Abandoned carts are every E-commerce owner’s nightmare.
The most common advice on how to reduce cart abandonment is using abandoned cart emails, but there is one problem with that…
Cart abandonment emails are only sent out if the person abandoning their cart exists in your email database. In other words, the abandoner needs to be on your email list.
Unless you have a huge email list or a lot of repeat customers, cart abandonment emails might not be the best strategy for you to use.
Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can reduce abandoned carts without using email. And that’s exactly what we’re discussing in this post.
Let’s dive right in.
Use an abandoned cart email
If you’re looking to recover abandoned carts, the first thing you should do is set up an abandoned cart email.
And there’s no need to over-complicate it. You don’t need any other images or additional information other than what is related to what’s in the cart, and why the customer should complete their purchase.
The most effective cart abandonment emails are short, to the point, and have a time-limited offer like a percentage discount, free shipping, or additional loyalty points.
If you want to take your abandoned cart emails to the next level, use customer data like past purchases and browsing history to personalize the email and offer.
Here are a few abandoned cart email examples:
Swedish kids-brand Babyshop.se gives away a 15% discount in their abandoned cart email. This is a very effective promotion strategy to recover lost carts and reach customers when they’re not actively browsing the website.
Outdoor brand Huckberry uses a different strategy. Instead of using a discount, they play on your emotions and attempt to create a sense of urgency by saying “We can’t promise it’ll stick around, so now’s a good time to officially make it yours”.
Both these examples are great for recovering carts, and while you don’t need a discount to recover a lost cart, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have an incentive of some sort.
Use Exit-intent Popups in the checkout
Exit-intent pop-ups are an effective way to capture customers before they leave your website.
By offering a last-minute incentive, such as free shipping, a free gift, or a percentage discount, you can convince these visitors to stay and complete their purchase.
These campaigns convert very well on their own, simply because your visitor is already considering purchasing from you. Even a discount as small as an additional 5% can make a huge difference to your conversion rate.
Here is an example of an Exit intent popup in the checkout:
Swedish pet care brand Firstvet uses an exit intent popup in the checkout to attempt to make the visitor stay on the website. They are offering a 10% discount, but they also take the opportunity to collect some zero-party data about their customers. By asking you which pet you have, they can collect data that they can use to create segments, relevant content, and offers in other channels.
Offering free shipping as an incentive
The most common reason for cart abandonment is “too high extra costs”.
Your visitors will calculate the approximate cost as they add items to their cart, and if there are unexpected costs, most of them will abandon their purchase.
There are three ways to reduce abandoned carts due to shipping costs:
- Be transparent about shipping costs upfront
- Add the shipping cost on all products and offer free shipping
- Offer free shipping as an incentive to grow your email list and reduce abandonment rates
Most marketers don’t consider free shipping as an incentive, but you would be surprised how effective it is as a way to reduce abandoned carts.
Not only does it make your customers feel valued, but it also encourages them to spend more.
Here is an example of a popup giving away free shipping as an incentive:
Huckberry hits you with a huge popup as soon as you land on their website. You get free shipping if you sign up, and this is a great strategy to set the tone before someone has started shopping since they know that they have free shipping.
Sephora uses a free shipping incentive to recruit members to their rewards program. This offer is placed at the most important conversion points throughout the customer journey, from product pages, to gift guides, and the checkout.
Offer a guest checkout option
Having to create an account is cited as the second most common reason for cart abandonment.
The most important page in your online store is your checkout, and you need to make sure the checkout process is frictionless.
Offer your customers the option to check out as a guest rather than requiring them to create an account.
This is how Sephora offers non-members to check out. Instead of forcing a new customer to log in or create an account, they only ask for the email address. By collecting the email address before allowing a customer to check out, Sephora assures they can send them an abandoned cart email if they would abandon their purchase.
Offer extra rewards in your membership program
Most of the members in your rewards program are members because of the benefits.
By offering loyal members additional reward points, you can reduce abandoned carts while encouraging repeat purchases.
Obviously, this strategy only works if the visitor is an existing member. Make sure you can target existing members from your CRM or Loyalty Management Platform such as Voyado, Rule, Mailchimp or Klaviyo.
On the other hand, if the visitor is not a member of your rewards program, you can ask for their email address, offer them a discount that they can redeem instantly, and ask them to complete their profile in a follow-up email. Not only will this help you grow your members, but your email and SMS list as well. Swedish fashion brand Indiska offers existing members bonus points if they log in to complete their purchase and a 10% discount to new members.
Swedish fitness brand CLN Athletics offers a 100SEK ($10) discount to new members.
Offer free samples and gifts
Free gift-with-purchase deals are a great way to remove any doubts in your customer’s minds and reduce abandoned carts.
Just make sure the free gift is useful and relevant to your customers – this will increase the likelihood of them completing their purchase.
Also, consider adding a deadline or quantity limit to your free gift offer to create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to act quickly.
