How to bring your clients back when they abandon the customer’s journey

customer journey abandoned cart

Marketing brings in customers in a kind of inverted pyramid. A large number will be attracted to your site. A smaller number will click through pages. A smaller number than that will actually select items. But only a small percentage of your site visitors — down to single digits in most cases — will convert through to purchase.

Winning over some of the percentages lost before that final step through effective retargeting can dramatically increase the ROI of your marketing strategy.

Not everyone who looks into a store window makes a purchase. Some just take a peek into satisfy curiosity. They may even pause in front of some specific items and read their labels, but they won’t take them to the register. The same sort of thing happens in eCommerce where abandonment rates range from 72% to over 88%, depending on the types of merchandise.

The point at which abandonment occurs signals the level of shopper intent

There are browsers who visit your site and may even look at certain items but don’t take the next step to add an item to their carts. That’s called “browse abandonment” or “product abandonment.” There are other forms of abandonment like “category abandonment”, “search abandonment”, etc. All these relate to a customer’s shopping intent.

The customers who signal the highest level of intent are the ones who add the items to their carts and even proceed to checkout only to stop short of confirming the order. That’s called “cart abandonment.”

anandoned cart checkout shopper journey

Some customers bail because they failed to account for the shipping and handling charges that are added on to the purchase price. Or they may be put off by the number of steps involved in completing the checkout process. Noting at what point they veered off in the buyer’s journey gives you insight into what went wrong and how you can effectively retarget them.

Please note that this article only covers the basics of abandoned cart emails. There’s substantially more involved in building an abandoned cart strategy like: What incentive to offer, when to send the email, how many emails to send, should you recommend additional products, who should not get an email, etc. that will be addressed in future articles.

Release the abandonment email!

An appropriate abandonment email would refer to what grabbed their eye in the email. If they didn’t single out anything in particular on their last visit, you can direct them to items likely to be of interest based on their preferences noted from previous orders. But the abandoned cart gives you the most information about exactly what they were considering and how to address them.

Online sellers take the step to retarget the customer who has left because the odds are pretty good they’ll increase their sales that way and because it takes no effort on their part once they’ve set up the automated emails. The goal of sending out abandonment emails is to reconnect with shoppers who have not taken the final step on the buyer’s journey to help direct them to that point from wherever they left off.

Use what you know to address the customer effectively

As an online shopper who has sometimes abandoned a cart, I regularly see emails from the seller, encouraging me to complete my purchase with a click. Here’s an example from my own in-box with the subject line “Your cart called. It wants you back.”

Partially in the interest of research, I was playing hard to get and so got another abandoned cart email the next day with a different subject line: “Still interested in these items?”

abandoned cart email example

That pair of messages above exemplify some key qualities of abandoned cart emails.

  • Showing the products in the cart: This is an essential part of the email. It reminds the client what they left in the cart but also puts them back in a “shopping mindset”.
  • Keeping the tone light. The first one suggests that the items are so close at hand to make the “Get ‘em now” sound like an indulgence rather than a bossy command. The second one plays up that idea in different words.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again with slightly different messaging. Target is delivering the same essential message though different emails with different key phrases, hoping that even if I didn’t respond to one, the other one will catch my attention.
  • Options available but not set out to distract from the focal point. The brand logo is there, reinforcing the brand, and its options with additional shopping categories that could catch your eye to potentially increase your order. More of those options are represented on the bottom of the full email. Cluttering them up at top would distract from the primary purpose, which brings us to the central focus of these emails.
  • Call-to-action (CTA): Effective abandonment emails feature a simple, direct call-to-action that emphasizes how easy it is to finalize the purchase process. Remarkety users can add that the click to purchase works across devices, thanks to its “Cross Device Cart Recovery.” Customers who put items in the cart on one device can finish checkout another (desktop and mobile) without having to login again. Remarkety will automatically re-build the cart and add all product items to it on mobile, tablet or desktop, so that abandoned carts can easily be recovered, regardless of browser cookies, session login and/or device. This is truly a game changer.

You don’t have to be an online seller the size of Target to capitalize on the power of targeting through automated abandonment emails. Thanks to Remarkety, even the smallest eCommerce site can add on that capability and increase its sales revenue.