Shoppers abandon 76% of shopping carts, which means $18 billion of lost revenue for the retail industry.
(Listrack, 2015)

The e-commerce industry will grow by 10% this year (Forrester, 2014), so retail marketers find themselves sharing their digital space with more and more competition. But why focus on spending so much money winning new clients? You could focus on keeping the ones you already have through abandoned cart emails.

Did you know that recovering just 1% of your customer base could increase your revenue by 10% (Adobe, 2015)? To help you recover your revenue, we’ve categorized some of the best abandoned cart emails by tactic instead of sector. This means you can learn from the best in the e-commerce business, and borrow ideas from other industries.

1. Shopping Cart Reminder

  • Theory: The shopper got distracted or most likely abandoned the basket accidentally.
  • Action: The commerce site sends them a message to remind them of the type of shopping basket.
  • Examples: Toys’R’Us, Harrods and Photobox

2. New Product Suggestions

Marketing technology is able to predict the items a customer is most likely to buy. They find this out through advanced algorithms and online behavior research.

  • Theory: Shoppers abandoned the basket on purpose because they didn’t want the product or found it cheaper elsewhere.
  • Action: Suggest other products the shopper may wish to buy instead of those in the abandoned basket.
  • Examples: Fitbit, EasyJet and Amazon

As I’m currently using the free version of the Fitbit app, the Fitbit marketing team knows that I’m taking an interest in fitness. They can see I’m using the app most days, so they find opportunity to sell me other products to help with my fitness.

3. Anniversary promotions

  • Theory: Some shoppers buy items at the same time every year; they also like to celebrate birthdays.
  • Action: Deliver items people want at the right time. Offer discounts to celebrate special occasions.
  • Example: Ryanair

Last year I took a Ryanair flight to Ireland for St Patrick’s Day. This year they offered me the same flight, and it was even cheaper than last year. There are so many “important” events in the year, but Ryanair knew that St Patrick’s Day was important to me. Ryanair have set up a simple data capture algorithm, and fed the results into an automated marketing program. The marketing team’s hands didn’t touch a distribution button, but I felt noticed as a customer and benefited from a cheaper flight.

4. Personalized Discounts

  • Theory: The shopper left the commerce site because they wanted a cheaper option.
  • Action: Give the shopper discounts on the products they want from your site.
  • Examples: Walgreens, Wowcher, ASOS

5. Personal Benefits

  • Theory: Shoppers want the products on your commerce site, but don’t understand how it will personally benefit them.
  • Action: Clearly explain to the shopper why they should buy the item from your site. This means you can retain your clients without eating into your profit margins.
  • Examples:, Netflix, Microsoft

Another simple but very effective option is free delivery and returns, something which has made ASOS an extremely popular company. Did you know that 52% of abandoned shopping carts are due to P&P costs (Demac Media, 2014)? Naturally, the cost of the product you sell will influence whether this is an effective method for you. For example; a toy that sells for £2.99 may not suit free delivery, whilst an order of £30 or above may be more worthwhile. Delivering on a company level will be frequent, and the more orders you dispatch, the cheaper the bulk delivery should become.

6. Deliverability

  • Theory: After all the effort of creating a fantastic email campaign, it’s pretty important that the email actually makes it to the inbox! Google specializes in separating personal emails from promotional ones, so it’s never been so important to help your customers understand the personal value of your offer.
  • Action: Create inbox-friendly emails across every device (pc, mobile, tablet).
  • Examples: Microsoft, Walgreens, Apple, Selfridges&Co, Louis Vuitton, Waitrose, Target.

Out of all 20 commerce sites I abandoned a cart with, only 8 abandoned cart emails made it to my inbox. Of those 8 emails, only 3 took the opportunity to sell me something.

Final Thoughts

These types of advanced email tactics can help recovery your revenue by targeting the customers that you already have (or almost have). We hope that these examples can help guide your abandoned cart emails and lead to more successful campaigns in the future.

Are you looking to make your email marketing campaigns more successful? Visit our website to learn more.

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