How to

As a business owner, I’m always looking for those elusive ‘quick-wins’. In helping many entrepreneurs expand their revenues using eCommerce, I’m always amazed to find so many not implementing a robust recovery mechanism.

While optimizing your checkout flow is important, what happens after customers abandon your site is also equally important. No matter how well you convert, you’ll always have a few customers who abandon your site. That doesn’t mean they are gone forever.

One facet of the services we deploy for our clients is cart and browse recovery initiatives. A good cart recovery solution can re-engage with lost customers and bring them back to your site, further reducing your cart abandonment. In this post I’ll discuss four important aspects of an effective cart recovery solution.

It Needs To Be Personalized

A ‘simple’ cart abandonment solution, sending a single email to visitors asking them to come back to your site without any level of personalization, can be counterproductive. Customers expect you to know what they want, especially with cart and browse recovery emails since, well, they’ve just told you. They want attention to detail, so a generic ‘come back’ isn’t enough.

Take Julep for example. They started as a boutique cosmetics store but have grown online with eCommerce. Unlike most stores that send out a generic abandoned cart email, Julep sends out personalized emails based on the customer’s cart contents.

Here’s what the email looks like.


Notice that the email doesn’t ask customers to come back to the cart or continue shopping. Instead, it shows them exactly what they left in the cart and asks them to buy it. This way, they are continuing the customer’s journey at the point they left off, the checkout.

Adding this personal touch contributed to an increase in Julep’s sales by 3.3%. When you think about the millions Julep makes, this translates to a large number.

It Needs To Be Real-Time

Forester Research found that 90% of E-Commerce leads go cold within an hour. What’s more interesting is that of those who do buy after abandoning carts, 50% do so with one hour and 75% within 24 hours.

So, if your first recovery email is not deployed within 60 minutes of the visitor leaving your website, then you’ll likely not find any cart abandonment program successful. Many are likely to have either lost the impulse to buy or have bought from one of your competitors.

The Julep example highlights the importance of timing when sending out recovery emails. Recall that the email they send out continues the customer’s journey, so timing becomes extremely important. The customer is still in a buying frame of mind when he/she abandons the cart, so you want to capture that before their interest wanes.

It Needs To Be Relevant

The shopping cart checklist drew attention to the level of content that can be available in the cart. Thumbnails, description, SKU. Color, Size etc… are only some of the details that should be included.

With ‘simple’ cart recovery tools, this may not be possible. Even if they can collect this data from the cart, what happens if that content simply isn’t displayed in the cart.

It’s important to enable data collection at the product page. This way you are certain to have all the relevant data needed to include in any recovery program. We’re talking cart and browse recovery.

Wasserstrom, an online retailer of foodservice equipment, has a good system for this. They use existing email IDs for previous customers and track which product pages these customers visited. If the customers abandon while browsing the site, they use this data to send out personalized and real-time recovery emails.

Not only do the emails capture what products the customers were browsing before they dropped off, they also include the current list price of the products, emphasizing the savings on each one.

The emails also remind customers why they should complete their purchase with Wasserstrom, highlighting unique features like free shipping and customer service. They also send multiple reminders over a period of a few days, in case customers don’t come back in the first email.

In total, Wasserstrom experienced a 5% uplift in sales within 90 days of first implementing this system.

It Needs To Use Trusted Email Service Providers

Many E-Commerce owners use an Email Service Provider (ESP) to deploy their marketing emails. They are easy to use and generally have better inbox placement than sending through their own servers. However, when it comes to deploying triggered emails such as transactional emails, cart and browse recovery emails, they often don’t use the ESP.

With open and click-thru rates of 55%+ and 22%+ respectively, why not ensure your scheduled emails benefit from the high engagement of these emails. Engagement is an important measure for inbox placement and using a recovery and personalization platform that is fully integrated with leading ESP’s makes sense. Better reporting, better content and better inbox placement of scheduled emails means a higher ROI.

Get Your Recovery On

The shopping experience doesn’t start and stop at your website. You need to continue the conversation with the customer after they leave your site, and that’s especially important if they showed interest in you but didn’t purchase anything. To do that, you must have a personalized, relevant, and real-time system that brings customers back to your site and converts lost potential into real sales.

Do you have a cart recovery solution to stop customers from abandoning carts in your store? If so, let us know what solution you use in the comments.


Source: Bubblebox; Posted March 3, 2015 by Paul