Omni-Channel Marketing Campaign

The ABCs of a good abandoned cart strategy

Everyone knows it… in fact, let’s say that everyone has already given up one or more shopping carts in their life, or will do so as soon as they shop online. With this reality, one has to wonder if all retailers have a strategy around this famous abandoned cart.

As we enter the fall of 2020, I hope your answer is yes! Otherwise, ready, set, go!

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In general, the abandoned shopping cart is the one your customers leave behind when checking out during an online purchase. There are many reasons why a person may leave items behind: high shipping costs or any other surprise costs, simple window shopping or comparison of different brands, too complicated process, etc.

This stop in the middle of the transaction therefore has a direct impact on your sales, and can also impact your customer relationship.



Some interesting statistics on the abandoned shopping cart

  • 84% of customers visit websites to compare so to window-shop on the web… it’s so easy since they have access to a lot of choices with a few mouse clicks.
  • 69% to 86% of baskets are abandoned… it’s minimum 7 customers out of 10! Ouch! Obviously, mobile rates are in the highest range, as interruptions are easier at these times.
  • Delivery and account creation are the two points that have the greatest impact on cart abandonment.
  • Saturdays and Sundays are the days with the highest abandonment rates. Online shopping is similar to in-store shopping, as our buying habits are concentrated on weekends.
  • Moreover, December is the month with the highest rate of cart abandonment, which is not surprising either. With holiday shopping, it is normal that this rate increases during this period.

So there is a lot of money left on the table… but don’t worry, there is hope. We notice that with a good strategy around this famous abandoned cart, the conversion can increase up to 35%! Hence the importance of prioritizing the development of a good abandoned basket strategy.   



Let’s start with the basics

Before talking about abandoned shopping cart strategy, have you done everything possible to simplify the life of your visitors? All this to ensure that your customer knowledge improves, and thus optimize the shopping experience.

Here are some ways to evaluate your current online customer experience:

  • Are you transparent about the costs incurred? Your visitor shouldn’t have any unpleasant surprises upon payment.
  • Is the shopping cart icon always in full view? It is important to make life as easy as possible for your visitors.
  • Is your transactional site’s navigation smooth? In general, visitors of a website usually leave after only a few seconds if it is too long.
  • Evaluations and opinions on your products are highlighted? These influence about 90% of consumers in their purchasing decisions.
  • Is it possible for the consumer to chat live on your site?
  • You use the power of scarcity as a strategy without over-using it (by indicating the number of remaining products, for example).

According to OptinMonster, more than 24% of people want to keep the contents of their basket, even after abandoning it. This portion of your visitors then think about coming back eventually. Take the opportunity to offer them the list of products, or keep their basket in memory for a few days. This is only possible if you request the email, which must be done quickly in the purchase process, often at the first step of the form as shown in the image below :


The important thing is to offer a benefit, a reason why the visitor should enter his email so early in the process. That way, you’ll have all the material to build your abandoned shopping cart strategy, and ensure a conversion with relevant content. You will be able to convert this basket/list into a purchase more easily and quickly!

Before discussing the different possible strategies, you can refresh your memory by reading the article of my colleague Roxane who speaks more extensively on this subject.  



Conversion strategies for the abandoned cart

The basic strategy

You have done all the actions listed above and your shopping cart is still left behind? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and with the right strategy, you’ll be able to recover a portion of those latent sales… which can be very simple!


Setting up an automated scenario to cover the base is the key

At the moment, if nothing is in place yet, you need to act quickly. A tangible, effective and easy-to-implement strategy that any e-commerce company should implement is the automated email tracking scenario.

This type of strategy pays off in terms of conversion and has a direct impact on sales. On average, it pays off:

  • 46% open rate;
  • 13% click-through rate;
  • 35% conversions to a purchase.

To do this, you need an automated marketing tool that makes it much easier to do it… then you just have to plan it!

Automation then makes it possible to have an interaction at the best moment, according to the visitor’s path. Hence the importance of clearly defining the trigger (basket forgotten during check-out, creation of a list of favorite products, etc.) as well as the targeting and customization rules. And hop! Your scenario will roll by itself.

A tool like Dialog Insight’s marketing automation editor can easily meet your needs and make your life much easier. That way, you and your team can put your energy into implementing other strategies.

Ideally, a small sequence of 3 emails would be the optimal strategy.


Delays between emails

The key to success in this type of strategy is the speed of execution. The time between abandonment and the reception of the first email must be optimized for the best results.

Well, that’s all well and good, but in concrete terms, how long should we wait before sending the first email? And between each email, how long do you have to wait?

Let’s look at some data together… According to Conversion’s data, here is the average purchase rate after receiving a reminder email:

  • 30% purchase in less than 20 minutes;
  • 50% purchase between 20 minutes and one hour;
  • 60% purchase between 1 and 3 hours;
  • 65% purchase between 3 and 12 hours.

So, as you can see, sending your email too quickly is not necessarily the right approach. Of course, it all depends on your business. These numbers may not apply to your situation. It is rather a guideline to help you, because several factors can influence the delays between emails such as sector, type of products, product line, type of clientele or customer segment, etc.

We have elaborated for you a small scenario of 3 emails based on the data presented above, since the emails are all sent within 48 hours after the trigger.



