Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment With Email Marketing

One of the unique issues facing the eCommerce industry is shopping cart abandonment — a phenomenon where online shoppers add items to their cart but leave the website before they purchase those items. Using email marketing to reach out to customers who have abandoned their cart, businesses can lower their shopping cart abandonment rates and increase sales.

Shopping cart abandonment is exactly what it sounds like.
People will fill a virtual cart with items and then abandon this cart full of items at the final few steps of the purchasing process. This is a unique challenge facing the e-commerce industry that physical storefronts will rarely face.
While it is unlikely that someone will go to a store, fill a cart with products
 and then leave that cart at the register, this is fairly common for online shopping.
In fact, roughly 70% of online shoppers will abandon carts at checkout. Unfortunately, this number has been slowly increasing in the past few years.

A high shopping cart abandonment rate can have major consequences for your business.
The most obvious of these consequences is the revenue your business loses by not fully completing a sale. Consistent cart abandonment means that your company is missing out on sales that were nearly complete, which means less revenue is being generated.
This article will take a look at some of the most common causes of shopping cart abandonment and how an effective email marketing strategy can help reduce the rate of people leaving before they purchase a product/service.

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6 Reasons For Shopping Cart Abandonment

  1. High additional costs
  2. Forced account creation
  3. Complicated checkout process
  4. Slow delivery and limited shipping options
  5. Lack of payment options
  6. Site Bugs

High Additional Costs

One of the leading reasons people cite for abandoning an online shopping cart is the additional costs. Unexpected costs can drive a person to feel that they are overpaying for a product, which causes them to abandon the purchase. 

These unexpected costs include taxes, shipping, additional service fees, and so on. Online shoppers especially dislike paying high shipping rates. In fact, people are more willing to pay a higher perceived product price if the shipping is free. 

For example, people are more likely to purchase a $30 item with free shipping than they are a $25 item with $5 shipping.

To resolve this issue, you should consider including shipping costs in the price for the product or look to reduce shipping costs. 

Additional reading, ‘How to Reduce Shipping Costs for Small Businesses.’

Forced Account Creation

When people or businesses shop for products and services online, they expect convenience. Additional steps such as forcing them to create an account with your website can drive people away who aren’t willing to take these extra steps. 

Fortunately, this cause of shopping cart abandonment has a simple solution. Enabling guest checkout is a simple way to ensure your checkout process is convenient enough for everybody.

Complicated Checkout Process

As we just mentioned, a cumbersome checkout process is one of the primary causes of shopping cart abandonment. The more efficient your checkout process is, the more likely consumers will finish a purchase. 

Your business’s purchasing process should be simple, easy to use, and have as few steps as possible. In fact, some online retailers such as Amazon have even been implementing ways to purchase products with a single click.

Slow Delivery and Limited Shipping Options

With the growth of the e-commerce industry, consumers worldwide have come to expect their shipping preferences to be met. 

Slow delivery times and limited shipping options are huge turn-offs for consumers. Consider using shipping APIs to streamline your warehouse management and delivery operations.

Lack of Payment Methods

Whether your consumers are individual people or entire organizations, there is one thing they have all come to expect when shopping online: that online businesses accept their preferred payment method. This is why it is important to make several different payment methods available. 

Remember that different demographics of consumers might have different payment preferences. For instance, younger people may prefer to use Paypal to purchase their products whereas older people might still prefer to use electronic checks. 

Show that you understand your audience by offering them the payment method they’re most familiar with.

Site Bugs

High cart abandonment rates tend to be more common with buggy websites. So, if people are consistently leaving your website during the checkout process, it might mean that your website has technical issues.

If you suspect that your site has some technical issues, consult with a web developer to identify and resolve the issue. In doing so, you can improve your website’s functionality. 

Additional reading, ‘What Makes a Website Functional?

Customer Recovery Using Email Marketing

Email icon  
Source: Brett Jordan

Email marketing campaigns are the most effective way of combating a high shopping cart abandonment rate. 

Known as abandoned cart emails, this type of email marketing campaign is exactly what you would expect it to be. They are emails targeted at shoppers who left items in their carts without completing the checkout process.

How to Write an Abandoned Cart Email 

There are a few different tactics to keep in mind when writing an abandoned cart email. 

  1. Write a catchy or personalized subject line
  2. Use straightforward copy
  3. Use incentives

Add a catchy or personalized Subject line 

The first of these tactics is to have a catchy or personalized subject line. The subject line of a marketing email is wildly important because it is generally what convinces a consumer to open it. After all, your email marketing efforts won’t go very far if unopened.

Use straightforward copy 

When you’re writing the copy for your shopping cart abandonment email, be straightforward.  

Remember, they want to buy your product. That’s why they put it in their cart. You just need to encourage them to complete the purchase. 

A great email will use automation to showcase what is in their cart, use CTAs to make it easy for users to purchase the item, and address any issues customers might be facing. 

To write effective copy for your marketing email, remember to emphasize these points:

  • There is still an item in the shopper’s cart
  • The shopper should complete the order right now
  • Make it easy for them to complete the purchase with a call to action
  • Add contact information so customers can ask questions

By including this information, you can encourage shoppers to complete their purchase. 

Use incentives

If you feel that the email still lacks the strength it needs to encourage the shopper to return to your online store and finish the purchase, you may need to include an incentive. 
Abandoned cart workflow strategy for email abandonment marketing

Source: Campaign Creators 

These incentives don’t need to be massive to be effective either. Just a simple limited-time discount is usually enough to convince people to complete their purchase.

Email Marketing As a Solution to Shopping Cart Abandonment

Shopping cart abandonment is a serious problem that affects the revenue of nearly every online store in existence, but there are steps we can take to reduce its frequency.
The first step to reducing shopping cart abandonment is to understand why it happens.
This is because of additional costs that the shopper didn’t expect or because your checkout process is inefficient.
The most effective tool online businesses have to combat shopping cart abandonment is the cart abandonment marketing email. There are two pieces to an effective cart abandonment marketing email. The first part is a reminder for shoppers that they have an incomplete purchase to finish. 

Sometimes simply reminding a person that they have abandoned a cart is enough to convince them to finish the checkout process. The second part of an effective cart abandonment email is an incentive. 

Discount codes and coupons are incredibly effective at encouraging online shoppers to return to your website and complete their purchases. 

Additional Reading 

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