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What Makes a Great Cart Abandonment Email?

In this post, we look at the elements that contribute to a successful, high-performing cart (or basket) abandonment email… 
Shoppers will abandon carts, for a variety of reasons, but fortunately many can be tempted back to the purchase, often through basket abandonment emails.
For the best results, a lot of thought needs to go into the creation of cart abandonment emails – the creative used, the products shown, and the timing of emails.
Here are some of the key areas to consider…

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A Beginner's Guide to Cart Abandonment Recovery

Our guide to cart abandonment recovery and how they can help retailers to recover sales that might have been lost. 
A lot of money is spent attracting shoppers to websites, but the vast majority of visitors will leave without having made a purchase.
Abandonment rates will vary according to the type of website. For example, travel and finance sites which can have longer forms and purchase processes, will often experience higher rates of abandonment than fashion and retail sites.
In general, around 75% of visitors will leave the contents of their shopping cart and head elsewhere, without completing the purchase.

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How Long Should You Wait Before Sending Cart Abandonment Emails?

Customer Marketing Manager Bethany McDermott looks at how long you should wait before sending cart abandonment emails.
I’ll be honest with you from the start, there’s not one answer to this question, but a good place to start is to think about your shoppers.
They should receive your cart abandonment email while they still have the ‘need’ to purchase or they’re still considering their options. And, for many people and products, this can differ.
Thinking about buying habits is a good indication of when would be the best time to give an extra nudge into returning to purchase.
As a rule of thumb, low value, quick, fast moving purchases generally take less time to consider and are quickly forgotten. Whereas higher value purchases, to your average man on the street, take more consideration and are “wanted” by the shopper for a longer period of time.
Let’s start with the first cycle, which is the first time you contact your customer after they have abandoned their cart and drop an email into their inbox. Across the board we rarely see emails being sent any longer than one hour after the abandonment.
PrettyLittleThing sends a first cycle email just 30 minutes after abandonment.
A short idle time, the time between the abandonment and the first cycle email, can help you make sure that the shopper hasn’t totally forgotten their need to buy and could still be tempted back.
Any longer, and they could have talked themselves out of that new dress for the weekend….
Pretty Little Thing cart recovery email
The travel industry has the highest abandonment rates and usually has high average order values.
Take a look at some of the reasons people abandon their travel bookings:

The top three reasons require the shopper to go elsewhere and take some time to think. If you have just seen a cart abandoned, it could be because that visitor is going to other websites to compare or speak to friends and family.
Sending your email 10 minutes later could be striking while the iron is cold – they have other things on their mind and aren’t ready to reconsider just yet.
Bide your time and allow shoppers to sow their oats. This only means that they still have the need to purchase and are considering buying it somewhere, so with cart abandonment emails make sure it’s you.
Most travel and high average order value websites send their first cycle around an hour after the abandonment. But, as I said earlier – it’s always worth testing.
Pro Direct Soccer US decided to do a split test on their first cycle emails. Originally they were emailing an hour after abandonment, but tested this against three other variables:

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