How to Reclaim (and Learn from) Abandoned Carts

Abandoned carts are generally considered a bad thing for ecommerce companies. While it’s true that you should try to limit your cart abandonment rates as much as possible, abandoned carts can be a good way to learn about your customers and create marketing opportunities to get those customers to complete their purchases.

Generally, there are three ways that you can reach out to customers who failed to complete a purchase:

Since most abandoned carts are followed-up via an automated process, make sure that the parameters for those automated messages are finely tuned. Users can extend their browsing time by comparing products and prices. Just because they started to checkout an hour ago, doesn’t necessarily mean they are finished shopping. Overall onsite activity is usually a better indicator of whether or not a cart has been abandoned. If a user has stopped browsing your site for 30 minutes or more, then their cart is probably abandoned. By adjusting these parameters, you’ll keep from sending customers irrelevant reminder emails or offering unnecessary discounts in banner ads.

A common approach for cart reminder emails is to allow customers to complete their purchase directly from the email. But, more often than not, customers don’t intend to purchase every item in their cart – especially if they abandoned it to weigh their options. Rather than use resources crafting a purchase-though-email campaign, simply remind customers to return to your site. This can give you more merchandising opportunities and the customer might increase the size of their order.

Lastly, try to avoid training your customers to expect your cart abandonment deals. While they can be excellent incentives to complete a purchase, they can be anticipated if they are offered every time. By limiting your deals, customers will feel legitimately valued for getting a one-off discount without trying to get one every time they shop on your site.

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