It’s what every ecommerce site dreads to see: the abandoned shopping cart. Someone liked your stuff enough to almost buy it. They might have found a better price or just decided against it. Or maybe your shipping was too high for them. Regardless, you need a new way to recover abandoned cart sales. We have a few ideas you can try out.
Think Like a Consumer to Recover Abandoned Cart Sales
Your goal is to get people to buy your stuff at a price that you make the most money. The consumer’s goal, however, is the opposite of that: buy your stuff at the lowest price possible. Admittedly, that’s a vast oversimplification and generalization, but my point is that if you want to recover abandoned cart sales, you can’t think about the problem from your side of the table.
You have to think about what will draw those people back to you. And more than that, you have to entice them enough to come back to buy the stuff in the abandoned cart, and you still come in without a loss. At least, most of the time.
The base assumption here is that you are going to email the people who leave your site with a cart full of your merchandise. We have a great look at the best practices for putting one together here, and once you’re familiar with those, you can use these tips to take those emails to the next level.
1. Provide a Better Checkout Experience
As a consumer, I hate making an account for a website that I am buying a one-off item. I may be purchasing a gift or something that the store has cheaper than anywhere else. But I have absolutely no intention of being a regular shopper. So when the only option to complete the checkout process is to make yet another account…I bail.
Your users do, too.
So if you want to recover abandoned cart sales from folks like me, simplify your process. Accept PayPal payments so they can use their existing account. Or Apple, Samsung, Google Pay. Even Amazon Payments has a gateway you can use. You can also create a way for your customers to choose whether they want to create an account or simply checkout as a guest.
Now, how this can help bring folks back is that you’re going to send an email to anyone who has an abandoned cart. Personalize the email and tell them that you understand the old process may not have been ideal and that you have revamped it in hopes they will come back and take a look.
Then, after that, email your whole list and let them know you’ve made it better. That way, they come check it out, too!
2. Offer a Discount for Coming Back
Everyone tends to do offer a come-back-to-us discount in their emails, so I won’t spend a lot of time here. But if you send a shout-out to the folks who left, you may be able to recover abandoned cart sales by enticing them back with a discount with a lot of mojo. Not a 5-10% discount — those may work, but that is just taking off sales tax in most places.
You want to offer a sizeable discount. 25% or higher. Maybe even 50%. Why? Because those kinds of numbers bring people back. But make sure that you only offer the mega-discount on the items already in their cart. You can offer a smaller discount on others, too, but giving a store-wide one might end up in you taking more of a loss than getting the customer back is worth (monetarily, that is. Not in goodwill or lasting relationships).
3. Exclusive Digital Downloads
If you run a digital-only store (or even just provide any kind of digital products), you may want to consider offering the cart bailers something unique to them as bait to come back.
Maybe the download would be a special ebook that they can only get through the come-back offer. Or perhaps it is a free copy of something you normally sell (such as a novel or training plan or even a licensed piece of software).
The goal of this tactic is to make your customers feel special. To make them feel wanted. And giving them something for free that only they can get…well, that goes a long way to making them feel wanted. That they’re not just another rando who found the site through Google that you couldn’t care any less about. (We all know you love your Google randos, though, right?)
So think about what kind of exclusive promotion you could give returning customers to recover abandoned cart sales. And if you don’t deal in digital goods, maybe this is a good time to figure out a couple that would work for your brand.
4. Exclusive Add-On Items for Free
Much like the digital offering above, another option is to give your customers a physical thank you for coming back to check out their cart.
You could include a small item from your shop that comes in under a certain price. That way they get to choose what they want, and it’s more fun for them. Or you could have an exclusive item made just for them. Tote bags that are branded work really well for this. People love tote bags. If you really want to get fancy, you could offer t-shirts or something.
However, you want something that comes in low-cost to you, but high-incentive for them. Or even medium-incentive for them. Regardless, people love free stuff. And sometimes, they’ll even pay for it. (By purchasing their abandoned cart, I mean. You get it.)
5. Free Shipping
And then there’s the old standby. Tell someone they can come back and that you will ship their purchase to them free of charge, and they’ll rush back to you. People on the internet tend to be willing to pay higher prices for items with free shipping than a less expensive item that has shipping (even if the total adds up to be more without shipping). It’s a psychology thing — people are suckers (myself, included).
So tell them to come back and buy their $300 dollars worth of supplements and shake powders, and you’ll waive that $8.99 shipping cost. And maybe you’ll even upgrade them to faster shipping while you’re at it.
While I may sound flippant about this tactic, it really does work very well. Free shipping will get a lot of people to your site because of how we as consumers evaluate value.
Wrapping It Up
As you can see, there are quite a few options out there for you to use to bring potential customers back to your site. Sure, you won’t be able to get every single one of them to buy what they left behind or even to check the site out again. There are also some great WordPress plugins out there and bring a lot of these concepts together. If you are a WordPress user, you might want to check out our review of Metrilo for WooCommerce and consider using it to reduce cart abandonment (among other things).
But if you can make your users feel special and appreciated and like they’re getting something of value for coming back, you can absolutely recover abandoned cart sales that you otherwise would have (or already have) lost.
What have been your tactics for getting people back to their abandoned carts?
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