Best Practices & Strategies to Reduce Abandoned Carts and Boost Conversions

In the world of e-commerce, there’s one common challenge that every business faces – abandoned carts. As one of the most common roadblocks in the industry, it’s important to be aware of the most effective ways to combat it. While there are various approaches, such as the use of direct mail, in this blog we’ll focus on several digital solutions.

What are Abandoned Carts and What Causes Them?

Understanding cart abandonment and identifying why it’s happening is crucial for developing an effective strategy to combat the issue. Cart abandonment occurs when a potential customer initiates the checkout process for an online order, but abandons it before completing the purchase. Abandoned carts are notoriously ubiquitous and can (and do) happen to any company (even if you’re doing everything right!).  What many companies fail to consider – and fix – is the cause of customer diversion. While there are a variety of causes, potential customers’ reasons for cart abandonment can be grouped into four categories:

1. Logistics

This is the primary and most prevalent cause of cart abandonment. It encompasses factors like pricing, hidden fees, and additional expenses (such as shipping and taxes). Cost is often a critical consideration for customers when making a purchase. A high initial cost may deter them from the start and/or lead to second thoughts later, but it’s typically unexpected additional expenses at checkout that directly result in abandoned carts. According to a study by Baymard, logistics, on average, contribute to 47% of cart abandonment.

2. Trust

Building a strong foundation of trust with your customers is paramount. With no shortage of untrustworthy online vendors, customer suspicions tend to run high, and any questionable actions on the seller’s part will not go unnoticed.

3. UX/UI

Poor design and usability features can play a major role in cart abandonment. This can range from difficulties with store navigation to users simply disliking its appearance (which also ties into the trust and credibility of your platform). Inconveniences, such as requiring a customer to make an account, can account for 25% of lost carts.

4. Poor Intention

In some cases, not every abandoned cart can be recovered. Some people simply never had the intention to buy the product at all. Sometimes it boils down to retail therapy, window shopping, or a mistake.

What are Some Ways I Can (Re)Convert These Flighty Shoppers?

Effective Re-Marketing Techniques

One of the most critical tactics of converting abandoned carts is the implementation of effective re-marketing techniques. To successfully recover potential sales, it’s essential to craft a well-thought-out series of marketing initiatives that gently nudge customers towards completing their purchases. The initial outreach is key, as it serves as a friendly reminder of their abandoned cart. Ideally, this message should be personalized, addressing the customer by name and showcasing the items left behind. Furthermore, it’s essential to suggest why completing the purchase is a good idea, highlighting the benefits of the product(s), and noting any ongoing or personalized promotions.

In addition to personalized email reminders, consider employing other retargeting tactics, such as tailored push notifications or SMS messages through the customer’s preferred communication channel(s). To sweeten the deal and provide extra incentive, offer discounts, free shipping, or exclusive offers, further motivating customers to return and finalize their transactions.

Lastly, in any re-marketing piece, it’s essential to make it easy for customers to take action. Ensure that your cart recovery emails and ads have a prominently placed and easily findable call-to-action (CTA) button or link. A well-designed CTA button can make all the difference in whether a customer decides to return to your site and complete their purchase.

Schedule Optimization

A crucial aspect of converting abandoned carts is schedule optimization. It’s essential to remind customers about their abandoned items at the right times to maximize the chance of recovery without being overly intrusive. Sending reminders in well-planned cycles can be highly effective. As stated above, it’s best to start with a gentle, initial reminder shortly after the cart abandonment (typically within a few hours) to keep the purchase fresh in their minds. Follow this with subsequent reminders, strategically spaced out over the next few days, gradually increasing the sense of urgency.

With that said, it’s essential to strike a balance between being assertive and being respectful of your customers’ preferences. While urgency tactics can be powerful, avoid being too pushy, as this may lead customers to opt out altogether (and possibly even never return to your site again). Instead, use persuasive language that highlights the benefits of completing the purchase and the value of the products they’ve chosen.

Offering Incentives

As we touched on above, incentives and discounts can be powerful tools in the arsenal of cart abandonment recovery. By providing potential buyers with enticing offers, you can address their reservations and motivate them to return and complete the transaction.

To maximize the effectiveness of these incentives, it’s crucial to ensure that all payment options are well-represented during the checkout process. Customers should have a seamless and hassle-free experience when they decide to return and finalize their purchase. Eliminating any friction in the payment process is key to preventing further cart abandonment.

However, a word of caution is necessary: while incentives and discounts can be highly effective, it’s essential not to overdo them. Offering too many discounts or incentives too frequently can devalue your products and erode your profit margins. Therefore, strike a balance between using these offers strategically to win back customers and maintaining the integrity of your pricing structure.

Alternative Solutions

In addition to the conventional methods for recovering abandoned carts, exploring alternative solutions can be a game-changer in your cart conversion strategy. Maybe try retargeting through Google Ads, which allow you to display personalized ads to cart abandoners as they browse the web. This serves as a gentle yet persistent reminder, keeping your products in front of potential customers.

Exit intent pop-ups are another valuable tool. These pop-ups appear when a user is about to leave your website. They’re often used to offer a last-minute incentive or assistance, like a discount or free shipping, to encourage them to stay and complete their purchase.

Additionally, displaying customer reviews, ratings, and social proof can be a potent motivator for hesitant shoppers. When customers see positive feedback from others who’ve purchased the same products, they feel more confident and reassured in their decision to buy.

Lastly, a reliable customer service presence, whether through live chat, email, or a responsive support team, provides customers with a safety net. Knowing that assistance is readily available can alleviate concerns and prompt them to proceed with their purchase.

