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The Best Abandon Shopping Cart Strategy To Maximize Sales


It’s one of the most frustrating experiences as a business owner right?

You do all the hard work of helping your potential customer get to the point where they’re staring at your checkout page. Their cart if filled with your products and all signs indicate that a sale is imminent.

Then it happens…

They bail like a farmer in a hay field.

They blast through your exit intent like it doesn’t even exist. And now, you’re left with only the hopes and dreams of what might have been.

A little dramatic? Perhaps…but doesn’t it FEEL like that when you lose a sale?

So what can you do to get that potential customer back to your site to finish their order?

Today we’re going to be discussing some different strategies you can use to win back customers who abandon the shopping cart.

The most important piece of this strategy is your ability to know who that potential customer is. You have two options:

  • Email
  • Retargeting

We will focus on email in this article. But you can use the same messaging strategies and psychological principles in retargeting ads too.

Retargeting ads cost money so I only advise you to use those if you know your numbers inside and out.

Following up with customers who abandon your cart via email can be really compelling. See here’s the thing. We now know why people abandon the shopping cart.

Here are some of the hundreds of possible reasons why someone might not complete their purchase with you.

  • Price was too high
  • They took a phone call
  • The power went off
  • An emergency came up
  • They walked away and forgot
  • Something was wrong on your website

See what I mean? We just don’t know and that has to influence the way we follow up via email.

I recommend you make the assumption that they forgot to finish their order. With that in mind here are some strategies to follow up.

Three Abandon Cart Strategies to Increase Sales with Email

Below are three strategies you can use in three sequential emails to your prospect.

Don’t just refer to them by their name. I mean send an email that looks like it came from your personal account. Don’t use your newsletter template.

Have it come from a real person and ask if everything is ok. You noticed they didn’t complete their order and you wanted to check in and also give them the link back to their cart.

Send this email within 20 minutes of the abandoned cart.

Have you ever read Influence by Robert Cialdini? In this book Cialdini talks about the role that reciprocity plays in sales. If your prospect feels like you’ve done something for them, they feel like they owe you something in return.

For example, if you send them a free gift, they’re more likely to buy one of your products in the future. That’s a basic example but you get the idea. So here’s how you can this principle in your abandon cart emails.

Let your customer know that you are “holding their items for them.” Those five words communicate so much. It lets someone know that you’re holding up your end of the bargain and you’d like them to hold up their’s.

This stuff works!

Send this email 24 hours after the cart was abandoned.

The fear of loss is stronger than the promise of gain. It’s just the way we humans are. So here’s how you use this knowledge to help your soon to be customer and your business.

Once you’ve send the first two emails above, this third email is your final attempt. Let them know you’re cancelling their order. Get specific.

We’re cancelling your order at 5pm EST…

You want to be more aggressive on this email. Not mean. But firm. Some people need more of nudge to act.

Send this email 48 hours after the cart was abandoned.

Final thoughts

Some people like to offer a discount on the last email. I’m not a fan of using discounts to sell. I’ve explained why I think they’re a bad idea here in my article about the Reverse Flash Sale.

I want you to have customers who aren’t tire kickers. I want you to avoid competing on price. When you compete on price you become a commodity. You’re competing with the big box stores and you’ll lose.

If you’re looking for a way to freshen up your abandon cart email campaign, the strategies I mentioned above will help you. Take a look at what you’re currently using and see if you can apply any of these ideas.

Typically it’s the third email that can use the most improvement. I would encourage you to not shy away from being more aggressive than you might be comfortable with.

Test it for a couple of weeks and let the results speak for themselves.

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In 2009 he started contributing to WordPress and couple years later built his first WooCommerce store. Now he's helping WooCommerce storeowners all over the world make more money with their stores. Wordpress problem solving expert, backend developer, founder of BogdanFix.

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