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Do Abandoned Cart Emails Work?

Do Abandoned Cart Emails Work

If you run an e-commerce store then you have abandoned carts. An abandoned cart is when someone adds items to the online cart and doesn’t finish the process for whatever reason. According to Shopify 69% of shopping carts are abandoned. This is why part of your marketing effort should be focused on recovering these abandoned carts. Emailing consumers about their abandoned carts is a recommendation that all e-commerce experts make. But do abandoned cart emails work? If so how do you implement them so they do work?

Do Abandoned Cart Emails Work?

Yes, they do. An increase in recovery rate depends on quite a few factors.

  • Total number of email abandon cart notifications sent
  • What is in the email. No offer vs offer type and amounts
  • Your product or service offering

This means that your recovery rate will depend on what you sell, how many emails you send, and what types of incentives you give in the email to get them to finish the sale. Some products have higher abandoned cart rates than others.

We are going to walk you through the details of how to create effective abandoned cart emails, how often to send them, and what to put in them along with some of our stats from our client’s online stores.

Abandoned Cart Definition And Why They Happen

Abandoned carts are when a consumer has added products to their online shopping cart and doesn’t finish the transaction. They either leave it open beyond a normal amount of time to complete the purchase or they close the window and leave the website. Almost all of the e-commerce platforms track the checkout pages to see if they are completed or not because of the high rate of abandonment of carts.

Understanding why people abandon a cart helps in creating the recovery emails to send to them. If you can empathize with why they abandoned the cart and give good incentives for them to recover the cart then your recovery rate will improve.

Personal Distractions are one often overlooked reasons why people abandon a cart. Someone starts the process on their phone and maybe a call comes in or a person has a question for them and it turns their attention away from finishing the process. Sending abandon cart emails helps remind them to finish what they started.

Many consumers are savvy to the abandoned cart email series and know that discounts or free shipping are often offered if they don’t make the purchase right away. There is a group of consumers that will wait to see what the abandoned email series offers before they finish the purchase. This group may actually not purchase at all if there is not a discount in the abandoned email series especially if your product is on the expensive side.

Not following good website and e-commerce website layout and design best practices. If your site is confusing to use or the checkout process is overly complex many people will abandon their carts. If you see that your abandoned cart rates are high first look to streamline your order and check-out process before thinking that your abandoned cart emails are not working. You will not get a person to finish a check-out process that frustrated them and caused them to abandon it just by sending them an email or two.

Abandoned Cart Rate and Recovery

There is no statical average abandoned cart rate. Each industry will have different abandoned cart rates and recovery rates. What also drives these averages and rates is what is offered in the email as well as the shopping and checkout process. The goal is to not have them abandon a cart.

What you put in the email matters and how easy you make it for them to complete the purchase also matters. Let’s look at examples of two companies in different industries with similar approaches with some key differences in what is in the emails and what they do during the shopping and checkout process.

Company one is a retail coffee distributor which is a highly competitive industry. Their abandon cart rate is 45% over one calendar year. There is an abandon cart email series of 3 emails that goes out automatically to every person that abandons a cart. Here is the recovery rate by email and what the email includes

Email What’s Included In the emailOpen RateRecovery Rate
1Images of products in the cart with a link to the cart page. No Offers.N/A*6%
2Images of products in the cart with a link to the cart page. Free Shipping Offer Code32%1%
3Images of products in the cart with a link to the cart page. No Offers.30%2%
*Shopify does not provide open rates to abandon cart emails.

Sending 3 emails and changing up the offers allows us to hit all of the reasons why people abandon carts. We know that the e-commerce site shopping and check workflow is good because the overall abandoned cart rate is less than the nation’s average of 71%.

The highest recovery rate is with emails 1 and 3 due to people getting distracted or needing to come back to finish the process. Email 2 is for those that want some type of discount to complete the purchase. All 3 emails have the images of the products they put into the cart along with a link to the cart to make it easy to finish check out.

