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Which ecommerce shopping cart abandonment solution is best

Ecommerce cart abandonment is one of the most pronounced problems for online sellers today. 

According to the Baymard Institute who analysed over 44 different abandonment cart rate reports, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is just shy of 70%. However, reports also show that ecommerce brands could regain back a whopping $260B from abandoned orders through checkout optimisation.

Don’t fear these statistics! Hesitance and uncertainty are a natural part of every consumer’s purchasing journey, whether they’re in-store or buying online. Online sellers should embrace this behaviour and look at it as an opportunity to solidify connection and loyalty with their customers.

We’re going to walk you through how you can rethink online retail cart abandonment, as well as what we believe is the best abandoned-cart solution: SMS reminders.


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Rethinking online cart abandonment in 2021

Understanding cart abandonment is where you should start! There are many reasons why your customers are abandoning their shopping carts:

Baymard's graphic on reasons for abandoned carts during checkout 2020
  • Extra costs – Think shipping costs, taxes or fees! According to the Baymard Institute’s 2020 Checkout Usability Study, 50% of customers will jump ship if they perceive added costs to be too high. In fact, by adding free shipping, 79% of shoppers are more likely to buy from you. 
  • Account creation – If you force customers to create an account with you in order to complete a purchase, the Baymard study reports that 28% of customers will drop off.
  • Complicated checkout processes – There might be too many steps in the checkout process or if the customer cannot figure out simple things such as how to add items.
  • Final costing transparency – when a customer is unable to see the total check-out cost from the beginning.
  • Slow delivery – estimated delivery time is too long, or customers may have found competitors with faster or next-day options.
  • Website errors – if your website is not optimised for traffic, it may crash.
  • No returns policy or unsatisfactory return conditions.
  • Privacy or trust issues – Customers may not want to share their personal information with you if they believe your website is not secure or may be fraudulent.

The majority of shoppers who abandon do intend to return and buy.

Baymard Institute again discovered that 59% of online shoppers abandoned a cart within a 3 month period because they were “just browsing” or “not ready to buy”.

A study by SeeWhy found that 75% of customers who abandon their cart do so with the intention to return to purchase. Any purchase intent activity, including abandoning a cart once or twice, increases the likelihood of recovering the sale.

This means if you’re not chasing these lost sales, you can’t recapture them!

When you treat cart abandonment as a critical part in your customer’s research and purchase cycle, you can use it to your advantage.

So which shopping cart abandonment recovery solution is best

An infographic showing the different advantages (and disadvantages) of abandoned cart solutions: email remarketing, in-app notifications, retargeting ads and SMS


One of the most common ways businesses recover abandoning customers is with email remarketing. In fact, many attest to it being one of the best ways to recover customers. According to Moosend, 45% of abandonment emails are opened, 21% of customers click through, while 50% of those users completed their order.

There’s no doubt that cart abandonment email reminders can deliver an improved redemption rate, however, as one of the most common methods to recover abandoned carts, your business will fight with many other brands in the customer’s inbox for attention! Globally, customers are receiving at least 121 emails per day, according to Campaign Monitor. That’s why other studies have demonstrated that email open rates are dropping to below 20% — and response rates are sitting even lower at just 2.69%.

Wouldn’t it be easier to tackle customers where you don’t have to fight for attention?

In-app notifications

In-app or push notifications are another avenue for customers to reduce cart abandonment. In fact, a study by Responsys found that app notifications drove 50% higher CTR over email. Easily accessible and conveniently prompted on your mobile, it’s no wonder that many businesses and brands are turning to app alerts as a way to get customers to return to their carts.

That said, in-app notifications demand certain requirements:

  • You must have an app, which is expensive to develop
  • Customers must download the app, which is not easy to encourage
  • Customers must also enable notifications, which fewer and fewer customers are doing
  • OR, they must still be in the app when you send your abandoned cart prompt, which is very unlikely if they are distracted or moved onto something else

Research has shown that over the course of the last few years, we have also been (generally) falling out of love with apps. Unless you already have an app developed and ready to go, this is not a viable avenue – especially if uptake on downloads isn’t strong.

Retargeting ads

Retargeting helps businesses convert customers to completed orders by targeting customers with ads for their product, long after they’ve left your site. The truth is, customers are unlikely to convert the first time they visit your site – AdRoll reports only 2% of visitors complete orders on their first visit.

Retargeting doesn’t demand an expensive app – nor your attention amid a cluttered inbox – so it should work, right? Yes, if customers are still browsing the web an hour later, or whenever you send your message. They must also, unfortunately, not have an ad blocker installed: ad blockers prevent ads from being shown when customers browse the internet. According to Statista, almost 25% of consumers had ad blockers installed. That means if you use retargeting, ¼ of all consumers will never see your ads, and that number is likely to keep growing.

Why abandoned cart text messages are the best solution

There are many other solutions to help you reduce shopping cart abandonment, including timed website chatbots, or website intent overlays. These solutions, like in-app notifications or retargeting, rely on customers staying on their current platforms.

Is there a solution that:

  • Doesn’t require you to stay on one platform
  • Is accessible and convenient
  • Demands immediate attention easily
  • Isn’t lost within the clutter of other marketing messages
  • Won’t be blocked or hampered from being received

The answer is simple: SMS.

An abandoned cart SMS example

One of text messages’ greatest advantages is that it is universally accessible and ubiquitous. This means if a customer has a phone (not even a smartphone), they can receive an abandoned cart text reminder. They do not have to stay glued to any platform in order to receive or be notified of a text. Customers are also familiar with the technology, meaning they are likely to automatically open, read and act upon a text purely based on familiarity and repeated past behaviour.

The SMS inbox is also not cluttered by 121 marketing messages per day. While text messaging for business purposes is on the uptake, businesses are more wary and educated about sending too many campaigns or messages to their prospective customers, worried it may go the way of email. This is likely why it continues to deliver a:

Links and images can be easily included when you use MMS instead of SMS, increasing customer engagement and uplifting CTR by 15%

AN example of an abandoned cart MMS

RELATED: Want to know how a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) can uplift your SMS game? Get in the know with our Ultimate Beginners Guide to MMS.

In addition, while customers can ‘block’ or unsubscribe from text updates, most consumers only consider 1% of their messages as SPAM, meaning unsubscribe rates stay fairly low. In fact, 75% of people don’t mind receiving promotional SMS – as long as they opted-in!

An image showing the recovered cart results of online retailer, Vinomofo
Online retailer, Vinomofo, achieved a 50% more recovered customers, a conversion uplift of 21%, and 120X ROI

Perhaps the strongest case for SMS is that it works better when added in conjunction with – not in replacement to – your current abandoned cart recovery strategy. For leading online retailer Vinomofo, adding SMS to their email re-engagement workflows ensured a conversion uplift of 21%, 120X ROI and 50% more recovered customers.

SUCCESS STORY: Don’t believe us yet? Check out Simply for Strings who utilised abandoned cart text reminders and two-way texting through our Shopify integration to drive 41% more recovered sales, 29% CTR and over 1000X ROI.


Accelerate your abandoned cart recovery strategy with SMS

Learn SMS best practices with our free ebook

Download now

Final thoughts, further reading

For many retailers, SMS presents the strongest solution when looking to pick (or add another) abandoned cart recovery tactic to your existing arsenal. Is it time you tried it out? Contact us to get started, or make sure to check out these articles: