Glossary

Abandoned cart

What is shopping cart abandonment?

When a user adds a product to the online shopping cart of an e-commerce site but doesn’t proceed to checkout and complete the purchase. Users may abandon because they aren’t ready to buy. Instead, they are using their cart as more of a "wish list" as they shop around and compare prices. Setting up automatic, personalized email alerts to remind users they have items in their cart is often just the nudge they need to finish checking out.

People leave stuff behind for all sorts of reasons. But here's the good news: With abandoned cart emails, you can bring them back and encourage them to complete their purchase.

What are abandoned cart emails?

If you’ve ever left an online purchase behind, you may have received abandoned cart emails, which often come in stages. The 1st is usually a gentle reminder to complete your purchase. The 2nd might give you a deadline—“Your order is about to expire!”—and the 3rd usually includes a coupon or discount to bring you back. Small retailers often create and send these emails manually. If that's too time consuming for your business, don’t worry—you can automate the process.

Abandoned cart email tips

Sending a targeted, personal, and timely email can bring shoppers back. However, not all abandoned cart emails generate equally effective results. Here are a few more best practices to get the most out of yours:

1. Stick to your brand voice.

Are you fun and quirky? Conservative and classic? Keep that tone. Maintaining a consistent brand image keeps your e-commerce business looking professional, which makes it attractive to your potential customers.

2. Be personal.

Remember that people like messages that speak to them about things that they like, and they want to be treated like a person. You should strongly consider using your customer's name, and make sure to list the specific items in their cart. This shows that you put some effort into the message and didn’t just send an identical email to everyone.

3. Suggest related items.

With product recommendations, it’s easy to show off other stuff that your customers will love. (They might even like those options better.) You can be direct about this and write something like, “We noticed you were looking at gardening supplies! We thought you might find these useful, too.”

4. Offer incentives.

Since high shipping costs is one of the biggest reasons that people abandon online shopping carts, try offering a discount or voucher to win some of those customers back. This marketing strategy can also cost you money in the long run, so keep an eye on it to make sure you’re making enough on sales to justify the discount.

Recapture the interest of shoppers

Abandoned cart emails can bring people back to the checkout line. To start your email campaign, craft subject lines and get feedback from your team. After you draft an email template you’ll be able to see what works for you—and get time back to focus on other things.

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