Why your eCommerce website should have Abandoned Basket emails

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Laura Dean

A key component of eCommerce success lies in the customer experience. Everything from your load speed to design, tone of voice, calls to action, and site navigation plays a role in whether visitors convert into customers. Our knowledge base offers advice and recommendations on what makes a good website, but in this blog, we’re considering abandoned basket emails.

An abandoned basket email or set of emails, is a communication process that begins when your website visitor doesn’t quite complete their transaction – indeed, they abandon their basket. Of course, in a high street store, if you suddenly put your basket down by the till and quickly left the shop, you probably wouldn’t respond well to people chasing you out to get you to pay for the items; emails offer a much gentler approach, one that is often welcomed!

There are many reasons why a visitor might abandon their basket; often they need more information to convince them of their purchase. Sometimes they’re visiting your competitors to look for a better deal; they may go to a comparison website, or they simply might have got distracted and forgotten to complete the transaction.

In any case, sending them a small reminder that you’re keeping their basket waiting for them is a great way to re-engage and encourage them to come back to your website. These targeted reminders can significantly boost your sales, whilst also building relationships with new and existing customers; however, this simple process is often underutilised, so let this blog serve as your reminder to set up abandoned basket emails today.

In case you’re not immediately sold, here’s a few benefits to implementing an abandoned basket process:

Recover sales that might otherwise have been lost – if you’re familiar with the analytics of your website, you will often find that your basket is a page that sees a high rate of visitor exits. This is common for B2B and B2C websites. We would always suggest considering a variety of reasons why you might be losing customers when they get to the basket; these could range from carriage charges being too high, not offering the payment options they want, lead times being too long, information being unclear, security not being tight enough, etc.

Whatever the reason, by taking the information left by the customer (their contact details, the products they were interested in) you can legitimately contact them to find out if they are still interested. According to a recent study by Hotjar, cart abandonment emails have on average a 39% open rate and 23% click rate because customers love reminders about what they might be missing.

Enhance the customer experience – if you’re familiar with the sales funnel, you’ll know the value of nurturing leads and the necessity to support them in their research phase. You can do this through emails, by sharing product benefits, case studies, FAQs and further information. If you’re in B2B marketing, you’ll often find that various stakeholders need to be convinced before a purchase can be approved. Build the relationship early and make it really easy for the buyer to secure the approval they need. This will enhance their experience and increase the likelihood of them coming back again.

Aside from reading the information on your website, an abandoned basket email may be the first interaction you have with your customer. Make sure you get the tone of voice just right and offer something of value to them. This could be more information or it could be a discount code that makes your pricing more competitive than the next website they visit.

Improve your conversion rates – abandoned basket emails don’t have to be singular, they can be a multi-email process that helps to nurture warm leads right through to conversion, particularly if your sales cycle is lengthy. By strategically timing your reminders and tailoring your content to address the specific needs of your customer, you can improve your conversion rates. Creating an incentive and urgency through limited-time discounts or free trials can encourage visitors to take action.

Take away valuable insights – if you’re a data-driven marketer, you’ll love the insights you can gain from abandoned basket campaigns. Analysing this data can tell you all sorts about customer behaviour, and you can use this to refine your marketing approach. From improving the shopping experience to identifying any obvious barriers to purchase, having a good understanding of why visitors abandon their baskets will help you to proactively address any issues and set you up for future eCommerce success.

So you’ve decided you want to set up abandoned basket emails, what’s the next step?

Firstly, you need to analyse the data you already have, bringing together information about your typical customer and the length of your sales cycle so that you can identify the right frequency and volume of emails.

You should consider the tone of voice and messaging you want to send; consulting other stakeholders to understand profit margins and whether offering a discount or purchase incentive is appropriate. Many online retailers find success by simply making it easy for the customer to complete their order – by saving their basket and delivery details, they’re incentivised to complete their order out of convenience. Other customers may need a promotional incentive such as a discount or free trial, for example.

We work with a number of eCommerce clients that utilise an abandoned basket process to aid their conversions – ourselves included. As we often share, we have a successful eCommerce business FW Direct, which utilises two abandoned basket emails to entice our customers to come back to us. We understand we work in a highly competitive commodity market, so we first contact them an hour after they’ve let us. We know that they’re highly likely to be researching cheaper alternatives or shopping around for the best price. We give them the time to do that, and then let them know their basket is ready and waiting for them. We follow up a second time 12 hours later, to reach those that may have forgotten and remind them that we can price-match, as well as showing them similar products they may wish to order.

If you need help analysing your audience and understanding the right time to contact them, we’d be more than happy to talk it through with you. Utilising a plugin such as AutomateWoo in the backend of your website makes setting up a variety of automated emails a swift process. Once you’ve got your abandoned basket strategy in place, you simply need to implement it. We can help with that too!

Talk to us about how we can help you to secure lost revenue and improve the customer experience with Abandoned Basket emails.

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