Another abandoned shopping cart in your e-commerce?

There is no bigger show of interest in buying a product than adding it your shopping cart. However, for one reason or another, a certain percentage of people end up leaving the product on the shelf or closing the tab.
But think about this piece of data:

It is calculated that the probability that those users end up buying is 10 times higher than for any other user visiting the website.

That is why we are going to give those clients that were about to buy the final push they need to click that “add to shopping cart” button.
E-commerce owners, what is your job?
To recover abandoned carts!

Why should we worry about recovering carts?

Abandoned e-commerce shopping carts should be one of your main worries when you create your online shop.
Because it means a sale lost “at the last second” and a user that took you a lot of effort to bring there.

  • Hours and hours of your time spent on content creation
  • More hours spent on optimizing the website
  • Investment in marketing.
  • Etc.

And that client who is just one click away leaves?
You cannot lose that sale!

Following the path of the abandoned shopping cart

Think about it, shoppers who abandon their cart have most likely followed this path:

  1. They have arrived at your shop through a paid or organic traffic source (Facebook Ads, Adwords, Google Shopping, social media, SEO, etc.).
  2. They have decided to buy a product and they added the product to their cart.
  3. They have created a user account and have given you their email account and personal details.
  4. Suddenly, they abandoned the purchase for some reason.

Ask yourself the following question: would it be easier to convince one of those users to buy or to find another client to go through the whole process again? 
The answer is obvious, isn’t it?

Traffic vs. conversion rate

As we have already mentioned in this blog, we sometimes become obsessed with getting more and more traffic for our online shop. We only want to have more and more visits, thinking that that will lead to more sales.
This statement is incorrect. The true statement would be:

With a higher conversion rate we will get more sales.

And that is easy to prove with a practical example. Here you have a hypothetical situation in which two online shops sell only one product at €5. You tell us which situation you prefer:

  • Shop 1 : receives 100,000 visitors a month and it has a conversion rate of 1%. Calculating (100,000 x 0.01% x €5), this shop will get €5,000 a month.
  • Shop 2 : receives 50,000 visitors and it has a conversion rate of 2.5%. It will get €6,250 a month.

Again, the answer is obvious. Getting buyers back to their abandoned carts is essential to improve the conversation rate and to obtain more sales without more traffic.

Remarketing or Retargeting, is there any difference? Which one includes carts recovery?

Although both terms are often used synonymously, there are some differences between them that make us use one term or the other depending on the case.
Which one do you think includes abandoned shopping cart recovery?
Here you have an explanatory example. Think of two different users on your website:

  • The first one just visits your shop and surfs around a couple of pages.
  • The second one adds a product to the cart, but in the end doesn’t complete the purchase.

In early stages of the conversion funnel, the first example, we use retargeting (you can show them a Facebook Ad or a banner from the display network (Adwords).
In the second case, with a client whose details, email address, and even the product they are interested in we already know, we should be more aggressive in order to complete the abandoned sale.
Instead of showing them a banner, we are going to go directly into their inbox with a cart recovery email.
As you can see, even though they can be combined, the situation is the following:

  • Retargeting is used with users that visited us but didn’t show a clear intention of buying (first stages of the conversion funnel).
  • Remarketing deals with users who are completely ready to buy, and therefore, we want to be decisive and close the deal as soon as possible.

How are we going to do that?
Remarketing & email marketing.

Email marketing: the perfect way to get them back

Email marketing, of course, is the main tool to get this potential buyer back to their cart.
But watch out, we must be careful not to make this recovering strategy become a series of spam emails, which will chase the customer away.
Here are a few pieces of advice that we offer you to make the most out of email marketing:

  1. Ask for their email address before they purchase: do not let anybody buy anything without giving you their personal details. Make them create a user account and that they insert their name and email address at very least. No email, no party.
  2. Use careful timing when sending emails : normally, three emails are sent to get the customer back, although it will depend on your style and how agressive you want to be.The first one is sent one or two hours after, the second 24 hours later and the third one a couple of days later. Depending on the product, those emails may have to be more spread out since people don’t take the same time to think about buying a computer or a T-shirt.
  3. Do not send discounts: except for in specific cases, never send discounts as a general rule. You could get customers becoming used to abandoning their carts to wait for the discounts.
  4. Differentiate the emails: the first one must ask why the cart was abandoned and redirect the user to any help or support on your site. The second email should remind them of the advantages of the product that has been abandoned, and the third one should remind them of something related to the expiration date of the price or the cart itself. All of this can be modified and vary depending on the shop.

This is the technique used by e-commerce giant Amazon and it is doing more than just alright.
You just need to try abandoning a cart and you will see that, apart from following up with remarketing, they will send you emails so you end up buying.
In addition, if you use an email marketing tool that allows for tag automation and assignation, do it with users based on their first reaction after the first email and send a second one depending on their answer.
For example:
Imagine that you offer three possible answers to the question of why they abandoned the cart:

  • Doubts: clients are not 100% convinced and back out.
  • Price: unexpected shipping costs, taxes, or an expensive final price.
  • Others: reasons that they cannot control; their credit card failed, they had a problem with their Internet connection, etc.

Depending on where they click, a second email will be sent.
If the answer is related to doubts, this second email may include:

  • Other buyers’ opinions.
  • Guarantee and proof of the product quality.
  • Examples of its usefulness.
  • Etc.

