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4 Ways to Optimize Your Shopping Cart Abandonment Flow

Every eCommerce retailer has experienced financial loss from cart abandonment. Don’t believe it? According to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is over 69%, and Barilliance reports that global cart abandonment rates are as high as 77%.

While cart abandonment is an unfortunate part of working in the eCommerce world, it doesn’t have to be devastating to your business.

It’s possible to employ smart email marketing strategies to significantly decrease your cart abandonment rates and land more sales. Optimizing your checkout process can help eCommerce sites increase conversions by over 35%.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The top reasons why shoppers abandon carts
  • Solutions to decrease cart abandonment
  • How you can optimize your cart abandonment flow to capture more sales

Let’s get started!

Why Shoppers Abandon Carts During The Checkout Process

Before delving too deep into how to optimize your shopping cart abandonment flow, it’s critical to understand why shoppers abandon carts in the first place. 

When you know why consumers click out of their carts, it’s possible to create a targeted solution. Let’s take a closer look at the top reasons shoppers abandon carts and what you can do about it.

1. Extra costs during the checkout process

Baymard conducted a study with nearly 5,000 participants and asked the top reasons why they abandoned carts.

Fifty percent of participants said they abandoned carts because of hidden costs or extra costs at final checkout, including shipping, taxes, and fees.

Image source: Baymard Institute

Solution: Avoid this problem by being upfront about all associated fees. Consider showing all costs on your eCommerce store’s product page and adding a zipcode box to checkout to estimate shipping costs.

2. Mandatory account creation

Have you ever been interested in purchasing a product and quit the process early because the company wanted you to create an account? 

If so, you’re not alone. Some stats show that 37% of people abandon carts because they don’t want to spend the time and energy, creating a customer account. Results from the Baymard Institute study showed that 28% of respondents abandoned carts due to mandatory account creation.

 

Solution: Offer a guest checkout option. It’s quick and easy to create a guest account and still allows you to capture an email address.

3. Problems with shipping

Twenty-three percent of shoppers abandon carts due to shipping issues. Problems with shipping include not having enough shipping options, costs being too high, and not having enough transparency around how much shipping will cost.

Image source: SaleCycle

Solution: Provide a wide range of shipping methods, delivery times, and payment options. Additionally, offer an estimate of all associated shipping costs for your customers before getting to the final checkout page.

4. A lengthy and confusing checkout process

Your checkout process plays a large role in whether or not consumers complete their intended purchase. Stats show that 56% of shoppers abandon carts due to prolonged and confusing checkouts. 

The Baymard Institute reports 21% of consumers abandoned carts due to complicated check-out processes. While it’s not as high as some reports, it’s still significant.

 

Image source: Baymard Institute

Solution: Reduce the number of checkout steps by only asking for critical data, using auto-film forms, and setting up auto-save captivity for when users do abandon their carts.

5. Not ready to buy

Recent data shows that 58.6% of US online shoppers have abandoned a cart within the last three months because they were browsing or not ready to buy. Other reports show that 34% of customers are browsing, not buying. And, 18% of shoppers abandon carts because they want to compare prices.

Image source: SaleCycle

With 81% of consumers researching products in depth before they buy, there’s little eCommerce brands can do to optimize the checkout process for browsers and researchers. But, this is where email marketing comes into play.

Solution: Optimize your shopping cart abandonment flow to help nurture interested researchers through the sales funnel.

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Top tips for the optimization of your cart abandonment flow to capture more sales

Now that you know the top reasons why shoppers abandon their carts and how to optimize your checkout flow to encourage more sales let’s talk about how you can use an email marketing strategy to win back cart abandoners.

1. Ask for an email address during checkout

You already know that shopping cart abandonment rates skyrocket when the checkout process is complicated.

If your cart abandonment rates are continually high, there truly is no reason to ask users to create an account, enter in all their personal information, or even subscribe to your list.

All you need for a successful cart abandonment follow-up is a name and an email address. The reason? 

Email marketing is not only the digital marketing channel with the highest ROI, but it’s also one of the most powerful tools for reconnecting with online consumers and capturing lost sales. 

Research shows that cart abandonment emails have a purchase rate higher than 10%, and three abandoned cart emails bring in 69% more revenue than only one email. Not to mention, shopping cart abandonment emails sent within an hour boost conversion rates by 6.33%

When choosing the most critical bit of personal information to gather from customers, the research shows you should pick an email address every time. Below is a nice example from the men’s clothing retailer Charles Tyrwhitt.

