guide consumers through the end stages of the process and inviting candid feedback from customers is a good way of improving your shopping cart experience and increasing sales.

4) Invite The Customer To Join An Email Mailing List

Often, ‘abandoned shopping carts’ aren't abandoned at all. Consumers sometimes tuck items away in carts as a makeshift ‘wish list’, and if your website doesn’t have a dedicated ‘saved favourites’ or ‘wish list’ function, this may be the most common reason for incomplete purchases. The bad news is that these customers are not usually ready to make a purchase decision but are ‘shopping around’ in the consideration or awareness stage of their buyer journey. Rather than pushing a sale at this stage, cultivate the prospective customer by inviting them to join your email mailing list. This gives them time to find out more about your brand and gives you further opportunities to discover what makes them tick, and to tempt them to make a purchase through targeted discounts and incentives.

Find Out More

Personalisation matters in marketing. For more information about how to improve your customer experience and keep carts rolling through the checkout – and how bespoke packaging can reduce the risk of an abandoned shopping cart – please get in touch today.

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