To start, think of a consumer on your ecommerce site.
They scroll through the carefully selected featured content on your site. For some reason, something on the screen catches their eye, and they click through to one of your product pages. Their eyes rest on the framed image of your product and travel through the concise product description.
After a few seconds, their mouse hovers over that all-mighty CTA: “Add to Cart.” They click …
… and then they leave. Just like that, one of your customers has fallen out of the funnel, abandoning their cart as well as their possible transaction with your company.
Speaking as an editor at MECLABS Institute (MarketingExperiments’ parent company) and as a consumer for over 20 years, I feel comfortable saying that we customers are a fickle crowd. In the few minutes and steps it takes from adding a product to the cart to actually checking out, a million different things can happen to prevent purchase.
Marketers need to be ready to battle everything — from customer frustration with the purchase process to simple distraction.
Thankfully, an abandoned cart does not have to mean a lost transaction. A cart abandonment email campaign can be an excellent, though underutilized, way to reconnect with your lost customer and potentially make a purchase.
According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, when asked what types of automated emails their organization deploys, surveyed marketers ranked “Shopping cart abandonment” as dead last at 11%. However, 51% of surveyed American adults found these emails to be helpful.
Here are three tips to help you save your next ecommerce sale.
Step #1. Make your checkout process simple and transparent
This first step is a little counterintuitive for this blog post, but it’s essential. In an ideal world, you would never need to utilize a cart abandonment campaign because your customer would never abandon their cart.
To cut down on the number of abandonments and create an easy and pleasant checkout experience, you need to keep seven things in mind:
- Be upfront about shipping costs and information
- Relieve customer anxiety (especially when it comes to secure payment methods)
- Make checkout available to all customers, not just registered users
- Continue to present value throughout the checkout process
- Make the whole process quick and easy
- Employ persistent carts
My colleague, Lauren Pitchford, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS Institute, wrote a great guide about creating the best checkout experience possible, which really explores these aforementioned ideas in-depth.
Step #2: Determine if a cart abandonment campaign is right for you
Like I mentioned before, this isn’t an ideal world, and customers are going to leave cart items. This is where a cart abandonment email campaign can really be beneficial.
These emails serve several purposes, two examples of which are:
- Reminding customers about the wonderful merchandise they clicked away from
- Serving as a point of communication between your brand and the consumer
But it’s important to remember that these campaigns aren’t an ecommerce panacea.
A recent Chart of the Week from MarketingSherpa (sister company to MarketingExperiments) explored what customers thought of cart abandonment remarketing.
Q. What are your views of reminder emails that tell you when you have an item in your online shopping cart that has not yet been purchased?