Here are a few examples of how free gifts can be used to reduce cart abandonment:
Harry’s sells beard and beauty products for men, and they use curiousity as a strategy to prevent you from abandoning your cart. When you visit your cart, a popup appears with a mystery box offer. This is a really fun strategy, but make sure the mystery box is below the impulse-limit.
Verso is a Swedish skincare brand that ran a free-gift-with-purchase campaign during Valentines. If you placed an order for $100 or more, you got a free lip serum as a gift.
Learn how to create and use FOMO
By learning how to use FOMO and scarcity, you can entice customers to complete their purchases instead of abandoning their cart.
There are a few techniques you can use to create a sense of urgency in the checkout:
- Let customers know that others are also interested in the product to increase demand.
- Use limited-time discounts to create a sense of urgency. You can also generate unique coupon codes for an added layer of security and to stop misuse.
- Show how many products are left in stock
- Remind customers that the item might not be available at a later date.
Here are some examples of how Revolve, Fashion Nova, and Zalando use FOMO to reduce abandoned carts:
Fashion Nova is notorious for their sitewide sales and aggressive discounts. Most of their product pages have some element of scarcity or FOMO. Here you see a label stating that sizes are selling out fast. But the best part is that it continues to the checkout.
When you’ve added a product to your shopping cart, they tell you how many other people have this in their bag, amplifying the sense of urgency and need to take action.
Revolve uses a similar strategy as Fashion Nova, where they state how many items are left to buy. Considering this jacket is extremely expensive (we just added a random item that happened to be very pricey), it’s probably logical that there are only a few of each.
Zalando uses FOMO when selecting sizes. If a size is out of stock they ask you to set up an email reminder, and when there are only a few left they tell you how many are left. This creates FOMO and incentivizes customers to complete their purchase.
Offer customers to save their cart for a later date
Letting your customers save their cart for a later date is an effective way to reduce cart abandonment.
This allows customers to take the time and think about their purchase decision without having to commit right away.
Also, you give them the opportunity to compare prices, read reviews, and shop around (they will do that anyway).
But the best part?
It also gives YOU the opportunity to send targeted offers, discounts, and other incentives that can encourage them to complete their purchase.
On a last note, giving customers the option to save their cart can also be used as a way to upsell and cross-sell related items to help increase your average order value.
Instead of taking the more aggressive approach and asking customers to complete their purchases right away, Swedish fashion brand Kappahl asks customers to save their cart for a later date.
Provide customer support
Having accessible customer support before, during, and after the purchase is very important.
Make sure customer queries are answered quickly, and any problems are taken care of in a timely manner. Assure customers that their shopping experience is secure and that information provided is confidential.
Utilize email marketing to keep customers informed about their order status and send notifications when their order has shipped.
These measures can help reduce the number of abandoned carts and ensure a positive customer experience.
Nordstroms offers phone and chat support during checkout so customers can make inquiries about their orders, shipping, or returns.
Retarget customers with ads
Retargeting is a great strategy to recover abandoned carts.
When retargeting customers with abandoned cart ads, you should consider dynamic ads as they can be set up to show the ads in the cart along with an extra discount.
Additionally, focusing on customer segmentation and targeting will help ensure that your retargeting ads are as effective as possible.
For maximum impact, break down your segments into smaller more specific groups based on buying behavior and other factors. Finally, test different messaging and ad formats to determine which works best for your customer base.
Here is an example ad from this article on Kargocommerce where they mention 4 ways to re-engage cart abandoners.
Glossier utilizes user reviews for its abandoned cart retargeting ads. This is a great way to engage your customers with organic, phone-to-phone-type content.
Use social proof strategically
Display customer reviews, testimonials, and how many people have bought the same item.
You should do this on the product page, but also in the checkout. Another thing to consider is to include customer photos and videos from social media. This is a form of social proof, and lets your customers see that other people are buying from you (and enjoying it).
Swedish beauty brand LYKO uses user-generated content from social media along with pictures from their customers to show off their social proof.
Nordstroms uses both social proof in the form of customer reviews, but they also tell you how many other people are viewing the product you are viewing. This is in the cross-section of FOMO and social proof, but nonetheless proof that other people are interested in buying the same thing you are interested in. Which, by definition, is a form of social proof.
Offer more payment options
Not having enough payment options is one of the top reasons customers abandon their carts.
Don’t forget about alternate payment methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, and local payment options. Swish is huge in Sweden, and AliPay is big in Asia. So based on which countries you are selling to, it’s often very beneficial to add local payment options.
Letting customers pay on their terms is a dealbreaker and will help you reduce a lot of abandoned carts.
On a side note: consider integrating rewards programs, like store credits, to incentivize loyal customers to pay without using their cards.
In conclusion, abandoned carts can be a frustrating problem for e-commerce retailers, but there are plenty of effective ways to recover them and increase sales. By implementing these strategies, you can encourage customers to complete their purchases and improve the overall user experience on your website.