If you have an online store, then you’ll know all about cart abandonment. Your customer gets tantalisingly close to the finish line, only to disappear at the last moment. It’s painful to watch.
The average shopping cart abandonment rate is just shy of 70%. But there is good news. Online businesses could regain a whopping $260 billion from abandoned orders through checkout page optimisation. And the easiest way to convert abandonment into sales? SMS reminders.
First, though, why do your customers abandon their carts?
When it comes to cart abandonment, the main thing to remember is that most people who abandon their cart actually intend to return and buy. In fact, one study found that 75% of customers who abandon their cart have every intention of making a purchase.
It’s why it pays off to chase up customers who abandon their carts. By treating cart abandonment as a key step in the customer’s purchase journey, you can start using it to your advantage.
That said, online shoppers sometimes abandon their carts even if they’re ready to buy. Common reasons include:
- Extra costs. If your shipping costs or other fees are too high, people will jump ship. On the flip side, by adding free shipping, 79% of shoppers are more likely to buy from you.
- Having to create an account. If you require customers to create an account to complete a purchase, then over one-quarter of them will drop off. To avoid this, you could offer a guest checkout option.
- A complicated checkout process. If there are too many steps, or it’s not clear how to add/remove items, then about one-fifth of customers will bail.
- Lack of transparency about costs. Customers want the ability to see the total check-out cost from the beginning.
- Slow delivery. If the estimated delivery time is too long, customers are likely to look elsewhere for faster options.
- Website errors. Sometimes, the cart abandonment is due to a crash at your end. If your site doesn’t work, customers will leave.
- No returns policy. Customers want the reassurance that they can easily return unwanted items.
How do you win back customers who bail?
You’ve got a range of options for reconnecting with customers who abandon their cart. Each has its own pros and cons, but one stands out as the most effective. Let’s take a look.
Email remarketing is a common technique to tackle cart abandonments. And for good reason. Up to 45% of abandonment emails are opened – and, more importantly, 21% of customers click through, and 50% of them complete their order.
But email has its drawbacks. People’s inboxes are more cluttered than ever – with an average of 121 emails per day landing in each inbox. Plus, email can lack immediacy.
In-app or push notifications is another strategy to reduce cart abandonment. One study found that app notifications drove 50% higher CTR over email. No wonder, given they are easily accessible and conveniently pop up on a customer’s mobile.
Yet they have their limitations:
- You need an app, for starters, which can be costly
- They only work with customers who have downloaded the app and enabled notifications
Research shows that, over the last few years, people have been falling out of love with apps. So, unless you’ve already got a popular app with great uptake, this route isn’t for you.
Retargeting is a popular strategy for converting customers. If a customer abandons their cart, you can trigger targeted ads to pop up on their browser or socials to help keep your brand top of mind.
Yet, as more people choose to use ad blockers, retargeting is losing its lustre. Already, around 25% of people use ad blockers and this is expected to grow.
SMS: The best solution for cart abandonments
Easy, convenient, and guaranteed to grab your customers’ attention, SMS is the simplest way to solve your pesky cart abandonment issues.
As long as your customer has a phone (90% of adults do) and you’ve got their details, you can ping them a text message to lure them back. And the best bit? You know your message will get noticed. With SMS, you know you get:
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How to make your SMS abandoned cart reminder most effective
A number of elements combine to convince customers to return to your eCommerce store to complete the sale.
- Personalisation. Try to personalise as many of your reminders as possible. Use the customer name, the product they left in the cart, your brand name, and more.
- Cart URL. Including a link to the customer’s shopping cart is a must if you want to recover more abandoned carts.
- Exclusive discount code. Give customers even more reason to come back by throwing in a discount.
To boost engagement even more, you can add links and images by sending MMS instead of SMS.
Timing your abandoned cart reminders to perfection
Do you follow up on customers as soon as they abandon a cart? Or should you wait? The most effective follow-up times after cart abandonment are 10 minutes, 60 minutes and 2 hours.
60 minutes is the ideal time to send a text message reminder, because it gives customers a chance to do extra research, yet your product is still top of mind.
CUSTOMER STORY: When Simply for Strings started using abandoned cart text reminders and two-way texting through our Shopify integration, they experienced a massive 41% uplift in recovered sales, 29% CTR and over 1000X ROI.