Previously, we spoke about the typical hurdles that foster shopping cart abandonment and how to decrease abandoned carts through targeted email follow-ups.
Let’s walk through how we could solve an abandoned cart issue with an automated e-mail marketing solution.
It has long been considered an e-commerce best practice to disclose all possible shipping costs as soon as possible to spare sticker shock at the end of the purchase process. Nevertheless, it continues to be a top reason for abandoned carts.
Step 1: Determining the Issue:
How would you know that shipping costs were the reason for your abandoned carts? Individual analytics reporting will vary based on your exact shopping cart implementation, but an easy way to check is to isolate the addition of shipping costs to the final total.
Measure exit rates before and after the shipping costs. Using Google Analytics, or another tool, analyze the differences between those who abandoned before the shipping cost was calculated versus those who abandoned after the the shipping costs were calculated. Using Action Tracking in GA, you can relatively easily see things like what population of cart abandoners clicked specific elements (like “calculate shipping” if your cart requires it).
Then, draw your conclusions based on those numbers comparing them to the baseline.
Step 2: Identify a Solution and Re-engage the Customer
The “easiest” solution is to simply bite the bullet and waive the shipping cost. However, this is often far from the optimal solution economically, and is a brute force method that could end up costing you in the long run. A few thoughts to consider here:
Before making that decision, it’s important to do a customer life-time value analysis and an estimate of customer conversions to see if it’s worth paying for every customers’ shipping in order to save specific segments of abandons.
An alternate method is to identify the customers who have abandoned carts due to shipping costs, and target them with automated email messages offering either free or heavily discounted shipping. This way you not only increase your odds of saving the conversion, but also save yourself from bearing the shipping costs of every customer.
Bonus Tip! The number one reason cart abandon programs struggle is not being able to identify the buyer. Whether you store an identifier in a cookie, require a login, or both –the recognition (again, automated is better) of the buyer is a pre-requisite to rescuing abandoned carts.
In testing the capture of email address for new customers, earlier is better for cart rescue. If you don’t get the email address, you’re in trouble when it comes to emailing the rescue offer. Take a look at your checkout process: are you capturing email addresses early enough in the exit tunnel to re-target rescues? If not, a re-evaluation of your exit tunnel and a more targeted automated response can help rescue carts and save sales.