Company two is an outdoor product company that sells unique niche products that are not available by many other retailers. Their abandon cart rate is 11% for a calendar year. They do a 3 email series for abandoned carts along with a Tidio chatbot to interact with customers while on the site and after. Here is what the abandoned emails data looks like for them.

Email What’s Included In the emailOpen RateRecovery Rate
1Images of products in the cart with a link to the cart page. No Offers.N/A*15%
2Images of products in the cart with a link to the cart page. 20% Off The Order Code50%18%
3Images of products in the cart with a link to the cart page. No Offers.52%0%
*Shopify does not provide open rates to abandon cart emails.

The highest recovery rate is with emails 1 and 2. This is a mix of being distracted during the checkout process and those wanting a discount. While we have great open rates for email 3 by the time that hits the inbox for this client those that are going to follow through and purchase have done so already. These emails don’t include the orders that were saved by those that interacted with the Tidio Chatbot that is offered on the site. The client actively engages the client while on the site during their purchase process which has kept abandon cart and email sends low.

Effective Abandoned Cart Emails

Even with great abandoned cart rates, there is still room to recover abandoned carts. Given what we have shown in our case studies we recommend an abandon cart email series of 3 emails. All 3 emails are sent within 48hrs – 72hrs of the cart being abandoned. The 1st email is usually sent within the 1st hour, the 2nd around 12ish hours, and the last sent within 12hrs to 2 days. This timing depends on what your selling. We recommend that if you are selling high-ticket items you extend that time, because the delay may be caused by having to discuss the purchase with a partner or family members.

At least 1 of the 3 emails should contain a discount. You can A/B Test whether a discount or free shipping works better for your products and industries. You can also test if a progressively increased discount from emails 2 to 3 increases your recovery rates. This depends on how many people in your products demographics value or want discounts.

The entire series should be automated to send automatically at the specific intervals you chose and triggered based on when the cart is abandoned. For this, we recommend using a combination of your e-commerce platform and Mailchimp.

Use Abandoned Cart Mailchimp Automated Emails with Your Ecommerce Platform

Shopify, the number one most used e-commerce platform and the one we recommend and use with our clients only come with one abandon cart email built into the system. You can use integrations to increase the number to the recommended 3. For the additional abandon cart emails, we recommend using Mailchimp.

We like using Mailchimp for e-commerce because its integration with Shopify works extremely well overall. Mailchimp will import all of your order data so that you can use it to run specific campaigns for specific types of customers as well as create the abandon cart email series.

Once Mailchimp’s integration is set up properly you can create an automation in the customer journey section. They have prebuilt templates for abandoned carts that include link integrations where it will pull in the customer’s cart info and links to the products. While you can have emails 2 and 3 as part of one journey as of this article we had to create them separately so that both emails had the product details and link to the abandoned check-out page embedded in the email. If you use multiple emails in one journey the 2nd email won’t be allowed to embed the products and checkout link.

For each journey, we also add a tag that gets applied to customers’ accounts that actually finish the purchase process. We created two separate tags one for each email so we can track which abandon cart email they used to recover the shopping cart with. This data helps us understand which type of customer they are; did they just get distracted or were they looking for a discount.

To avoid sending abandoned cart reminder emails to those that actually finished their purchase with a previous email the journey’s in Mailchimp have “If/Else” statements that integrate with the orders data in Shopify. If a cart was already recovered they don’t get any more emails.

When we test multiple discounts offers we can see which one was more effective just by looking at the tag data inside Mailchimp. We also use A/B testing to test the subject lines to tweak open rates. We want to make sure the emails with the different discounts get opened.

I hope you found this article helpful in securing your business so you can stay focused on your growth goal which always includes marketing. Feel free to reach out via chat if you have any questions. We are always happy to answer questions. If you want our content delivered to your inbox Sign up for our newsletter. You get great content and exclusive offers by being a member.

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