Nearly everything we do as marketers affects our company’s bottom line. Our job is to constantly find ways to drive revenue, and that often means alleviating pain points in the sales pipeline.
Abandoned carts are a massive problem for ecommerce organizations; the statistics around them are shocking, and the numbers swing massively as the e-commerce market grows year over year:
The global average cart abandonment rate is over 75%.
Abandonment rate happens significantly more on mobile devices (85.65%).
35% of all online transactions are dropped because of required registration or sign-ups.
48% of cart abandonment emails are opened, which is significantly higher than the average global email open rate of 18%.
Slow loading time and other poor web designs can increase cart abandonment rate by 75%.
Yes, the numbers look daunting. But within them lies a ton of room for opportunity and improving your customer’s online experience, from the browsing stage through to purchasing.
Let’s look at cart abandonment in a more positive light and detect any number of areas you can focus on to improve your own abandoned cart metrics.
What does it mean for a customer to abandon their cart?
An abandoned cart is just that: your customer adds items to their online cart and doesn’t follow through on that purchase for one reason or another.
Imagine going to the grocery store, filling up a shopping cart, walking it to the front door, then leaving the full cart abandoned without actually buying anything. Cart abandonment looks a lot like that for an online retailer.
Why do customers abandon their carts?
Cart abandonment isn’t one-size-fits-all. It actually involves a bit of psychology, and there are any number of reasons why people choose to leave their filled carts in purgatory. These are just a few of many:
Reduced discovery time (so not to lose the item).
Not everyone who’s shopping online has intentions of purchasing right then and there. Adding items to cart during the browsing process ensures those items don’t go anywhere (unless you remove items from shoppers’ carts after a certain amount of time to reduce cart abandonment, like ASOS does).
Whether your customer needs additional consideration time, or it’s one of the following reasons that deters your customer from hitting the checkout button, retarget chronic browsers and remind them about the products they saved for a reason.
Unclear shipping costs and times.
There are too many shipping innovations and partners to work with nowadays to make costs and shipping times inconsistent or unknown prior to checkout.
If you ship to multiple countries at different rates or ship different products at different rates, create a landing page that gives expected shipping costs and times and link back to it on your product pages.
Discount or coupon codes not working properly.
A discount offering could be just the thing that makes a customer change their mind and buy. When that coupon code doesn’t work properly or it isn’t easily copied and applied at checkout, it could mean not only losing out on the sale of the products that were abandoned in their cart, but you could lose an opportunity to make them a repeat customer in the future.
The price has changed or increased.
It’s not often that vendors have to increase the price of a product, but external factors or demand can change things. Don’t be surprised if your abandoned cart shoppers don’t take action once the cost has gone up.
On the other hand, though, notifying customers when the price of a product has decreased or it’s gone on sale is a good opportunity to recapture interest.
Their payment method didn’t work.
Sometimes, it’s not on you — when a payment method fails or a third-party payment plan service (like an Afterpay or Klarna) doesn’t work out, a shopper may abandon their cart and not come back, even once their finances are sorted out.
Customers are required to create a profile or sign up.
As a marketer, requiring customers to sign up and provide their email address gives you ample opportunity to nurture repeat business. For a consumer who wants to purchase their items and move on with their life, it’s a huuuuuge pain. Simple solution? Offer a guest checkout option.
How to find out if shoppers’ carts have been abandoned
Most backend shop sites have visibility to whose carts have been abandoned and when. You can also use Google Analytics to track where people go once they abandon their carts; whether they leave the site entirely or go back to a product page after they’ve already started the checkout process.
Armed with this information, you can have a better understanding of what your customers are doing when they choose not to make a purchase — then you can use one of the following tactics to get them back on site and buying products.
3 cart abandonment remarketing tactics (and the metrics to measure for effectiveness)
So you know who has abandoned carts and when; you know what they’re shopping for and if they have any previous purchase behavior to go off of.
Having this information on hand gives you an opportunity to follow up with your cart abandoners and create a sale.
Reengage via email.
Your email list is the biggest weapon in your arsenal (seriously — consider the latest statistics for email marketing and tell us it’s not important).
So long as you have your shoppers’ email addresses, you can easily segment and personalize an outreach message reminding them of the products they’ve left behind. You can use social proof to seed legitimacy and share rave reviews. You can also leverage their previous purchase history to remind them why they’ve bought products from you in the past.
Metrics to measure to determine success: email open rate, link click-thru rate, conversion rate
Retarget via social media ads.
iOS15 has changed the way marketers understand their customer base, but retargeting folks who have hit your site based on your pixel gives them a subtle “Hey, remember us?” message while they’re doing their social media browsing.
This is another opportunity to use social proof or highlight additional products as a means of not only negating abandoned cart syndrome, but increasing average order value, too.
Metrics to measure to determine success: reach, click-thru rate (if your ad is a link), conversion rate, engagement rate
Use third-party tools to negate cart abandonment before it happens.
Instead of solving for cart abandonment after it happens, incorporate technologies to your site to mitigate some of the aforementioned reasons why people leave before buying in the first place.
Things like shipping cost calculators and multiple payment method options give visibility to costs prior to checking out. Live chat bots allow browsers to have their questions answered while onsite.
Like any problem, it’s best to find a way to prevent the issue from happening rather than finding new solutions every time.
Haute Hijab solved for their cart abandonment — and earned $1M in revenue. Here’s how:
Our customer Haute Hijab used Drip to streamline processes, personalize their messaging, and attribute more than $1m in revenue to automating key marketing channels. You can get the long story here, but we pulled out the important stuff on how they implemented an abandoned cart workflow (plus, what the result was):
Haute Hijab used Drip’s pre-built workflow templates that can be implemented into any major e-commerce platform; in this case, Shopify
Once they implemented Drip’s abandoned cart playbook and tested a bit themselves, their new strategy has netted $200k in revenue
Their average order value increased to $80
Their email open rate is improved to 48%
Stop cart abandonment before it happens with this checklist
Remember when we said “It’s best to find a way to prevent the issue from happening rather than finding new solutions every time” earlier? While you can retarget and re-engage until you’re blue in the face, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how many carts go unabandoned when you increase visibility and clean up the checkout process.
Tick off a few of these boxes before you start sending the forget-us-not emails.
Streamline pricing — then be upfront about it.
Changing product costs is confusing for a consumer. If you have to do it, help them understand why. Transparency is key, and customers like to know where and why they’re spending that money.
Shipping costs, as we’ve mentioned, are another big cause of cart abandonment. Offer a few options and be upfront about the price of each ahead of time.
Secure your checkout.
Customers like their privacy. Crazy, right? Securing their information at checkout by using encryption technology lets them have peace of mind during the checkout process.
Ensure coupon codes are working properly before sending it out.
Promo codes are great — when they actually work. Run a couple test buys through your system to ensure the coupon is effective. Give customers a clear expiration date and time, too, so there’s no guesswork in when or how the code should work.
Cart abandonment is inevitable for any ecommerce company, but solving for it before and after it happens isn’t impossible. Like Haute Hijab, you can try Drip free to create better reporting, understand customer habits, and use pre-built templates to bring those customers back into the fold.