Not every customer who visits your website will place an order, it’s an inescapable truth of eCommerce. One that can feel more than a little painful when you compare your site traffic to your conversions. 

According to Finance Online, 59% of eCommerce customers abandon their cart because they’re not ready to make a purchase. This suggests that these customers could still spend their money with you, but chose not to at the time.

The same research shows that abandoned carts cost global eCommerce companies $4.6 trillion. With 24 million eCommerce sites worldwide, that’s a lot of lost revenue for businesses like yours.

For major players like Amazon, abandoned baskets are of little consequence. The sheer volume of users on its site means the business doesn’t have to try very hard to make sales.

Although its major value-add, Prime, makes it easier for customers to come back on their own. Confident, as they are, that they can still get their chosen items the next day.

For your eCommerce business, converting abandoned carts should be an integral part of your sales and marketing strategy. Increasing your conversions by just 1% could represent  thousands in extra revenue.

Not to mention the opportunity to delight new customers who will then return to purchase again. After all, repeat business is a lot more profitable than just focussing on winning new customers.

Fortunately, there are solutions available to help you convert those abandoned baskets into sales.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Email marketing is one of the commonly used digital marketing tools in any business’s arsenal. On average users receive a little under 130 emails a day from various organisations trying to sell them something.

Increasingly, customers are becoming immune to these disruptions in their inboxes. This means businesses, especially eCommerce companies, have to work much harder to get their attention.

While this may seem daunting for someone trying to win back a customer remember two important things,

  • They were just on your website. Front of mind is tip of tongue. In other words, they’ll be more receptive to your email because they have already shown intent.
  • You’re luring them back with something they’ve already expressed an interest in. Whether it’s a new outfit, the latest crime thriller or a video game, your customer added it to their basket for a reason.

By utilising your customer data you can contact customers with abandoned carts and motivate them to complete their purchases.

The most effective way of achieving this is through personalisation and a carefully planned multi-stage abandoned cart email campaign.

Remember, not all customers abandoned their purchases because they weren’t ready. Others simply changed their minds. On average 25% of your customers found the product cheaper somewhere else so pushing too hard will only annoy them.


Snappy subject lines, enticing preview text and all the other tricks of the trade are important to get right. However, if you want to engage with your customers you need them to feel valued.

Personalisation beyond ‘hi [insert name]’ changes the dialogue from just ‘buy something’ to building a relationship. Trust is an essential component of any relationship and it’s no difference between your business and its customers.

Without any kind of personalisation, on average only 45% of abandoned cart emails are opened. 21% of those customers click and 50% of those convert.

Of course, something from nothing is still a positive outcome but you can do better.

Adding in a layer of personalisation into your customer communications can reduce cart abandonment significantly.

Leverage your customer data to tailor your communications so they feel valued. Consider going further than just what they left in their cart. Tailored recommendations based on purchase history could not only drive conversion but increase spend too.

Build an Abandoned Cart Email Campaign

Pair your personalisation with a simple multi-stage email campaign. While a lot of eCommerce businesses send abandoned cart emails, most just send one. The assumption is if the customer doesn’t come back within the first few hours then they’re not interested.

This ignores the multitude of reasons why a customer may not have been ready to purchase. By building a simple abandoned cart email marketing sequence you allow your customers to come back and buy their items.

Building an email campaign triggered to send at 1 hour, 24 hours and 72 hours after abandonment gives customers the gentle nudge they need to convert.

It’s important to take some time to consider what will drive conversion. Don’t have three identical emails. Your customers will almost certainly unsubscribe and likely never shop with you again.

Start with a simple reminder. Nothing more complicated than the ‘did you forget something’ email we’re all familiar with.

The second email should focus on overcoming barriers to conversion. This could be anything from offering express checkout and free shipping to free returns.

Finally, your third email can include a limited time offer. Either a discount code or a promotional gift that is available for the next 24 hours.

Creating a sense of urgency is key. Fear of missing out is a powerful motivator – especially in a price-driven economy. A product we were on the fence about before receiving a 20% discount code is a must-have after. 

Moreover, it has the added advantage of making other products seem better value too, prompting additional spend. 

Abandoned Cart SMS Messages

Much like email marketing, a well-timed, well-crafted SMS message pushed to the customer’s phone is a great way to re-engage with them.

Like email, text messages have been used by businesses to nudge customers towards converting. And like email, there’s a way to recover an abandoned cart and a way not to.

The big advantage of SMS over email is it can drive an immediate response. Not everyone checks their emails if they have their emails set up on their phone at all. But most users will check their text messages.

The data suggests that the average smartphone user will open a text within 90 seconds. SMS also has a 98% open rate with 90% of messages opened within three minutes.

Within a reactive audience, crafting the right messaging is critical. You need to create a message sequence similar to an email marketing campaign.

The SMS abandoned cart messages need to be well thought out, include links and attempt to overcome objections. While being snappy and to the point.

While users will almost certainly open your text, they won’t have the patience or attention span to read anything too long.

As before, offer the product/s, overcome objections, create FOMO and incentivise when necessary.

Abandoned Cart Push Notifications

A third option is to remind your customers to complete their purchase with a website push notification. Essentially you’re trying to catch them before they fully abandon their cart.

This approach hinges on your ability to engage with your customers in a way that adds value. As with emails and text messages, your push notifications need to be as personalised as possible.

However, there is a character limit so your messages need to walk the line between friendly and concise.

When crafting your push notification, emphasise the benefits of shopping with you beyond the product. Free shipping, free returns, student discounts. Whatever your value proposition, make sure you get the right message in front of the right customer.

Don’t be afraid to lean on that sense of urgency either. Whether it’s a sale price or limited stock, the objective is to move your customers’ cursors from the back button to the buy button.

The major consideration with push notifications is that the user needs to opt-in. Not every customer will, which means relying solely on website push notifications could cost sales.

A strategy that utilises more than one approach, providing it’s built in the right way, will yield the best results.

Other things to consider

These tactics should form an integral part of your online sales strategy. However, their success is dependent on other factors.

  • Website functionality

Your website needs to work and work well. That includes load speeds, the look and navigation. Online shoppers have high expectations and you have to match them.

The average user takes less than half a second to decide if a website is what they’re looking for so you can’t afford to cut corners.

  • Make the Checkout Process easy

27% of users abandon their carts because the checkout process is too long or complicated.

According to research three steps between basket and order complete is the optimum number. Similarly, the ideal number of form elements users need to complete is between 12 and 14. 

The simpler the process the more likely your customers are to convert.

  • Welcome them Back

If you’ve managed to win back a customer to buy their abandoned cart, use the data and technology at your disposal to welcome them back. Personalise the message so they feel valued.

  • Thank them for their custom

Once you’ve converted your customer, use push notifications, SMS or email to thank them for their custom. You can include a discount code off their next purchase, time-limited of course. Or why not send them some suggestions that might complement their new item.

Get all this right and your abandoned cart strategy holds a good chance of winning back some customers. All you need to do then is dazzle them with your amazing service.

To learn more about how email, SMS and web push can help your business, get in touch with Xtremepush today and request a free demo.

About Xtremepush

Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer engagement, personalisation and data platform. We work with various top brands within the eCommerce industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.