This blog was last updated on 5 November 2019.
Cart abandonment is an issue e-commerce and retailers face – Barilliance estimates that more than 73% of shoppers on a computer and a whopping 85% of shoppers on mobile phones abandon full carts before completing the purchase, affecting revenues, profitability, and even business viability. Converting even a few of these abandoned transactions can significantly impact the bottom line.
Why do customers abandon purchases?
According to the Baymard Institute, the overall shopping experience is the most important factor – high extra costs, complicated checkout processes or having to create a new user account. Another reason was browsing/comparison shopping – 58.6% of online shoppers in the US have abandoned a cart because they were either browsing or just not ready to make the shopping decision at the time. Other top reasons for cart abandonment, according to Statista, include unexpected shipping costs, payment card-related issues or delivery times.
There are a lot of guides and advice addressing these issues - mostly dealing with web optimization, increasing server speed, implementing guest checkout, accelerating the checkout process, and fine-tuning various details in your shop.
Get your shoppers back
The previously mentioned points are all valid. However, if you wish to solve checkout abandonment, you first have to get your customers back to their carts. You must dig deeper, combining multiple channels to reach them.
There are rarely used but effective ways to use communication technology to regain customers, depending on your resources and what your customers are using.
Here is a quick way to determine which of these alternative practices you can implement:
- Do you need to notify customers without relying on data traffic? Use SMS.
- Are your customers on chat apps? Add Viber, Line, or WhatsApp to your communication channels.
- Do you have a dedicated app? Send push notifications.
- Do you need a complete solution for your communication? Use Omnichannel.
Read on to find out more about each solution.
SMS for shopper re-engagement
If you do not have your own app and are not planning on using chat apps, SMS is one of the most simple and effective channels to reduce your cart abandonment rate. The high open rate of SMS alone makes it invaluable for engagement, but when you couple that with the fact that 95% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of reception compared to say, 22% for email, you get a powerful communication tool ideal for driving quick action. This is perfect for reminding and motivating your shoppers to continue the shopping cycle.
Sometimes a gentle nudge is all it takes, simply informing your customers that they have items waiting in their shopping cart could do the trick. An SMS that bundles an incentive along with a reminder to pick up shopping where they left off will greatly increase the chance of converting the cart into a purchase. Incentives can range from discounts on current or future purchases, free delivery or free samples, to extra loyalty points and more.
Make it easy for your mobile shoppers to go from their SMS inbox directly to their carts by including a link to the abandoned cart in the SMS. Clicking the link will recall the cart either in the mobile browser or the shopping app. Even if the shopper wants to continue in a desktop browser, the link will still serve as a reminder.
The messages should be personal, specific and concise, like the example below:
Find out how Studio Moderna used SMS to improve their targeting and segmentation.
Recover sales with image-rich chat app messages
Chat apps have changed the way we communicate. Functionalities such as real-time conversations, easy use of images, and large character limits have been of great use to us all in our personal communication.
These functionalities make chat apps a powerful shopping cart abandonment solution. In addition to giving you the ability to connect with people on a familiar channel, they also enable you to engage your customers with customized and personalized content - images, text, buttons, and links, to recover sales opportunities. For example, this eastern European retailer experienced a 4x increase in orders when they used Viber to personalize their communication.
When compared to other solutions, using chat apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, or others can also be a cost-effective solution.
Win back lost checkouts directly through your app
If you have a dedicated shopping app, using push notifications to remind shoppers of their full cart is generally an effective method for re-engagement. Tapping the push notification takes your customers directly to the shopping cart within the app, enabling them to complete the purchase immediately.
Push notifications should always contain rich media, such as images, as they will have a higher open rate. Incentives to revisit the abandoned cart can also be included in the push notification. But the most important thing when talking about push notifications is to remember not to be too pushy. Sending too much content will scare away your customers.
Learn more about how Citrus used push notifications to increase store traffic and sales.
Omnichannel – a custom approach for each abandoned cart
You can use multiple types of communication to tackle the issue of shopping cart abandonment, but you need them to work together – this is what an omnichannel messaging strategy does. To stand out, it is important to engage the modern shopper with appealing content using the channel they prefer.
By adding failover channels into the mix, you can ensure your call to actions are noticed – if an email is not opened, you can set up a push notification or an attractive chat app message.
An omnichannel approach also helps in cases where your communication is not aligned across departments. Siloed customer communication often ruins user experience and makes it difficult to tackle an abandoned shopping cart effectively.
A platform that combines multiple channels with failover options and campaign administration from a single interface will enable you to deliver an integrated, unified shopping experience.