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Should You Discount in Cart Abandonment Emails?

Should You Discount in Cart Abandonment Emails?


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It’s time for another discounting debate! In a blog from our archives, we look at how using  incentives in cart abandonment emails could end up doing more harm than good.
Price is one of the main reasons a customer may choose not to purchase a product online.
Think about your own shopping experiences. Those boots you’ve been dying to buy are just too expensive… so you wait. For what? You wait to see if the price changes; maybe the boots go on sale, maybe you get a coupon. You have an internal debate with yourself about whether or not you really need them!
As a retailer, you then ask yourself, how can I get these customers to return and make their purchase? Give them a discount! Free shipping! Here’s a coupon code! Buy now and receive a free gift! Offer them something and they’ll come back….right?? Wrong!

Customers Are Already Trained to Look for Coupons

With numerous websites now offering discounts for nearly everything, all a customer has to do is a simple search.
So, if an online customer discovers they will receive a coupon directly from the retailer if they abandon their purchase, the customer will abandon every purchase, every time, to wait for that discount.
By offering the incentive as an attempt to re-engage them, we have now taught that customer a bad behavior…. it pays to abandon.

Think We’re Being Paranoid?

Even British banking chain Barclays is aware of this trend. In their ‘Better Off Online’ campaign, as well as having videos explaining coupon codes, they included a segment on how customers can abandon their orders for these discounts;

So How Do You Avoid This?

No discounts. No coupons. Just a relevant, transactional message to re-engage the customer and bring them back to the buying cycle.
You’d be surprised, that even without an incentive, our client’s cart abandonment email campaigns see open rates well over 50%! It’s just a matter of using a clean, on-brand email. Something as simple as suggesting additional products, creating a sense of urgency or dropping a friendly reminder of the awesome items they have waiting, really work wonders.


Are you reinforcing bad behavior? Why not try your hand at some different methods to re-engage your lost customers and you just may be surprised at how many come rushing back.


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