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Abandoned Cart Recovery: How to Win Back Customers

By
Bradley Johnson
Table of Contents

In the eCommerce industry, you can sell what you want, how you want, and for how much you want, as long as you sell online. Whether you’re looking for wholesale items to sell, doing automated dropshipping, or selling any high demand products, there are plenty of ways to make money. 

That’s why it’s disheartening when you uncover the percentage of shoppers who add items to their cart but leave your site without checking out. This is called your cart abandonment rate, and it’s at least one reason your profit isn’t as high as expected.

So, why are businesses concerned about shopping cart abandonment? Is it that big of a problem? 

Yes, it is. Industry research reveals that shopping cart abandonment is around 70% for most online businesses, and it’s even higher on mobile devices.

Reducing your abandoned cart rate takes serious effort up front but can lead to exponentially greater returns down the road. Keep reading to learn more about how this baffling problem can be put to rest.

What Is Abandoned Cart Recovery?

Abandoned cart recovery is any action or process that increases the likelihood a prospect will pay for the items in their online shopping cart. 

Encouraging a shopper to finish what they started may sound simple on the surface. In practice, it requires a concerted effort of changing both website layout and psychological factors that influence every buyer’s decision-making process. 

Cart Abandonment Solutions: How to Recover Abandoned Carts

If your business is like most others, this means a majority of your prospects are browsing for products, adding them to their cart, then leaving soon after. The missed sales mean lower monthly profit, and it’s also a lost opportunity to start (or continue) building a relationship with a customer.

No matter what product you sell, you should have a plan to recover as many abandoned carts as possible. Here is how to recover abandoned carts: 

  • Be aware of your current abandoned cart rate. It’s difficult to solve a problem when you aren’t aware of its extent. Rather than assuming your abandoned cart rate is the same as everyone else’s, calculate what your rate is today. Pull your website’s backend data and divide total abandoned carts by total initiated transactions, then multiply by 100. The abandoned cart rate across types of eCommerce businesses differs but the important thing is that you’re aware of your own. 
  • Assess your website’s checkout process. Despite the fact that getting paid is essential to any business, many business owners don’t optimize their checkout process. Can you find the checkout button easily and finish the process quickly? Do you offer several payment options and free eCommerce shipping? These are characteristics every shopper is subconsciously expecting. When your site doesn’t meet these expectations, you’re placing tension on your buyers, and they’re more likely to forgo a purchase. Make it as easy as possible for customers to buy anything from your site. 
  • Make it simple for shoppers to see what’s in their cart at any time. If someone is shopping for several items, they may not remember what they added 15 minutes ago. Instead of requiring customers to begin the checkout process in order to see what’s in their cart, enable the visibility of cart contents on the fly. This way customers can hover over their cart and remove or modify items at a moment’s notice. If your cart doesn’t already have this feature, speak with a trusted web developer to get it done. 

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle and ongoing effort of optimizing your eCommerce website experience and checkout flow, BlueCart eCommerce is just what you’re looking for. Our industry-lowest payment processing fees give you freedom to invest more of your profits back into your business.

We also offer an online marketplace with over 95,000 buyers, a 2-step checkout process, and built-in mobile optimization. Your customers can even create repeat orders for frequently purchased items. Schedule a demo to see what BlueCart can do firsthand. 

Abandoned Cart Strategy: 8 Steps to Take

Now that you’re familiar with the nature of an abandoned shopping cart, it’s much easier to fix the problem. You can implement several changes at once or go one at a time, but any step taken to increase shopper purchase completion is a net win for your business.

Here are the top eight cart abandonment solutions:

Send an Abandoned Cart Email

One of the most powerful ways to recover almost-lost sales is sending an abandoned cart email. This is an automatically-triggered email that goes to any shopper who already provided their email address in the checkout form but didn’t submit payment. 

What’s more, abandoned cart emails have open and clickthrough rates that are two to three times the size of normal campaign emails. If this indicates anything, it shows people are much more likely to reconsider what they started if you remind them about it.

