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How to recover abandoned carts with a multi-channel follow-up approach

Abandoned carts are one of the biggest headaches for e-commerce stores and marketers. More than 69,57% of online shoppers abandon their carts without checking out. You spend tons of time and money ideating strategies and executing campaigns to collect and nurture leads to get someone to consider your product. But after you’ve successfully gotten them to check out your online shop and add products to their cart, you’re still only halfway to turning them into a customer!

Now, there is a chance that they will just suddenly abandon their cart and never come back again. The main reasons for this are:

  • First: You have many competitors.
    There are several options available for the line of products you sell. Once your customer starts to Google a product, they are constantly tracked and followed by your competitors’ ads and offers along their journey. They can easily get distracted by an alternative option – even seconds before they checkout.
  • Second: People are lazy and impatient.
    Even if a competitor does not distract them, people these days are lazy. They need many reasons to make a decision, but they don’t need a reason to change their mind! It can be anything from “Nevermind, I’ll check back later” to “Let me check some other options as well”.

E-commerce stores use many techniques to prevent a user from abandoning their cart or bringing them back once they leave. However, these techniques have proved to be not as effective as they were even a couple of years ago. For instance, many users simply ignore that follow-up email they receive after abandoning their cart. 

In this article, we’ll discuss why efforts to recover abandoned carts simply do not work (hint: lack of a thorough strategy) and suggest ways to correctly go about doing this.

Why your cart abandoner follow-up is ineffective

There may be many factors involved in the failure of a customer follow-up campaign, but the most important factors are reach and engagement. In other words, it’s either not reaching the cart abandoner or it’s not engaging enough to encourage them to come back and finish their purchase. Let’s take a deeper look.

Your campaign is not comprehensive

One big thing that many campaigns to recover abandoned carts overlook is that people on the internet have a short attention span and are easily distracted. They receive several similar emails and visit many websites and stores every day. Only sending a follow-up email after they leave your website is like a shot in the dark. 

Your follow-up campaign should be able to reach out to the cart abandoner in not only their email inbox but also through major touchpoints such as website, popups and social media.

Your campaign is not personalized

Personalization is the cheapest yet most efficient way to earn someone’s respect. Approaching people with a personal pitch gives them a sense of recognition and privilege and makes them more likely to reciprocate.

Personalization is not only about displaying personalized info but also about providing custom offers and incentives advertised as exclusive to the user. 

A card abandoner is more likely to ignore your one-size-fits-all follow-up campaign as compared to a tailored outreach with their personalized information, material and offers.

Let’s dig into some actionable techniques to address these shortcomings in follow-up campaigns to recover abandoned carts. 

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1- Be comprehensive and cross-channel

Following up with your cart abandoners should not be a one-off attempt and should be part of a broader multi-channel campaign. This not only increases your reach probability but also delights your customer with a seamless personalized experience across all touchpoints. The cart abandoner should receive both a follow-up email and also see the abandoned cart items while visiting homepage (or any other critical touchpoint like the products page).

You can also present them with related pop-ups across their journey on your website with exclusive coupons to encourage them to finish their purchase. You can also continue reminding and encouraging them on touchpoints outside your website by using remarketing ads on Google or social media. 

When using a cart abandonment recovery plugin or tools to follow up with your cart abandoners, make sure to use a cross-channel marketing tool that allows you to connect to your segments across multiple touchpoints and to deliver marketing material on different channels including emails and websites. Below are more details on creating every part of your multi-channel campaign. 

Send emails

Sending emails is the most common way of following up with a cart abandoner and definitely a part of our multi-channel campaign. In Growmatik:

  • Go to the Automation page.
  • If you want to target new users who have not yet purchased anything, create a rule in the Leads column. If you want to target existing customers, create a rule in the Customers column.
  • Set the condition as User Behavior > Abandoned Cart and the action as Send Email. Click on the Create Email button.
  • From the upcoming window, choose the readymade template Abandoned Cart. Give it a name and click on Customize.
  • In the email builder space, customize your template as you want. You can use features such as dynamic keywords, product elements (such as abandoned items) and coupons to personalize your email.
  • Click on Save & Exit.
  • On the Automation page, click on the Create Rule button.
recover abandoned carts

The first part of the follow-up campaign is set. Now every cart abandoner will receive your follow-up email once they abandon a cart on your website.

Personalize the homepage

The next touchpoint in a cart abandoner’s journey is your website, meaning that we should personalize their experience on the website as well. In Growmatik:

  • Go to the Automation page and create the following rule in the Leads or Customers column.
  • Set the condition as User Behavior > Abandoned Cart and the action as Personalize Page. Select a webpage and click on Save. You can choose the homepage or any other page that matters to you (e.g. products page)
  • In the upcoming Growmatik Page Personalizer window, personalize your page by editing the existing content or adding new content by clicking on the + button. Once done, click on Save & Exit.
  • On the Automation page, click on the Create Rule button.
recover abandoned carts

The second part of the follow-up campaign is now set. Now every cart abandoner will see the personalized version of your page once they abandon a cart on your website.

