Cart abandonment isn’t anything new. It has existed since the dawn of retail - only now, rather than a physical cart left blocking the end of an aisle, it’s a virtual cart lost to the depths of the internet.
But that doesn’t mean your approach to abandoned carts can’t be new.
Ecommerce customer recovery software has changed drastically over the past few years, transforming abandoned carts from a fearful figure into an opportunity to convert more first-time visitors, recover more abandoned purchases, and make more profit.
Abandoned carts are your biggest lead generation tool; you just need to know how to take advantage. And we’re here to show you.
Cart Abandonment: A Background Story
Why?Before we dive into the action-packed blockbuster of abandoned carts and customer recovery, let’s first set the scene with a little background story about cart abandonment.
Seven out of ten visitors to your store don’t make it through the checkout. They come, they see, they might even add something to their basket and create an account, but they fail to complete their purchase.
Life is pretty distracting. We have mobile phones pinging notifications, social media tagging us in photos, news stories changing hourly, and Netflix calling us back to the sofa. Throw in price comparison sites and PPC ads, and it’s no wonder that the average person spends fewer than 15 seconds on a website.
Online shopping might not sound like the most terrifying experience out there, but the unpredictability of ordering online is a purchase barrier for many. The fear that a product might not arrive in time, be of satisfactory quality, or come from a reputable seller causes many shoppers to abandon their purchase.
Shoppers abandoning at the checkout stage often do so because of an unwelcome surprise. Unexpected shipping costs, eye-watering totals, unfamiliar payment methods, and mandatory customer accounts are common shocks that lead to cart abandonment.
Even someone who has overcome distraction, battled through fear, and managed surprise, will still likely leave before purchasing to conduct research. Price comparison sites, product reviews, and Amazon are all popular destinations during the cart abandonment stopover.
Cart Abandonment: A Happy Ending
But cart abandonment is a good thing. Yes, you read right.
Cart abandonment could be the best thing that happens to your online store today because of three reasons:
1. Cart abandonment gives you customer insights
Cart abandonment gives you an invaluable insight into what you’re doing well and what you need to improve on for your customers.
For example, if 80% of customers convert following a free shipping popup, that tactic is working. If 80% of customers leave when they see your delivery fees, your fees are letting you down.
2. Abandoned carts segment your leads
Abandoned carts segment your leads into cold, warm, or hot prospects, depending on what stage of the customer journey they left in.
When you segment leads in this way, you can tailor your customer recovery approach accordingly, to resonate better with your customers, and recover more sales.
3. Cart abandonment is the first hurdle
You have succeeded when someone abandons their cart because you’ve completed the hard tasks of getting someone to your website, browsing your product pages, and demonstrating purchase intent.
Reengaging a lost customer is far easier than acquiring a new customer - so you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting. Therefore, cart abandonment isn’t a bad thing; it’s an opportunity to extend the customer journey using the “four Rs”:
- Reminding the customer who you are.
- Reengaging their interest in your products.
- Returning them to your website.
- Recovering their lost purchase.
And this is where the cart abandonment and customer recovery models come in.
A Basic Abandoned Cart Model
The problem with cart abandonment isn’t the act of abandonment itself; it’s the methods used to recover customers.
A basic abandoned cart model kicks into action at the point of abandonment: a customer abandons their shopping cart and receives a drip-feed email campaign tempting them back. And to some extent, this works, returning customers to your website and recovering lost purchases.
But you can do so much better.
Let’s look at a typical checkout flow and customer journey. We can see that a basic cart abandonment model only targets customers at the very end of the consideration phase - they’ve added a product to their cart and entered their email address at the checkout.
We can also see there’s a whole funnel of customers in the awareness and consideration phases ignored by a basic cart abandonment campaign. Any customer not making it to the checkout is left to it, with no attempt from you to obtain their details, offer help, or lure them back.
A basic cart abandonment model isn’t making the most of your website visitors, and therefore you’re not make the most amount of sales possible.
