Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment with Targeted Communications

A personalized, targeted message can do wonders for your conversion rates.

March 22 2018

Shopping cart abandonment is a common headache for online and mobile retailers – 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 are your customers abandoning their carts?

Let's look at why your customers might be abandoning their carts to guide the strategies you could use to reduce abandonment.

According to Baymard Institute, the overall shopping experience is the most important factor – high extra costs, badly communicated shipping fees, 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 just browsing or simply not ready to make the shopping decision at the time. Other factors, according to Statista, could include unexpected shipping costs, payment card-related issues or delivery times.

The sheer magnitude of the issue makes reducing cart abandonment rates a priority for e-commerce and m-commerce companies.

SMS for shopper reengagement

One of the most effective ways to win back customers who have left without buying is through engaging them with a range of promotional tactics. The most effective channel to implement this type of customer communication is SMS. 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. 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 the 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:

Abandoned shopping cart SMS examples

Going beyond SMS

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. Incentives to revisit the abandoned cart can also be included in the push notification.

Adding failover to the mix

However, push notifications can only be delivered if your customers have data connectivity. You can use SMS as a failover option to automatically take over when your customer is out of data coverage to deliver that engagement message.

The omnichannel approach

You can use a range of channels to tackle the issue of shopping cart abandonment, but you need them to work together in a unified omnichannel communication platform. To engage modern shoppers it is important to get the right type of message across at the right time and using the right channel.

This type of approach does away with siloed customer communications, often originating from different departments and working at cross-purposes, with no cross-channel integration and transparency. Not addressing this issue can hamper the effectiveness of all your campaigns, not just those intended to combat shopping cart abandonment.

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.

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