By Paul Gordon
The holiday shopping rush may be in full swing, but it’s not too late to perfect your cart recovery campaign for the New Year. No eCommerce business is exempt from the plight of shopping cart abandonment, and to make matters worse, Business Wire reports that a whopping $4 Trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online carts this year alone.
The good news? Cart abandonment rates are dropping. Year on year, the global eCommerce market is seeing a 7.2% decrease. The Fresh Relevance Real-Time Marketing Report for Q3 2015 attributes this change to more eCommerce retailers successfully addressing the causes of abandonment. You too can join the growing number of e-tailers who are taking a stand against cart abandonment. Here’s how:
- Don’t send emails – start relationships.
Shopping is an emotional activity. If your cart recovery program doesn’t allow you to access to customer data – be it web behaviour or past purchase data – you won’t have the insight to deliver a truly personalized shopping experience. Today’s customers expect a high degree of personalization when a brand interacts with them via email. Cart recovery tools that use real-time data and dynamic content allow you to show products most recently carted or browsed – meaning that as your customer’s browse activity or carted items change, so do the products in the email – even if it’s already sitting in the inbox.
Beyond images, it’s important to woo your cart abandoners with personalized copy that doesn’t just sell your product, but tells your brand story. British clothing retailer Boden does this so, so well. Here’s an example of a re-engagement campaign that they sent to their high value customers:
Every inch of this campaign is personalized: the customer’s name, the number of days since her first purchase, the number of products she’s purchased, the name of the last product she bought in addition to personalized product recommendations at the end. By implementing a system that merges real-time customer insights with dynamic content, you can easily apply this level of personalization to your cart recovery campaigns. It’s this type of 1:1 engagement that warms the heart, opens the wallet, and creates customer relationships that last.
You could also take a page out of fashion retailer Reformation’s book. They demonstrate how you can tell an on-brand story that creates allure around a product. All it takes is a clean layout, some killer images and copy that sells – with a wink:
- Be Honest.
When optimizing your cart recovery program, it’s important to think like a shopper. What grinds your gears in the checkout process? For most shoppers, it’s hidden costs. There’s nothing worse than being bamboozled by taxes and shipping fees AFTER you’ve hit the “complete purchase” button. If you want to build a brand-loyal following, it’s wise to establish trust and credibility. Include taxes and shipping costs early on in the checkout process so that your customers know what to expect.
- Streamline the checkout.
The longer your checkout procedure, the more reasons you’re giving your shoppers not to complete the process!
The average number of checkout steps is 5.08. Online shopping is supposed to be easy, not a chore! Don’t make your customers jump through hoops in order to make a transaction. As a best practice, create a one-step checkout by condensing all required fields onto one page. Try not to ask your customers for information that you don’t need – it only creates a barrier between your shoppers and a complete purchase.
- Enable comparison shopping.
Most shoppers tend to research online before they buy. The research process typically entails going onto competitor sites in order to determine who has the better deal. Make it easy for your customers to comparison shop without having to leave your website by showing your products in relation to similar products on the market. Creating a comparison chart allows your shoppers to make informed purchase decisions while also giving your brand the opportunity to demonstrate your product’s unique value proposition.
- Get mobile responsive.
Considering the amount of time we spend on our phones, it’s a wonder that only 26% of us transact on mobile. While shoppers have no problem browsing on their handheld companions, they tend to gravitate towards desktop or in-store to actually make the purchase. Some consumers say mobile shopping raises security concerns, while others say the screens are simply too small; however, most shoppers would agree that that there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to navigate a website that doesn’t render well on mobile.
Making your website mobile responsive is a win-win for you and your shoppers. According to a GO-Gulf infographic, 74% of users say that if a site works well on their phone, they’re more likely to return. Also, increased sales have been reported by 62% of companies who built their websites for mobile viewing.
Ready to Recover?
With a new year comes new beginnings. Why not optimize your cart recovery program for maximum returns in 2016? Combining cutting-edge technology with best practices is a winning formula for re-connecting shoppers with their abandoned carts and personalizing communications for a fiercely brand loyal following.
Paul Gordon is the co-founder and managing director of Bubblebox. Since its inception in 2008, Bubblebox has been delivering intelligent email marketing technology and consultancy to leading brands across Canada and the US. Paul’s team delivers an agnostic approach to the deployment of technology to help their clients continuously improve. Current toolsets supported and deployed have seen revenues of eCommerce sites quadruple within 18 months.