Are you an eCommerce vendor?
Here's something that will keep you up at night. Nearly 70% of shoppers on your online store will abandon their carts before buying something. 70%. And while you do your best to win them back with email offers and ads on their social media channels, some shoppers will never come back.
However, there is one (very effective) tool in a marketer's toolkit that gets forgotten—SMS. A cart abandonment SMS message is a great way to follow up with customers and send out personalized messages to entice them back to your checkout.
In this guide, we'll explain why you should stop snoozing on cart abandonment SMS messages and give you some killer strategies to win back customers.
Let's get started.
Why you should include SMS in your abandoned cart strategy
High open rates. Instant delivery. Easy personalization.
There are tons of reasons why adding SMS to an abandoned cart sequence can help you win back customers.
The main one is that customers love buying online from their phones. Statistics show 72.9% of all eCommerce sales now happen on a mobile device—and the number is growing. Social media is now the top source of shopping inspiration for 97% of Gen Z consumers, while a growing number of shoppers of every demographic—from Boomers to Gen Z—now prefer to purchase products directly from a company's website or mobile app.
Abandoned cart SMS marketing is also better for your store's bottom line.
For example, if you want to target customers who abandon their cart with ads on Facebook, the average CPC (cost per click) is an eye-watering $1.12. An SMS won't cost you anything close to that—it can be as low as $0.0079 a message.
What these statistics tell us is that customers are already making a lot of purchases from their mobiles. And if they do abandon their carts at checkout, following up with an SMS alongside other channels like email can increase their chance of returning to your store.
Effective SMS examples and templates for abandoned carts
The best abandoned cart text messages have a simple goal: to catch your customer's attention and get them back to the checkout.
You don't need to write long messages about your brand or mission. Keep it short and sweet by offering discounts, adding urgency and offering support if they need it.
Here are three ways to improve shopping cart abandonment 👇
If a customer has bothered to put an item into their cart, there's a good chance they were thinking about buying it, right?
Well, what happens if that item is in demand and you've sold a bunch of them since the customer abandoned their cart. Use it to get them back by telling them their item might run out of stock—so they need to act now.
These abandoned cart messages work better if you send them sooner rather than later. According to a Barilliance study, messages that are sent within an hour of a customer abandoning their cart have a 20.3% conversion rate.
To increase the chances of success, make it easy for the customer to complete their purchase. Include the name of the products they left at the checkout and create a direct link that'll take them back to their cart.
Steal this low stock abandoned cart SMS template:
"Hey [CUSTOMER NAME], don't miss out on your chance to grab [ITEM NAME] before it's gone! Limited stock remaining. Complete your purchase now: [CART LINK]"
How many of us been drawn back to a store because of an offer or discount that was just too good to pass up?
Well… guilty as charged 🙋
An abandoned cart text message is the perfect place to add a discount code. We've already talked about how customers now prefer to shop from their phones, particularly Gen Z. So including a discount code in an abandoned cart message can help win them over and give you an edge over the competition's pricing.
Try not to hand discount codes out like candy. Our advice is to add them to abandoned carts where customers are spending a bit of cash. For example, a tool like Sendlane can add cart abandonment messages to a workflow. We recommend adding a coupon to your 3rd or 4th abandoned cart email or sms so shoppers get it as a last ditch effort to bring in the sale!
Steal this discount code abandoned cart SMS template:
"Hi [Name], you left [product] in your cart. Check out your items today and save up to 15%: bit.ly/IYEB Reply stop to opt-out"
Ask if they need help
The easiest way to build trust with customers is to talk to them.
Think about when you are in a brick-and-mortar store. There are assistants there to help you or answer any questions before you buy something. You can add this kind of support to abandoned cart messages by asking customers if they need anything.
This type of abandoned cart SMS is super useful if you sell complex or high-value products. A customer may (understandably) take more time to buy an expensive watch or a premium skincare product compared to a pair of socks.
Help them out by asking if there's anything they need or if they have questions about the product.