Test to optimize your results

Keep in mind to test… test and re-test! It is important, when developing the strategy, to plan the tests that will be done. Whether it is to test the number of emails to be sent, the delays between emails, the type of content, the creative elements… Everything!

Be careful, when the time comes, proceed by doing only one test at a time, to obtain the validity of your results, and always compare them to your basic model. If all the tests are done at the same time, you will not be able to attribute success or failure to a single item. In addition, be sure to test on a sufficient visitor sample, again for the results to be valid.

And don’t forget to determine your KPIs before doing these tests, to make sure you measure their impact.


What about relevance?

Another important point in developing your strategy is the use of customization. Use the contents of the shopping cart and all the information you have about your visitor to push the most relevant content possible to these contacts.

A 360-degree profile of your customers and a database rich in information will help you to develop relevant content for each of the emails in your sequence. Because customization can be easy with the right tools, the right information and the right data structure.

Remember: maximizing personalization to increase the relevance of your communications is always a win-win situation! Moreover, at Dialog Insight, we think and develop our platform so that our clients can easily achieve this goal.


Well thought-out content

Let’s now turn to the question of content. In particular, the subject of your first email. Your subject line should be punctuated and stimulate conversion. In fact, all the content elements of this email should be in synergy with each other: your subject, the pre-header text and the first paragraph of content should be complementary.

As for the content of the email, it should be short but effective. You need to make sure that people quickly understand the purpose of the email and want to take action as quickly as possible. That’s why the tone should be persuasive… sometimes humor, if it works for the brand, maybe a great option!

In addition, always make sure to include products that have been left behind with product images and descriptions. Add a few elements to show their value and a clear call to action.

Finally, don’t forget to be there for your customer, just like you would be in the store.

  • Make live an experience, in these times of Covid, it’s really important.
  • Offer assistance in the email, indicating the phone number, contact information for Customer Service, mention of the chat on the website, etc.).


A few tips to encourage action

Of course, the goal of this strategy is to move your client into action. You can do this by using tactics to create a sense of urgency. For example, by indicating the number of items remaining, or by offering a time-limited discount.

Beware of overuse of the discount concept! If you use it too often, this notion of urgency will not be taken seriously, because you will have created a habit among your customers. It can also have a negative effect on your product/brand.

Instead, think about showing the added value of your products instead of the eternal discount. Personalize your email content according to the customer’s path, the type of customer (loyal vs. new), the value/category of the shopping cart, etc. In the best case, only use the discount towards the end of your sequence.



Other tactics to fine-tune your abandoned cart strategy

Do you have a newsletter? Use it to insert a creative shopping cart reminder. Use customization to remind them of abandoned products, or with a promotional offer of its own.

Surprise your customer… in the right way of course! Adapt your message to this type of communication. It is not a sequence of “abandoned shopping cart” emails, the way to bring the subject should be done in a completely different way.

Do you have your contacts’ cell phone numbers? Add SMS to the communication channels of your sequence. That’s what retailer Cynthia Rowley does. They have noticed a considerable impact on their conversion rate. This is a less saturated channel, sometimes perceived as a little more intrusive, so don’t forget to adapt the message.

As an additional tactic, here’s a great one that I read while doing some research and wanted to share with you. It’s a strategy based on optimizing the insights obtained from an analysis of abandoned shopping carts (made on products, SKUs, categories, etc.) for a specific period of time. In the example, it was spread over a few weeks before Black Friday.

The idea here is to define “star” products, by analyzing what is in the abandoned carts of all visitors for a specific period of time. For example, the 5 products that will have been discontinued most often. Then, it is a question of building a promotional campaign around these products (in our example just before Black Friday), to attract other consumers. Obviously, this requires quick access to and analysis of the data, because the key to success, once the analysis is done, is speed of execution!

Great data optimization – Bravo!



A more advanced strategy

In an ideal world, I would tell you to move towards the implementation of an omnichannel strategy. The goal being to broaden your range of touchpoints with your customers, to reach them at different times, through different channels. Of course, to adapt each content/message to the chosen channel while keeping the link to the abandoned shopping cart. The objective being to maximize conversion.


To obtain this omnicanality, it is important to have, yes your client’s email, but also all other relevant information, such as their communication preferences.

It is also important to have tools to capture the path of your visitors on your website, whether they are anonymous or not. Make sure you have a good tool that can make the link between the visitor and the customer in your database. This recognition allows you to have a 360-degree view of it and to always have the latest information gathered in the same place for the same contact.

Tools such as Dialog Insight’s Path and SCV are good options to consider. This way, you will be able to re-target this customer with your abandoned shopping cart strategy. You will also be able to use this data (in an intelligent way) to provide a memorable customer experience and improve your customer knowledge.

It means offering your customer a memorable experience with your brand!




Whether it is with a basic or more elaborate strategy, the important thing is to have one to promote the conversion of abandoned baskets. You’ll be surprised how many people need only a little reminder to make a purchase. So it’s your role to seize this opportunity and give your contacts that little push.

Remember that relevance is the key to any communication, so you should always incorporate personalization into your messages. It’s a way to be close to your customers despite the fact that we live in an increasingly digital world. And above all, don’t forget to test, test and retest to optimize your strategy.

If you need assistance in building your strategy or developing your scenarios, please do not hesitate to contact us. It will be our pleasure to accompany you!