2. Use dynamic content in your follow-up emails

While it’s critical to send out follow-up emails to cart abandoners, it’s also important to remember that not all emails are created equal.

Long gone are the days of generic, mass emails. Results-driven email marketing means crafting emails that are convenient for purchasers and highly-personalized. Stats show that personalized email campaigns improve clickthrough rates by 14%.

Personalization basics include personalizing the subject line, addressing the subscriber by name, and even segmenting lists appropriately.

But, to truly connect with cart abandoners, email marketers need an email service provider that offers robust dynamic content capabilities.

As a quick review, dynamic content is an email component that uses customer behavioral and in-session data to help you create emails with personalized content. Through the use of triggers and dynamic content, your ESP will switch out content blocks, images, and even products that sync up perfectly with an individual consumer.

Here’s an example of dynamic content from Nike’s abandoned cart email. 

This email’s content will vary from shopper to shopper, depending on what was left behind in their cart, while the design and messaging remains consistent. 

In terms of your customer’s abandoned online shopping cart, dynamic content makes it possible to track which products specific customers have added to their cart and then send an email to that customer with the exact products they wanted to buy.

3. A/B test your abandoned cart emails

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to creating the perfect abandon cart email campaign. What works for your customers will vary widely from what works for another company.

The good news is there is a science to getting your emails right, and that’s A/B testing. 

A/B testing, in the context of email marketing, is when you send one variation of your email to a group of subscribers and another variation to a different subset of email subscribers. Then, you track and analyze the emails and compare the results.

Based on the results of your A/B tests, you can create a high converting cart abandonment flow. Here are some of the things to consider A/B testing on your cart recovery emails:

  • Timing of the email
  • Subject lines
  • Dynamic content
  • Copy
  • Images
  • Messaging
  • Call-to-action (CTA)
  • Offers
  • Design
  • And more!

Below is an excellent example from Food52; they tested the copy of their emails: “Oh No!” vs. “Your Cart Called.”  

There are several ways to measure the success of your A/B testing efforts, but the top metrics include:

  • Open rates. Tracking which email has more open rates will provide valuable information about the timing of your email and the quality of your subject lines.
  • Click rate. Click rate is an excellent metric to help you measure whether your copy, messaging, CTAs, offers, etc., are resonating well with your target audience.
  • Conversions. Conversions are the ultimate metric for success because they affect company revenues. Any changes you make to your email that increase conversions is a strong indicator you’re on the right path.

If you can test it, you should!

4. Cross channel retargeting

Earlier in this post, I mentioned how over 58% of people abandon carts because they are browsing, comparing prices, and researching.

When these research-driven consumers click out of their carts, does that mean all is lost? No way!

Smart marketers track visitors’ on-site behavior, paying specific attention to which products customers browse and add to their carts but haven’t purchased yet.

With this behavioral data, marketers can set up automated cross channel retargeted ads, so products they were searching for on your website appear on their browser when searching on Google and across social media.

You’ve probably seen retargeted ads yourself in your individualized shopping experiences. When is the last time you added a product to a cart and then saw the same product on a related Google search a few hours later? 

For example, I have been eyeing the coffee company Bones Coffee Co. I’ve added it to my cart a few times but haven’t purchased anything yet. 

I just paused writing this article to check Facebook and look at the ad that appears in my Facebook feed.

This is retargeting at its best! And, since it just happens to be Cyber Monday as I write this article, I’m likely to finally make my purchase.

Stats support cross-channel remarketing as an effective way to direct consumers back to your site and encourage them to complete their purchases. A recent DataXU study showed that retargeting efforts increase conversion rates by nearly 150%, and SmartInsights reports that 30% of non-converting shoppers revisited a website because of ad retargeting.

When research-driven buyers click out of your website, it’s not the end of your relationship. At least it doesn’t have to be. A smart remarketing campaign is a winning strategy for leading potential customers down the sales funnel.

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Optimize your cart abandonment flow with Sendlane!

The average cart abandonment rate is slowly creeping up for online retailers due to a poor user experience. But, it doesn’t have to for you.

If you haven’t worked to streamline your checkout process or cart abandonment flow in a while, now is the time.

Sendlane has advanced email marketing capabilities that help you set up behavioral triggers, customize messaging with dynamic content, and effectively nurture your potential customers through the buying process for a better customer experience. 

Ready to get started? Sign up for a 14-day free trial now and start seeing better results.

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