Best practice tips for basket abandonment emails

Some simple facts before we start;

March 2012 – Research conducted for Experian®, the global information services company, estimates that £1.02 billion worth of online shopping transactions were abandoned last year by UK consumers frustrated by old and inefficient identity measures. One in five of these abandoned transactions were not taken elsewhere as individuals cancelled their shopping attempt altogether, resulting in £214 million worth of net lost revenue for UK retailers.

Don’t hide delivery charges

A survey conducted by Econsultancy and TolunaQuick found that 74% of shoppers would abandon a purchase due to high delivery charges, while 54% would drop out if they experienced any technical problems.

A quarter (26%) said that being forced to register would cause them to abandon a purchase.

After adding items to your basket, what would make you abandon your purchase?

email marketing

email marketing

When asked specifically about the checkout, the most popular reason for abandonment was hidden charges (71%), concerns about payment security (58%) and technical problems or slow loading pages (44%).

Once you are in the checkout process, what would deter you from completing the purchase?

email marketing

email marketing

How did ASOS halve its abandonment rate?

Clothing retailer ASOS managed to halve its abandonment rate by removing the need for customers to create an account.

However, the sneaky part is that customers actually still create an account, it’s just that ASOS removed any mention of registering.

Instead it simply asks you to provide a password as part of the standard checkout requirements such as contact name and email address.

asos sign in

asos login

Some Basket abandonment actions

Get the call to action right

The call to action (CTA) is as important, if not more so, on a basket abandonment email as on a ‘newsletter’ format. Keep it above the fold and relevant to the issue, such as “return to your basket here” or “Have you not you not found what you are looking for?”.  Try to be interesting and fun!

Don’t send too many emails

If an individual abandons five times in 10 minutes, don’t send five emails!! Set a rule that the individual can only receive one abandonment email per specified time period. You may send an special promo email if its the first time per user

Offer help and assistance

Offer help and assistance, for instance by publishing a telephone number, but don’t forget to make it a bespoke line so the value of the extra bookings can be attributed back to the basket abandonment email.

Loyalty Program

If you have a loyalty program within your website you could show the points gained and a call to action button that would help customers to redeem the points.

Test timings

Test the timeliness – 6sixhours, 24 hours, 72 hours… very often this will depend on both the type of product. Large ticket items encourage comparison browsing, so give the individual a few more hours to do their comparisons and to discuss the purchase with their partner or family. (This would mostly be preferred in electronics and furnitures)

Experiment with follow-up emails

Test a follow up abandon basket to those who don’t open or those who open but still don’t buy. (Reporting by individuals in email marketing is very important)

Don’t be too generous with discounts

Finally, DON’T teach your best customer to abandon baskets by offering a blanket discount in the basket abandonment email. If you want to offer free P&P or a discount, either do it irregularly (eg every third time) or only if are convinced that pricing is key and they are/are not a loyal customer.

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