Some honest advice about basket abandonment emails

Some honest advice about basket abandonment emails

If you’re an ecommerce company (or you work at one), you’ll know the struggle of getting your checkout process seamless and as user-friendly as possible. You may also be aware that the average basket abandonment rate is around 70%. Now, that sounds daunting, but realistically some of these users had little intention to buy in the first place and there is not much you can do about that (incentivise, you can definitely incentivise). Something made them put those items in their basket, that’s all you can be sure of.

Sending these people an email saying ‘uh oh, you left all your shopping in the basket you clumsy human’ can help those along that did actually forget or get distracted, but you may be way off the mark. After reading this article from eMarketer, it made some obvious site optimisation steps even more obvious, to the point that I thought there may be a vaguely useful blog post here.

NB: These stats from ComScore represent the percentage of customers that ‘added to basket’ but had no intent to purchase.

56% abandon a basket because they wanted to see how much shipping would cost

Site optimisation: Prominently display postage costs near the beginning of their journey** e.g. on the homepage, so there aren’t any nasty shocks as they’re about to press ‘confirm purchase’.

Email worthy: Test run free P&P within your abandonment trigger to see what percentage come back to purchase the goods in their basket. This could give you a rough idea how many of your customers are put off by shipping costs.

54% abandon a basket because they wanted to see how much their order would cost

Site optimisation: Display the price inclusive of all tax (if possible)* and continue to display P&P costs on the product pages.

40% placed items in their basket to remember for future purchases

Site optimisation: Get a wish list function (because it’s that quick and easy)• and/or make it easy to use, longer expiration times can motivate the customer to use this instead of their basket and should help you to understand your users’ intention better.

Email worthy: If you target wish list users separately, let them know when their items are low in stock or are about to be removed. Send them specific content about those products and let them see what they are missing.

22% wanted to compare the cost of buying online to buying at a physical store

Site optimisation: If there is a price match between your online store and on the high street, then let them know to avoid them having to go the extra step themselves. Unless you’re overpriced, then that could be a bad idea.

Trial and error my friends, trial and error.

* I am not an ecommerce expert/guru/wizard/fairy

**Contains buzzwords that I’m not proud of

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    This is awesome, Millie – I didn’t realize these were the reasons why people abandoned their shopping cart! Sharing this for sure, thanks for the great info 😀

    • Millie Bartlett

      Glad you found it useful, the stats surprised me too!