Website optimisation | 24/02/2020

Updating your abandoned cart strategy for 2020

Posted by Lauren Isaacs

Today, distractions really are everywhere and they’ve been leading to dramatic behavioural changes over the past few years, especially when it comes to average attention spans and online browsing habits.

Ofcom recently announced that the average British adult is now spending 50 whole days per year online (which is obviously massive). What’s interesting, is that Dr Joseph Firth, Senior Research Fellow at Western Sydney University said “The limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention — which then in turn may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a single task.”

What is the data telling us?

When we look at recent bounce rates divided attention spans are clearly taking their toll. Shopping and browsing habits are also shifting, with customers regularly placing items in their cart on numerous sites before committing to a final purchase in order to secure the best price, or most efficient delivery option, or simply because a recent Instagram post has had a new comment.

To put it into perspective, Shopify reported that 60-80% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a customer completes a sale. And with year-on-year statistics comparing cart abandonment rates from a number of sources, we’ve seen average abandonment rates increase from 59.80% in 2006 to 69.57% in 2018.

Abandoned cart rate


How to make sure your abandoned cart emails are optimised for today’s shopper

It’s all in the timing

There are numerous reasons shoppers will abandon a cart or form. Best practice timings for triggered sends are:

  • One hour after cart is abandoned – this will allow you to target those who got distracted from completing a form/purchase by a short-term trigger e.g. a conversation or a notification
  • Twelve hours after cart is abandoned – this can target those who were looking at multiple options or comparing sites
  • 24 hours after cart is abandoned – commonly targets those who wanted to ‘sleep on it’, common with bigger ticket items

The missing link

The key thing is to work out what the common reasons are that carts are being abandoned. This will allow you to tap into your customers’ behaviour, using real insights and gives you the perfect content for your abandoned cart campaigns. Think about running a questionnaire, or analysing your user journey to inform the use of the following:

  • Delivery and return info
  • Product information, values and USPs
  • Cross-selling opportunities
  • Alternative products if the original product is out of stock or no longer required
  • Price updates or discount codes
  • Social proof and reviews
  • Customer service options

On-site conversions

An abandoned cart email campaign is the first part of a wider journey that should be considered and looked after by both the email team and the ecommerce team. Results should be shared and monitored, ensuring that your product pages and cart page complements the overall email strategy.

If you’re a B2B marketer experiencing high levels of form completion drop-off, these techniques can be tailored and applied to decrease abandonment of a booking/enquiry form. Consider running some A/B tests for on-site updates as well as implementing an email campaign to deploy after a form has been abandoned.

Online store

Why should you invest in abandoned cart/form emails?

There are plenty of on-site optimisations to consider for reducing abandonment rates, like live chat, automation, personalisation, checkout flow, the rise of mobile commerce and an increased use of product videos. If you’re looking specifically at form drop offs – we’d recommend analysing the complexity of your form or booking process and testing a shorter, streamlined version.

Abandoned cart email campaigns will ensure you’re recovering as many of these lost sales as possible. Dotdigital even reported that up to 90% of visitors aren’t logged in when they are browsing your site and adding items to their cart. Consider prompting users to log in or sign up for an account after a measured usage time/when they add something to their cart, so that more visitors are entering the abandoned cart funnel.

The public are getting more savvy with the use of abandoned cart campaigns, and now expect to see them (and some even wait to receive them before they complete their purchase). A recent article from Martin Lewes even highlights this as a bargain-hunting tactic.

Analyse the data at hand (or create some with a survey), then incorporate the learnings into your email strategy. Remember – use data to tell compelling stories that will help increase the amount of people completing the basket. Just think what an extra 5% completion rate would mean to your business.

Want some help developing a multi-channel approach to common on-site behaviours that are leading to missed revenue and enquiries? Talk to our team today for a bespoke, data-led approach.