A/B Testing & Data Analysis

A/B testing and data analysis are indispensable tools in the quest to effectively convert abandoned carts. The significance of A/B testing lies in its ability to uncover the most compelling approaches to cart recovery. By experimenting with different subject lines in your cart recovery emails, you can identify the ones that resonate best with your audience, ultimately leading to higher open rates and conversions.

In addition to A/B testing, robust data analysis is essential for measuring the effectiveness of your cart recovery efforts. By reviewing metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated from recovered carts, you can gain valuable insights into what strategies are working best and where improvements are needed.

Ready to supercharge your e-commerce strategies and conquer cart abandonment? Consult with our experts at Strata and transform abandoned carts into thriving sales with tailored solutions!

How to Meet Your Individual Customers Exactly Where They Are

As online privacy and technology evolves, we continue to see an increased reliance on first-party data. At the same time, we’re learning more and more that audiences want marketing messages that utilize psychographics and speak directly to them. While “personalization” is a part of the conversation, “individualization” is just as important of a term in today’s marketing environment. Before we get into the differences between these two customization practices, let’s take a quick look at marketing tactics and how they’ve evolved over the course of recent history.

A (Very) Brief History of Recent Marketing Tactics

Although one could argue that brands as we know them started when marks and emblems graced handcrafted goods in the years BCE (Before Common Era), the official kickstart to marketing as we know it today stems from practices set forth during the industrial revolution. Innovation, discovery, growth, mass production, infrastructure improvements, and the rise of mass media all opened the door for producers to create products that met customer needs. Of course, with more companies creating and selling goods and services came the need for marketing to help companies stand out from the rest and win customers over. With this competitive environment, we’ve watched marketing grow and evolve to what it is today.

More recently, marketers have been able to connect and engage with their audiences in new ways. With each year, it seems marketers can target their specific audience(s) more and more precisely. This increase in precision can be viewed as a funnel, with each tactic progressively narrowing down the marketing message until it speaks directly to the individual. Let’s break them down:

  • Mass Marketing: A cheap and scalable tactic that gives you the ability to connect with many people, but no way to segment your market.
  • A/B Testing: Also known as split marketing. It’s recommended you hold off on this method until you have at least 1000 (minimum) conversions to analyze. And, you’d need an additional 250 responses per test to even parse through the data.
  • Segmentation: The process of differentiating groups by different categories (segments). By separating portions of your audience, you’re able to better serve particular markets (you can learn a little bit more about segmentation by checking out this blog).
  • Personalization: Like the name implies, this tactic is about personalizing your messaging using things like first names, addresses, personalized URLs, content, imagery, and more. Basically, this strategy shows each audience member content that’s directly related to their demographic and geographic data.
  • Individualization: With this fairly new tactic, you’re talking directly to the recipient using first-party data. With this data, you’re able to connect with them and cater to their personal experience at every touchpoint. Read on to understand how…

As businesses grow more in tune with their audience(s), they’re able to better connect with individuals and create more carefully crafted, personalized marketing experiences all along each customer’s individual customer journey. And, while personalization and individualization may sound quite similar upon first read, there are some key differences between them.

Personalization (An In-Depth Look)

Personalization uses general data – past purchases, user login information, and more – to address the audience’s personal information. There’s a balance that must be achieved between company transparency, consumer choice and privacy, and accountability. The information that’s used in personalized marketing is usually along the lines of name, birthday, and address. Here are a few numbers to consider when approaching personalization:

With tech giants like Apple and Google implementing and following new privacy regulations, it can feel like companies are scrambling to collect, manage, and protect first-party consumer data in a responsible manner. The ending of third-party cookies has made way for new technologies to deliver the personalized experiences consumers have come to expect. These tools for understanding and engaging customers have created opportunities to reach customers on the channels they prefer most while also delivering personalized experiences across multiple different channels. So, while personalization is often effective in connecting with individual consumers at a demographic level, there are times when you may need a bit more targeted focus in your marketing to convince potential buyers…

Individualization (Under the Microscope)

Instead of communicating with customers based on demographic segments, individualization helps you connect with them as a specific, unique people with particular and distinct needs, preferences, and habits (also known as AIOs – activities, interests, and opinions). 78% of people say they’re more likely to recommend brands that customize their experiences, and those 78% are more likely to become repeat shoppers, as well. With information that customers have voluntarily provided – such as through a form on your website – you’re able to leverage first-party data. With that power comes the responsibility of transparency with your customers about how their data will be used. By doing so, you’re allowing the customer to feel protected and building a strong foundation of trust. When you have the right privacy barriers in place, you avoid presenting yourself as invasive and untrustworthy.

Let’s think about an example scenario. You’ve received the name of a customer – John Smith. After John purchases a new fitness watch band and running sneakers, he fills out a form on your website to log in and track the package of products. With the information John’s provided on your site, not only can you give him a discount off his next purchase but can also make custom recommendations. Maybe you’d next recommend socks or athleisure wear, or a discount on dumbbells. It all depends on his activity on your site, his information, and any other details you can get from his purchase(s). And, as he continues to visit your website, you’re able to go beyond just an offer based on his address and age. You can provide an experience based on his individual data and actions over time.

Looking to the Future

As it becomes increasingly necessary to utilize first-party data, we’ll continue to see a push to connect with the customer at every part of their journey using new, ethical tools and tactics along the way. Although personalization is still key, there will often be times when individualization is necessary. And soon, it may be the only way to market to (as we’ve said above) customers that now expect highly customer-centered marketing.

Crafting a highly personalized or individualized multichannel campaign can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone! Contact us today and connect with our team of marketing experts, print specialists, and digital advertisers!