3 Thoughtful, Customer-Centric Strategies to Reduce Cart Abandonment and Win Loyal Shoppers

Find yourself wishing you could capture more new shoppers?

Haunted by abandoned browsers or abandoned carts?

You’re not alone — according to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.57%, and another study by Barilliance indicates mobile users have an even higher abandonment rate of 85.65%.

What can you do as an eCommerce merchant to fight this trend? Transform the customer experience. 

In addition to reducing cart abandonment, this strategy works to win loyal shoppers, and a loyal shopper is an incredibly valuable asset to a Brand:

  • Loyal shoppers are a powerful marketing channel: they provide referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Loyal shoppers are a bargain: according to Invesp Consulting, acquiring a new customer can cost 5x more than retaining an existing customer.
  • Loyal shoppers spend more: data shows they spend roughly 3367% more.

How do I unlock the revenue potential in these abandoned carts?

Merchants often take a very direct approach when trying to boost conversions:

  • More frequent touch points with shoppers
  • Messaging tends to be heavily promotional, urgent, and purchase-focused 
  • Offering discounts as a first line of defense to recapture abandoned carts

But rather than immediately focusing on changing the shopper behavior:

“They didn’t buy — I need them to buy, now!”

… it can be extremely powerful to first understand the shopper behavior — identify the root cause:

“Why didn’t the shopper make the purchase? What can I do to address their hesitation?”

If you can address this issue for your shopper, not only will they convert, but they’ll come back to your store again because you gave them what all shoppers crave: an experience that surprises and delights!

When it comes to abandonment, don't guess -- ask! Then make them an offer they can't refuse

Given that over 8 in 10 mobile shoppers will abandon their shopping cart, it is critical that you understand the core reasons that stop your customers from purchasing today.

Research on why people abandon carts shows that the vast majority have questions about shipping, sizing, or product specs that can be easily answered by a human.

The typical abandoned cart message will look something like this.

While it’s great to see brands leveraging automation to bring customers back to their site, this approach still fails to address any of the real reasons why shoppers abandon their carts.

This is a golden opportunity for you to start providing resources to answer these questions and instill confidence in a purchase decision.

One of the best ways to achieve this is by replacing rigid 1-way abandoned cart reminders with multi-touch 2-way conversations that solve customers’ problems.

When a shopper abandons their cart, send them a text message asking them if you can help. It might look something like this:

This open ended question accomplishes several things

  • It shows the customer there is a human on the other end
  • It goes the extra mile by offering to be helpful 
  • It invites the customer to reply back in a conversational way
  • It allows the customer to tell you exactly what stopped them from purchasing today and gives you a chance to handle objections 

Taking a personal approach can also handle customer objections in a matter of minutes rather than days on a conventional email thread.

If offering a discount is your first line of defense with a hesitant shopper, you’re assuming the biggest point of friction was dollar value. It can also imply that they don’t think your product is worth the price — or worse, that you don’t think it’s worth the price!

Rushing your shopper with urgent messages or frequent reminders assumes they don’t know their own mind when it comes to what they want to purchase and when.

Sensing a pattern? 

Taking an inquisitive and helpful approach can identify why your shopper may have hesitated. Then, to fully overcome uncertainty, you can offer to let them try the product at home, risk free!

Rather than trying to force your shopper to buy when they’re uncertain, you guide and support them to a confident conversion.

When asking shoppers to check out new product launches, offer them something of value in return (hint: it's NOT always a discount!)

Promotional campaign messaging is a mainstay of countless direct to consumer brands.

While it certainly is a worthy strategy, it can also be hard to stand out from the crowd.

Oftentimes promotional messaging is one-way in nature, creating missed opportunities to engage with customers in valuable ways.

Mixing in 2-way communication to your promotional strategy can create opportunities for conversations that lead to increases in conversions and customer experience.

Here is a great example of how you can stand out through a campaign:

When you shift the campaign paradigm from exclusively 1-way messaging to 2-way and value-prop focused language, you create added value to the customer.

There are often questions in between receiving a promotional message and creating a conversion, so a proactive approach will help you stand out from the crowd.

In this example we’ve highlighted, you can see how the merchant is informing the customer about their “try now, buy later” policy.

This is so effective because you are reducing the barrier to purchase and also inviting the customer to ask any additional questions about the policy.

Looking for opportunities to add education or value propositions to your promotional messaging can help you rely less on discounts and more on the things that make your brand stand out.

Stop abandoned carts before they happen to win loyal shoppers

Over 70% of customers want to receive support over SMS, so it’s no secret that this is an effective channel to enhance the customer experience pre-purchase.

Today’s forward thinking brands are mirroring in-store shopping experiences by proactively providing customers with opportunities to engage with them pre purchase to reduce cart abandonment.

One of the best ways to do this is through live text.

With just a simple tap, customers can kick off live text conversations with their favorite brands to get questions answered in a matter of minutes rather than hours or days.

Customers don’t have time to trade emails, and they won’t stay on your site long enough for live chat to be effective. Texting is the quickest, most human way to answer simple questions that get in the way of purchases

The use cases here are endless, but a few of the most effective ways brands are setting up live text is through placement on product display pages, website footers and in customer-facing emails.

These conversations are great opportunities for brands to educate their customers on things like try at home risk-free policies, shipping times, sizing questions, etc…

Cart abandonment poses a real challenge for eCommerce merchants. By combining the power of TryNow and Tone, you can create an online shopping experience that goes beyond just closing the first deal and wins loyal shoppers that come back time and again.

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