Closing e-commerce sales can be challenging when you’re not in front of the customer to continue the sales discussion. Customers often add products to their virtual cart and walk away without completing the order. Sometimes they aren’t sure about the purchase or want to compare prices, while other times they are distracted and don’t finish the checkout process. Either way, the sales cycle doesn’t have to end at an abandoned checkout. Here are some tips for jump-starting the sales cycle and bringing back abandoned sales.
Your first line of defence is email retargeting. Email retargeting is the process of automatically contacting customers via email when a certain period of time passes after adding an item to the cart without finishing the checkout process. You can retarget customers after any amount of time, although 12, 24, or 48 hours are common intervals to use.
Most initial retargeting emails are a simple reminder along the lines of “You still have 4 items in your cart! Click here to finish checking out!” You can also include an invitation for the customer to contact you if there are any problems with completing the order, helping you recapture customers who had trouble adding their billing information or another issue.
You may want to consider implementing a tiered system for retargeting. Try sending emails every 12 hours for a 72-hour period after your customers abandons their carts. Use increasingly urgent language with each progression to communicate that any time-sensitive deals may be ending soon, or that stock is low if applicable.
If your company has a mobile shopping app, then consider using push notifications either in place of email retargeting or in addition to it. Push notifications have the advantage of showing up on the customer’s lock screen, so they’re harder to ignore or forget about than an email.
International shopping platforms such as Amazon and Etsy take advantage of push notifications for this purpose with great success. Just like with email retargeting, you can use a tiered system for abandonment push notifications to communicate urgency and encourage the customer to complete their purchase.
If multiple tiers of email retargeting and push notifications don’t bring customers back, then try offering a deal with your final abandonment email or notification. If a customer abandons a cart to comparison-shop, then an exclusive coupon is exactly what you need. Some deals you might want to consider offering include:
- Free shipping within Canada
- A percentage off the entire cart
- A percentage off a single item
- Buy one, get one free on a popular small item
- $X off $XX minimum purchase
Alternatively, remind your customers that you offer price matching, if applicable. Any kind of perceived savings provides an incentive for the potential customer to shop with you instead of with your competitors.
With the right communication, sense of urgency, and combination of incentives, you don’t have to write off abandoned carts as a lost cause.