Friday, August 27, 2010

How to Nab Those “Abandoned Cart” Users

We are all guilty of this; most KobeMail employees admitted to: putting items in an online shopping cart, getting so close to confirming the order, then abandoning the whole situation. According to users surveyed by Forrester, 57% of those cart abandoners do so because they see just how high the shipping cost is. Other users are just distracted and simply forget they really did intend to purchase their cart full of items. For whatever reason users abandon their shopping carts on your websites, that’s revenue left on the table for your company. Here’s how you can turn those forgetful shoppers into conversions and revenue.

Sending follow-up emails is a practice all companies should implement. However, there’s a specific type of follow-up email to convert these forgetful shoppers. Send a follow-up email to users who went so far as to nearly purchase their cart load from you and abandoned before completing the transaction. It can be a simple reminder that they have items in their cart.

Even sending a friendly “let us help you complete your order” message to remind and prompt users that they have unpurchased items waiting for them will boost your conversions and revenue. Try to avoid specifically naming the items in the cart; it may make users feel a little “watched,” you don’t want to come across as a Big Brother or raise privacy concerns. Include a transactional subject line with your abandoned cart follow-up such as “Do you need help with your order?” or “Your basket is about to expire on X date.”

Another option for converting “no buy” users is adding a little incentive along with your call to action in the follow up email. You can offer a discount/coupon or free shipping on a future purchase if the user completes their order. Offering these bonuses on future orders may prompt return engagement by users to make use of the promotion offered. If coupons and discounts are not your style, you can try a buy one now and get half on next purchase. Or offer an item for free – a coffee mug with a nifty saying on it and clearly marked with your URL. Make use of the free gift to market within households

The completion process of capturing the abandoned cart user’s email addresses is not a complicated practice. Most carts, whether custom or outsourced, are able to track when an email address has left a shopping cart full. If this is not the case, please change the cart immediately, your ecommerce site needs an immediate make-over! One option for capturing this data is to collect these users and send a list of them to your email service provider to send out the follow up email. At KobeMail we’ve implemented this for a few of our clients already. This process can easily be automated and occur in real time. Also, implementing and passing the data will capture these “no buy” users’ email addresses and put them into a short CRM (we call curriculum) of follow up and incentivized emails.

The conversion rate, according to a Forrester survey, for these abandoned cart (or “no buy”) users is upwards of 20%. That figure should be incentive enough to implement this process.

For more information on how KobeMail can implement this strategy for you, contact

Author: Courtney Dillsworth
Co-Editors: Peter Schirripa and Yasifur Rahman

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