Abandoned cart email programs can help convert sales
With the economy still on the mend, many retailers are looking for ways to help convert prospects into paying customers. For retailers that have an effective email marketing system in place, one of the best ways to do this is through abandoned shopping cart messages.
These messages will be sent automatically to consumers who were shopping on an ecommerce website and put an item in their virtual shopping carts but left without finalizing the purchase. Abandoned cart emails are effective for two reasons: First, they are automatic, so once they have been incorporated to an email program, there is little maintenance needed. Second, abandoned cart emails encourage consumers to make purchases that they may have not normally made.
Adoption of abandoned cart emails
Despite the fact that abandoned cart emails are both effective and cost-efficient, few retailers have implemented them in their email marketing strategies. According to a recent survey conducted by the Email Institute, only 30.7 percent of the retailers surveyed send abandoned cart email messages to shoppers.
Even retailers that have fully incorporated them are not leveraging them to their fullest extent. For example, less than half of the retailers polled use images in their abandoned cart emails. Additionally, less than one-third of retailers send abandoned cart messages within 72 hours of consumers leaving a website, which is a crucial time period for converting those sales.
“As more shoppers use the internet as a research tool, lost revenue becomes a top concern for online retailers. When customers fail to buy the items they added to their shopping bags or carts, retailers struggle. Businesses that use shopping cart abandonment emails can win shoppers back,” notes the Email Institute. “Yet, more than two-thirds of retailers surveyed didn’t follow through with such programs.”
Benefits of abandoned cart email programs
S&S Worldwide, an online retailer, found out firsthand how valuable an abandoned cart email strategy can be. The retailer launched its program in early 2007 and has been reaping the benefits ever since.
S&S Worldwide’s email program is quick to act, sending abandoned cart messages mere hours after consumers have left the retailer’s website with items still in the cart. The emails let recipients return to the website to make a purchase, or it offers them the special option of calling a toll-free phone number to place the order with a representative.
The results of the retailer’s abandoned cart program speak for themselves. S&S Worldwide is able to save nearly one-quarter of its abandoned carts. Considering the messages are fully automated and require little maintenance, these are essentially free sales.
“I like to calculate the amount of money each send brings,” Carolyn Nye, marketing manager of S&S Worldwide, told Direct Magazine. “That helps me look at the ROI of different campaigns.”
Even if the targeted user doesn’t respond, this program is still beneficial to S&S Worldwide. For example, if the brand notices a customer put an item in his or her shopping cart, S&S Worldwide can use this information to create targeted promotional emails tailored to this person’s shopping behavior.
Of course, abandoned cart email programs only work for retailers that have an existing email list. To build that, retailers should consider adding an email sign up field to their homepage. When users make a purchase, retailers should also ask whether or not they want to be added to the company’s email marketing list. To help encourage sign ups, brands could offer coupons, free shipping, promotion products or other incentives.This entry was posted in Email Marketing, Featured and tagged Retail Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.