It is taking two steps back in order to go one step forward and be able to close the deal.
If they mentioned the price, you can send them a discount, although, as we have already mentioned, that is not advisable.
If you think that price may be a key factor, push off the second email between 30 and 48 hours and then offer a slight discount. 5% works really well, it doesn’t greatly affect your margin, but it creates the illusion of an opportunity in the buyer’s mind.
In any case, you should always offer to recover the cart right at that moment.

8 improvements to reduce the number of abandoned carts

Apart from email marketing, there are several measures to be taken that could prevent customers from abandoning their shopping carts:

1. Online chat

A visible and highlighted chat during the buying process makes the clients feel more confident and allows them to ask anything the need.
Clients do not like to look for the support or help center, they prefer to talk to someone directly.
In this post about user experience in online shops, we analyzed this topic in depth. Have a look at it.

2. Fewer steps

Review all the steps that a client must follow in order to buy one of your products and try to reduce them.

According to a Baymard study, 28% of carts are abandoned because the buying process is too long or complex.

The greater the number of steps or pages, the higher the abandonment rate.
If you have configured the improved electronic business option in Google Analytics, you can see how you lose users in every step of the buying process.
Here we have to include the payment process itself.
Some payments gateways, such as Redsys or PayPal, take users to their own URL in order to complete the transaction. However, other platforms, such as Stripe, integrate the payment process into your website, they skip a step and eliminate the possibility of having a third party’s website interfering.
The final goal, and the one that has been proven to work better, is the integration of all the steps of the process into just one website, or as it is called, ‘one page checkout’.
Can you imagine a combination of a fast and efficient internal search engine with a one page checkout?
The result is an amazing conversion rate! 😉

3. Ask for minimum details

This is related to the previous step and it is a common mistake.
Make sure that the amount of details you ask for doesn’t make users run away; you don’t need their DOB, their landline number, or any other ridiculous details that are often asked for by default.
The same Baymard study calculated that 37% of shopping carts were abandoned because “they made them create an account”.
Being able to complete the purchase as a guest is something people are grateful for.
What are the minimum details needed to send them the product?
Don’t ask them for a single detail more than that. In addition, bear in mind that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is very strict regarding the details that you keep about users.

4.  Allow them to login with Facebook or Google

The so-called ‘social login’ is very popular for a reason.

abandoned cart carritos abandonados

shopping cart social media concept

social login ecommerce carritos abandonados

Everyone has a Facebook account or a Google email address. Social login allow users to register themselves with just one click by taking the details from one of those social platforms or networks.
Add this method of registration from other social networks such as Twitter and you will make sure that everyone is a click away from having their details pre-filled in.
This way you will avoid users leaving your website just because of an attack of laziness when they see the registration form.

5. Fast shipping and pickup terms

Another key reason for abandoning a cart is the shipping time. The emotional part of shopping is totally deflated when users see that they will have to wait 3 weeks for their products.
Make sure you establish the shipping times and that they are as quick as possible—your abandoned shopping carts rate will thank you.   
Another key factor is the pickup point. Have a look at how Amazon does it with its pickup points and Amazon Locker.
They realized that people are often not at home all day, so they now offer other options to deliver the product so that clients can pick up their product when it better suits them.
Amazon is the king of online sales and its immense effort to improve the user experience is laying the foundations of what users like.
Their shipping speed and the easy pickups are already compulsory for any e-commerce. Write that down!

6. Offer several payment methods

Imagine that users, once they have already decided to make a purchase, reach the payment step, but they cannot pay.
It would be odd, but it may be the case that users cannot use any of the payment options you offer.
Perhaps they don’t have a PayPal account, they have a debit card and you only accept credit cards, or they want to pay cash on delivery and you don’t offer that option.
You don’t need to offer too many options either, but you need to know your clients’ profile and include the three options that best suit them—no more than three.
Currently, having a card payment method, either with Stripe or using your bank’s gateway and PayPal, you should be enough. If you’re unsure about this topic, you can read this post: What payment methods should I use in my shop?

7. Make sure there are no errors

We have seen more than one eretailer who was worried about the low conversion rate, didn’t have an abandoned cart recovery strategy, and suddenly found out that the buying process was producing errors.
Technical factors are always a possibility and they can unexpectedly become a real pain at any moment.
Double check that everything works every now and again, especially if there is a time gap between transactions. Technology can be fickle and it is better to be alert.

8. A clear shipping policy

Last, but certainly not least, this is the first reason why clients leave the checkout page.
If you don’t make the shipping costs clearly known up front, many clients will be shocked to see them later in the shopping cart, resulting in its abandonment.
Put yourself in their shoes, ¿would you like to go to a supermarket and find out that when you go to check out, they surprise you with a 10% increase in the price?
Maybe, just to avoid making a scene, you decide to pay for it; however, we can assure you that when buying online there will not be many clients who decide to go on with the process.
Again, according to the Baymard study, 60% of abandoned carts are due to hidden costs.
These not only include shipping costs, but also VAT, handling costs, insurance, and other schemes to charge more money.

Try to charge clients extra money at the end and they will pay you back by abandoning the cart.

The solution may be even more profitable: add the shipping costs into the initial price and then use “free shipping” as a selling weapon.
This way, you are charging the same amount, but users will think of the free shipping costs as another reason to buy.

Are you ready to make sure no cart is abandoned?

Create a recovery email chain and start putting everything we have explained today into practice.
Your next goal?
An abandoned cart rate of zero.