Show a popup

Another channel we can use to communicate with the cart abandoner on our website is popups. We can use popups not only to remind but also to motivate them about completing the purchase. In Growmatik:

  • Go to the Automation page and create the following rule in the Leads or Customers column.
  • Set the condition as User Behavior > Abandoned Cart and the action as Show Popup. Select a time amount you want to be passed before the popup is displayed and then click on the Create Popup button.
  • From the upcoming window, choose the readymade template Cart Abandonment. Give it a name and click on Customize.
  • In the email builder space, customize your template as you want. You can use features such as dynamic keywords, product elements (such as abandoned items) and coupons to further personalize your popup.
  • Click on Save & Exit.
  • In the Automation page, click on the Create Rule button.
recover abandoned carts

Now every cart abandoner will see the personalized popup once they abandon a cart on your website.

External retargeting ads

After setting up the follow-up email and website, the third touchpoint many e-commerce websites miss when attempting to recover abandoned carts is external websites and social media. This includes Google and social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. With some simple integration of your website with Google Ads and Facebook Pixel, you can track your cart abandoners and follow them with relevant ads on external websites and Facebook/Instagram. The articles listed below can provide you with some good tips on this:

(Growmatik is expecting to add such social media automations soon in 2021 as well).

recover abandoned carts

2- Personalize your follow-up pitch

We discussed the technicality of composing a multi-channel follow-up campaign to recover abandoned carts, but we didn’t talk much about what to include inside our marketing messages. In other words, the content that we should include in our campaign to address the problem ‘Your campaign is not personalized’ we mentioned earlier. 

Let’s see what we can add in addition to the usual ‘Hey [first name] Did you forget something?!’ pitch to our follow-up campaigns. Our goal here is to make the cart abandoner feel that they really are important and unique to us.

Our goal here is to make the cart abandoner feel that they really are important and unique to us.

Your personalization scope, however, is limited to the features of your marketing automation tool as well. We are going to add the three items below to our cart abandoner campaigns in Growmatik.

Include abandoned items in your follow-up messages

When you’re creating email templates and page personalization for the cart abandoner, make sure to include the actual items the user has abandoned in their cart. You may take this lightly, but this can play a dramatic role in helping the abandoner recall what they left in the cart given some users visit many websites and receive such emails frequently.

In the Growmatik email builder and page personalizer tools, you can add the Product element from the toolbox and in the product settings panel set the content as Abandoned Cart Products. Growmatik will dynamically display the abandoned items in the front end to the cart abandoner.

Motivate the dubious abandoner with an exclusive coupon

Many cart abandoners have not actually forgotten about their cart, so the ‘did you forget’ pitch won’t work much for them. They either found a better alternative (Let’s hope not!) or are unsure which brand to choose. The competition between you and another business might be so close that all you need is a quick boost to surpass the competitor and become the abandoner’s preferred option. 

Exclusive offers prove to be an efficient last-minute solution to help these types of users make a decision. A discount coupon can simply trigger various powerful cognitive biases in marketing such as FOMO, hyperbolic discounting, loss aversion and reciprocity and lure them into completing their purchase. 

Make sure to advertise your coupon as exclusive to this user inside your pitch.

In Growmatik, you can add coupons inside your email and popup templates. Simply add the Coupon element from the toolbox to your template and set your discount preferences such as discount amount. Growmatik will automatically display the functional coupons in the front end to the cart abandoner.

Include social proof

One of the main hiccups in a customer’s journey toward conversion is the part where they ask ‘How can I know if this is a quality product?’. And most of the time they need something more than just your colorful presentation and sales pitch to answer that question. What they need is substantial proof of others who have used your product and are happy with it. This is referred to as social proof.

Your cart abandoner follow-up may definitely need some social proof to clear away such doubts from your customer’s mind. This might be a couple of the best reviews you’ve received from your past customers and testimonials from influencers in your follow-up email. You may want to add the name and portrait of the reviewers next to the review (if you have permission) to increase their authenticity. 

In your website, you can advance further by including real-time social proof information such as real-time data about when a product is sold, the number of remaining items in stock and the number of people checking a product now. Plugins such as WPFomify can help you with this.

Final word: Recover abandoned carts your own way

The communication with your customer across their journey can be a very simple story or a sophisticated workflow. The techniques outlined above can help you recover abandoned carts, but they definitely can change, evolve and improve based on your niche, market fit and target customers. Just set your goals and make sure the campaigns you ideate aim for maximum reach and engagement. Always think cross-channel and obtain a personalized approach.

Effectively recover
abandoned carts by
using a multi-channel
follow-up approach