How to Combat Cart Abandonment With Marketing Automation, Part 1
When you run an e-commerce website, your most fearsome enemies aren’t necessarily your competitors. They could be the snags in your platform and the bottlenecks in your visitor funnel. Everything you work towards within your online store should have a prominent goal to reduce dreaded cart abandonment and increase conversions.
In the last quarter of 2016, the worldwide cart abandonment rate was a scary 76.8 percent. This could be due to the fact that e-commerce doesn't involve the same pressures customers are subject to and the effort they put in isn’t enough to induce a purchase as in a brick-and-mortar store. However, there has got to be a better reason as to why this number is so high.
Truth is, there are a plethora of factors that come into play. Every action that influences purchases is different and has its own set of obstacles that could potentially turn customers away.
In part one of this two-part series, I’ll examine a couple of nifty ideas on using automation to address some of these issues and improve cart abandonment rates.
Create a Cart Abandonment Workflow
First off, to truly be successful at selling products online, you need to have a clear vision of the customer's journey from start to finish. For example, let’s say you're working to promote a new product or service on your e-commerce website. You’ve been communicating with your contact lists for months leading up to the release. Once launch day hits, you send out your sales pitch with the intention of attracting leads and, ultimately, buyers.
Once the email (with a link to your landing page) has been sent, it’s time to set up an automated workflow that determines the strength of a lead and whether they're worth chasing.
When dealing with a lead that abandoned a shopping cart following your sales pitch, it’s a fair guess to say they should be followed up with. Integrate an abandoned cart workflow with your e-commerce platform so that you can segment customers by their order value and send them personalized offers that entice them to complete the purchase.
Follow Up With Triggered, Sequenced Emails
Your subscriber list is vital to your e-commerce operation. An email address is one of the most accurate pieces of contact information you can get to build customer loyalty. Almost all online stores ask for this before beginning the checkout process. Emails make it simple to follow up before, during, and after the sales cycle.
Sending automated emails to cart abandoners is the most effective vehicle for boosting return on investment. These systems can be configured to start tracking the buyer’s journey from the second they place an item in their cart. Tools like GetResponse enable you to determine specific time frames within the sales cycle when shopping carts tend to be abandoned. From there, you can run a sequenced, triggered email campaign that follows up with potential customers to re-ignite their interest in your products, based on their interactions with your content.
Additionally, this platform can rate and segment customers based on how often and how much they shop with you, in order to determine what tactics would work well when marketing to them.
By omitting an automated email follow-up campaign, you're leaving money on the table for your competition to capture.
Watch This Space
In part two of this article, I'll explore how retargeting and split testing can be automated in our never-ending battle against shopping cart abandonment. Stay tuned.
Rohan Ayyar is a project manager at E2M, a digital marketing firm specializing in creative content strategy, web analytics and conversion rate optimization for startups.
Rohan Ayyar is the regional marketing manager for India at SEMrush. His blog, The Marketing Mashup, covers digital marketing from the perspective of B2B, B2C, lead generation, mobile marketing, SEO, social media, content marketing, database marketing including predictive analytics, and conversion rate optimization. In addition, he'll look at emerging marketing technology and how marketers can use it. Reach Ayyar at firstname.lastname@example.org.