Steal this customer support abandoned cart SMS Template:
"Hey [CUSTOMER NAME], we noticed you left [ITEM NAME] in your cart. If you need help with sizing, shipping or anything else, simply reply here. Our team is available! 🙏"
The right SMS tool can make this a breeze. Sendlane's two-way reply center can connect customers directly to your support team so they can get answers quickly. Instant replies help you shut down customer objections and fix problems like faulty discount codes on the spot to increase their chances of buying your product.
How to write an abandoned cart SMS that converts
Abandoned cart SMS are a totally different ball game from abandoned cart emails.
You only have 160 characters to hook the customer in and convince them to return to your store. Getting the details like URLs and call-to-actions right can make or break the success of an abandoned cart recovery campaign.
Here are two important elements you should focus on 👇
1. Be upfront with why you're texting
Nobody likes getting random messages from phone numbers they don't know.
Make it super obvious it's your brand texting a customer the moment your message lands in their inbox. Add your brand name as the sender so it pops up on the customers phone, and customize any URLs or images to highlight your brand.
Next, think about why you're texting them. Reminding a customer they've abandoned their cart isn't enough to win them back. For example, surveys have found that most abandoned carts are because customers don't like unexpected checkout charges like shipping or taxes.
You can recover these lost sales by offering the customer free shipping or a discount code. And the best way to do this is to get to the point and offer it at the start of the message, like this:
We love this abandoned cart SMS because it gets straight to the point. It mentions the customer by name and offers 10% off products they left behind with a custom URL. Using a tool like Sendlane, this URL doubles as a one-click checkout link that makes it super easy for the customer to finish their transaction.
2. Make the CTA stand out
Just like email, it's hard to make your abandoned cart message stand out in your customer's inbox.
Forget the genetic "buy now!" or "come back" links. Spice it up and add your brand's unique spin to the message's CTA. Depending on your tone of voice, you may use humor or even an image to grab the customer's attention and make them think twice about abandoning their purchase.
3. Get personal
Nobody likes a generic email or SMS landing in their inbox.
The best abandonment cart messages get personal with customers. After all, 80% of people who buy online want to buy from a brand that personalizes their shopping experience. You can do that with simple personalization touches like adding the customer's first name or including an image of the product they left at the checkout to jog their memory.
Here's an example that combines personalization and product placement (along with a cheeky discount code) to draw the customer back:
4. Add urgency (and a dash of FOMO)
Let's face it. We all hate missing out on a product we want (even if we aren't 100% sure whether to buy it or not).
It's called FOMO. And most of us have it. An Eventbrite study found 7 out of 10 millennials fear missing out on experiences or products. A further 60% of millennials will reactively purchase something after experiencing FOMO, usually within 24 hours.
What does this mean for your brand?
Well, your abandoned cart SMS should target these impulses. Mention the product they're interested in is running low, or if an item is on sale, make it clear that the sale is ending soon. Check out this example:
It has important elements like the customer's name and a direct link to their abandoned cart, but it also makes it clear that the offer has a deadline. This sense of urgency (they only have 3 days!) can help the customer pull the trigger and return to the checkout.
How to send abandoned cart text messages
A successful abandoned cart SMS strategy comes down to your marketing toolkit.
The best way to handle it? Automate it, of course.
Customers should get an SMS shortly after they abandon their cart. This way, your products are still fresh in their mind. Plus, you can capitalize on some of their emotions (think FOMO and risk of selling out!) to get them back.
Using a tool like Sendane, this can all be automated by adding SMS triggers to existing abandoned cart workflows. You can do this in two ways: a standard cart abandonment sequence or using a conditional split.
A standard cart abandonment sequence simply adds SMS to an existing automation. This hits the customer with a double-whammy: email and SMS follow-ups:
What we love about this is it covers all inboxes (email and SMS), but it uses timers to space messages out by a day or two. As a result, you will have a better chance of winning back the customer without becoming a spammer.
You can also use conditional splits to send an email or SMS to the customer based on the device they used to visit your store.
When they are on a laptop, Sendlane will email them. However, if they were shopping on their iPhone, they would get abandoned cart text messages instead!
Want to try Sendlane yourself? Sign up for a 14-day free trial here.