June 25, 2014 Online Store and Retail en_US https://quickbooks.intuit.com/cas/dam/IMAGE/A8GJn5Bod/89f8271849365d63b565a9b2d7742faf.png https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/online-store-and-retail/recover-abandoned-shopping-carts How to Recover Abandoned Shopping Carts
Online Store and Retail

How to Recover Abandoned Shopping Carts

By April Maguire June 25, 2014

Shopping cart abandonment occurs when online shoppers add items to their carts, but leave instead of submitting payment information and making a purchase. According to a recent study, the average rate of shopping cart abandonment is a whopping 67.9%, which translates into thousands of lost revenue for online retailers.

While retailers may assume that prospective buyers simply change their minds about purchases, the truth is that many shoppers plan to purchase those items at a later date or, worse, elsewhere. In other instances, unexpected costs, like tax and shipping, prevent customers from making a purchase. The good news is that, with a little effort, online retailers can recover their abandoned shopping carts and consequently increase income for their businesses.

Here are some tips for recovering abandoned shopping carts and boosting conversion rates: 

Audit Your Checkout Process

Are there a lot of steps in your checkout process? Do you ask for information beyond the basics necessary for buying and shipping? Do you try to upsell? Are you adding hidden fees at checkout? Is your shipping more expensive or longer than your competitors? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have found the root of your abandonment problem.

Consumers flock to e-commerce shops for their convenience and ease-of-use. By adding superfluous steps and making the process a hassle for your customers, it takes away the incentive for using your storefront. Look at the checkout processes for your competitors. How does it differ from yours? Are there ways you can improve upon their technique? A little competitive analysis can help you pinpoint what you’re doing wrong and what your more successful competitors are doing right. 

Capture Customers’ Email Addresses Earlier

Sending an email after a shopper abandons his or her cart is one of the best things you can do to recapture lost sales. However, this won’t work without your customers’ email addresses. To ensure you can follow up with shoppers, take steps to capture email addresses early in the buying process. Make email submission the first step of checking out, and ensure you can follow up with these missed opportunities.

If possible, grab email addresses even earlier by using them as account usernames. When you require an email address to be used as a username, you have a constantly growing email list that you can use to contact customers about a variety of things, including abandoned shopping carts. Just remember to be transparent about how you use your customers’ email addresses by incorporating their usage policy in your terms of service.

Provide Discount Coupons

Savvy shoppers know that coupons aren’t just for in-store purchases. While web retailers should avoid offering discounts to all cart abandoners, providing the occasional discount code can be an effective way of recapturing potential income. This can be used to reward previous customers who have bought goods from you in the past, which will hopefully bring them back and drop your abandonment rate.

Follow Up With Email Immediately 

When retailers wait to send follow-up messages, they run the risk of losing customers to other businesses or sending emails after shoppers have already come back on their own to recover their carts. If you reach out to customers too late, they may get annoyed upon realizing that they missed a potential coupon offer, and this can make them hesitant to shop at your site again.

Services like Barilliance.com offer automated, real-time emails to help retailers recover abandoned carts. Additionally, businesses can customize email templates and even send different offers to customers based on the value of items in their respective carts. Send your follow-up messages right away to avoid losing shoppers to other retailers in the future.

Utilize Remarketing Opportunities

In addition to following up with prospective buyers via email, businesses today can use remarketing programs to get in touch with shopping cart abandoners. With Google Remarketing, retailers can present past visitors with highly targeted ads based on their specific areas of interest. Ads will appear on Facebook and other sites that feature display advertising. Even better, retailers can customize their text to include various special offers, such as inviting shoppers to return and purchase abandoned cart items for a discounted rate.

Incorporate Pictures Into Messages

A well-selected picture can have a significant effect on any marketing campaign. As an online retailer looking to recover abandoned shopping carts, you should utilize images of abandoned products in your email messaging and remarketing ads. By showing shoppers the dress or fishing rod they abandoned, you tempt them to return and complete the purchase. Additionally, retailers can include reviews from other shoppers and even suggestions for similar products to help convince customers to convert.

Don’t Miss Out on Potential Revenue

Shopping cart abandonment is more than a mere nuisance; in fact, a recent study by CPC Strategy suggests that businesses lose $18 billion each year due to abandoned carts. Take steps to recapture these missed sales opportunities, and add even more revenue to your bottom line.

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A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire has served as a writer, editor and content manager. Currently, she works as a full-time freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Read more