The Customer Recovery Abandoned Cart Model
A customer recovery abandoned cart model is different. Instead of viewing cart abandonment as a point-in-time occurrence, it treats cart abandonment as an ongoing process from when someone lands on your website until they convert or leave.
This enables you to retain and recover the maximum amount of sales by segmenting and targeting customers depending on their stage in the customer journey.
To fully understand the customer recovery model, let’s look at your three major leads.
Lead segment #1 - Cold leads
Cold leads are customers active on your website. A basic abandoned cart model ignores these customers because they haven’t left yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to.
A customer recovery model targets these customers using the entire checkout flow to 1) obtain their email address to use should abandonment later occur, and 2) prevent abandonment from happening.
It does this using on-site visitor retention campaigns such as:
- A delayed popup with an offer or newsletter sign-up in return for an email address.
- An exit-intent popup that disrupts abandonment with an offer or coupon.
- Abandoned tab notifications that change your website’s favicon and headline text to reengage attention when a new tab opens.
Lead segment #2 - Warm leads
Warm leads are customers browsing your category and product pages but leaving before adding any products to their cart. You may have heard this called browse abandonment or discovery failure.
A basic cart abandonment strategy ignores these customers because they’ve added nothing to their cart and, therefore, haven’t made it to the checkout to input their email.
A customer recovery model targets these customers because it obtains their details while they’re a cold lead, using the methods above. It then uses this information to recover warm leads with tactics including:
- Browse abandonment emails that offer help, provide reassurance, and share incentives that nurture the lead and bring them back to your website.
- Browse abandonment push notifications that pop-up in a customer’s web or mobile browser in the days following abandonment, reminding them about their visit and providing them with an easy route back.
Lead segment #3 - Hot leads
Hot leads are shoppers adding products to their cart, making it to the checkout, but leaving before finalizing their purchase - aka cart abandonment.
A basic cart abandonment model targets these customers using a drip-feed email campaign that uses timing, personalization, and incentives to entice customers back to convert.
A customer recovery model uses abandoned cart emails with other recovery tools to maximize the chances of reaching and reengaging these leads. These other recovery tools include:
- Abandoned cart push notifications that appear in a shopper’s web browser following abandonment and use persuasion tactics such as loss aversion to bring them back.
- Abandoned cart SMS reminders that use an entirely different channel to capture attention and encourage conversion on a more convenient device.
The customer recovery model doesn’t stop there either. The essential tools of the customer recovery model are the ones bringing everything together. These tools include:
- Visitor journey tracking that records the journey to abandonment, shedding light on the common reasons behind it.
- Real-time lead capture that records contact information as it’s typed onto your website, for you to use in recovery campaigns.
- A/B testing that enables you to test two different versions of popups or recovery emails to see which tactics generate the best results.
- Multi-channel collaboration such as real-time abandonment notifications that involve your customer outreach team in abandonments over a certain value, or Zapier that transfers abandonment leads into future marketing campaigns.
Don’t get us wrong; a basic cart abandonment campaign is better than no campaign at all, and works well to recover customers who abandoned their shopping cart at the checkout stage. But not every customer makes it that far.
The CartStack approach to abandoned carts and customer recovery immediately multiplies your conversion rates because it immediately encompasses every single person who lands on your website.
With a customer recovery model, you can delve into the root problems behind cart abandonment, implement on-site tactics to prevent abandonment from happening, and tailor your recovery campaigns and tactics to how engaged customers were before they left.
With a customer recovery model, you can change the future of your store for the better.
CartStack is a suite of customer recovery tools that power you to tackle, reduce, and recover abandonment on your website.
From on-site tools that prevent abandonment from happening, recovery tools that recover lost purchases, and tactics that boost results further, cart abandonment isn’t a bad thing with CartStack - it’s an opportunity.
And, with CartStack’s new partnership with nopCommerce, nothing is stopping you.