Joe Waechter
November 21, 2011 | eCommerce , Email Marketing | Joe Waechter

Abandoned Carts: How Do You Win Them Back?

I heard an interesting number the other day. Did you know that over half of all shopping carts are abandoned before the customer finishes checking out? I’m sure there are quite a few different reasons for abandoned carts. Maybe the customer was pressed for time, or maybe they left and couldn’t remember your URL. However, the fact that these customers took the time to visit your website and put an item in the cart is a pretty strong indication of interest. 

Cart recovery is a big missed opportunity for a lot of wineries.  Fortunately there are several steps you can take, all of which provide a good chance of saving the sale at a low cost.

Collect Contact Information 
This may seem obvious, but in order to have any chance at winning the customer back you’ll need to be able to contact him or her. This means you should collect the important contact information like email addresses and phone numbers in Step One of the checkout process. Better yet - and forgive the shameless plug here - the one-page checkout that our licensing partner Vin65 uses will actually mean fewer abandoned carts to begin with.

Look for Clues 
Use Google Analytics to watch for patterns that might provide clues as to why customers are abandoning their carts. This will help in determining whether the issues are better solved by tweaks to your website, promotional incentives, or customer service.

Be Quick with the Follow-Up
Use automated emails to send reminders with language such as "Thank you for visiting. We noticed that you didn't complete your purchase. Is there anything we can do to help?" The sooner you send these reminders the better, so that your products and/or offers are still fresh in their minds. I would suggest you send the first email within an hour, with a follow-up 24 hours later. SeeWhy Research has analyzed data on abandoned carts and found that 54% of successful cart recoveries happen within the first few hours. Over time, you can test different follow-up emails to see which convert better, adjusting the language or adding special incentives like reduced shipping on the second email.

Friendly Customer Service Calls
Call for Wine has been conducting abandoned cart campaigns for some of our customers and they've found that these type of calls have very high close rates. The added benefit of calling your customers is that it provides insight into why customers leave. If they are confused about your checkout process or shipping policies you’ll learn this information in a phone call.

Try Search Engine Remarketing 
The idea here is that when a customer visits your site without making a purchase, you place a “cookie” on their computer. This allows you to use a platform like Google AdWords to target customers using display ads. Personalized retargeting has become increasingly popular over the past year and is used very successfully by companies like Zappos, Art.com and eBags.  Zappos even uses a separate landing page to explain the technology to people who wonder why they're seeing the ads. Learn more about remarketing by visiting Google’s remarketing page.


Kristina's Gravatar
@ Jan 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Great tips. In addition, I would add for those who may be new to this concept to simply start tracking visits, conversion and abandonment rate on a daily basis through Google Analytics. Understanding this relationship first and foremost is fundamental in order to recognize the value behind abandonment campaigns.

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