Segment Shoppers Into New and Returning Customers

If you’re sending the same kind of abandoned shopping cart email to all of your shoppers, this can cost you. This approach assumes that each shopper is there for the same reasons or products, which isn’t true. 

Instead, you should be using automated eCommerce email marketing based on the consumer data you have available. Did a prospect add a low-cost product to their cart? They may be persuaded by a one-time discount. Did a returning buyer delay a larger order? They may only need a nudge reminding them to finish the purchase. 

If you haven’t yet optimized your automated abandoned cart emails, the simplest way of doing so is segmenting customers based on guest checkouts vs. non-guests. Your email marketing platform or CRM tool should show which shoppers already registered accounts and which haven’t.

Once this is set up, you can create two different email automations that go to the respective audiences. Different emails speak to different customers contextually, which is an email marketing best practice.

Offer Low-Cost or Free Shipping

If there’s one thing prospects turn a cold shoulder to, it’s expensive shipping and handling. From companies like Amazon offering free Prime shipping to many businesses eliminating added shipping cost altogether, buyers have become accustomed to not paying this fee anymore.

About 63% of customers leave their shopping cart because of shipping fees and around 56% of shoppers abandon the cart because of other unexpected costs. In order to remain competitive in a fast-changing eCommerce landscape, your business needs to match or surpass the value that other companies provide their buyers.

BlueCart’s integrated shipping tools consolidate the buying power of all our customers to negotiate the best possible rates from 60+ shipping companies. Learn about how to calculate shipping costs, create labels with a shipping label printer, track shipments and returns, and more.

Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses

Make it a priority to eliminate as many unnecessary expenses as you can. This creates immediate cost savings for yourself that can be passed to your customers. In the long-term this will net you higher ordering frequency, and if you nurture those consumer relationships they will be happy to buy more from you. 

Offer Multiple Payment Methods

Living in the digital world means cash is all but a relic for today’s consumers. This means you need to offer several payment methods on your website, no matter what you sell.

Debit and credit card payments are a bare minimum necessity, and many would still argue bank transfers are too. An increasing number of customers are paying with online wallets like PayPal and cryptocurrencies continue to rise. The more eCommerce payment processing options you give a customer to pay with, the more likely they are to finish the transaction. 

Make Your Shopping Cart as Flexible As Possible

This one may surprise you, but giving customers the option to change their order right from the shopping cart is a boon for business. Shoppers should have the chance to modify the quantity of an item, remove a product, or quickly add an item--all before checking out. 

Customers like to feel in control of their shopping experience. If you give them all the flexibility they need to customize their order, it fosters a sense of trust for your business. You can review the leading eCommerce website examples if you aren’t yet familiar with this increasingly popular site feature.

Offer an Incentive for Checking Out Quickly

If you want to make it as appealing as possible for customers to buy something, offer a small discount on their order if they pay within 15 minutes. Keep the discount low, like 5% or less.

This way it barely reduces your profit margin. You can also set up this discount for first-time buyers only, to demonstrate your appreciation for new customers. 

Some business owners may see this as an aggressive move, but shoppers can still get their order even if they don’t finish in the discount timeframe. It simply offers them another reason to be decisive. 5% off is still 5% off. 

Set Up a Retargeting Campaign 

If you’ve tried the above strategies and haven’t seen much success yet, consider setting up a retargeting campaign. Retargeting is a form of eCommerce PPC that displays ads about a shopper’s abandoned cart on other websites. 

Retargeting is useful because it takes advantage of recency. A shopper that abandoned their cart is probably still thinking about it to some extent. If they’re visually reminded of it a short time after, they may reconsider.

Recent statistics show that a retargeting campaign can reduce abandoned carts by 6% or more, and retargeting ads are 10 times more effective than generic display ads. A retargeting campaign requires a financial investment, but it can make hundreds or thousands more in sales. 

Wishing You A Speedy Recovery

Ongoing cart abandonment costs businesses millions of dollars every year. It’s also humbling to realize that your prospects may not see your products as appealing as you do.

By analyzing what needs to be changed about your checkout process, you can increase your bottom line quickly. Continue implementing and testing these abandoned cart fixes to see what has the most noticeable impact on your business.