The average shopping cart abandonment rate is a whopping 69.23%! This is one-third of the sales you can potentially bag. Email has been the rescue boat for quite a lot of e-commerce businesses to tackle cart abandonment until this retargeting weapon came into the picture. Read more to understand how a retargeting strategy based on browser notifications recovers sales that otherwise would have been lost forever.
I am a sports freak. If there are 500 things that can distract me, sports top the list. Which brings me back to last week’s incident. After a busy day at work, I was lazily browsing for a biking gear that I have been looking forward to buying. And Bam! I found it!.
I added it to my cart, filled out my card details and just when I was about to pay, I got a notification about the Winter Olympics. I was just about to click on ‘Proceed’, that the television roared into life. The excited crowd on the screen were screaming at the top of their voice, indicating the beginning of the Winter Olympics. Needless to say, I never went back to that tab.
It was not until the weekend when I took my bike out, that I remembered about the gear in my cart. To tell you the truth, I almost felt guilty for being distracted. But it turns out that an average person can’t resist being distracted every 2 mins.
Let’s face it - our lives are filled with pings, buzzes, clicks, crackles and what not. With dwindling attention spans and ever-increasing distractions, it is becoming a challenge for e-commerce businesses to make the users complete the entire purchase journey. While there is little that we as marketers can do to solve the attention span problem, we can definitely create stickier experiences for a speedier checkout.
Know other reasons why users abandon their carts, in this detailed article.
Reach your users in real time
Nope. Not with email or display ads but with browser notifications.
Progressive Web Apps are here and so are lightning fast checkout methods but cart abandonment is what continues to plague e-commerce conversions. Given the low attention span rates, retargeting is more critical than ever. The conventional methods of retargeting have started fizzing out. One reason - High(er) friction. More than 651 million devices are blocking ads. Which means your retargeting campaigns are hardly seeing any light. Ad blockers are taking over the internet and email open rates are an all-time low. This is precisely why push notifications - a channel with low friction and far higher speed helps marketers get the job done.
Push notifications, with a view rate of almost 70% are far more efficient and can drive conversions up to 10% when used with context. This is primarily because users don’t have to be on your website to receive these notifications. Nor do they lay untouched in the crammed up promotional folder in your inbox. Your retargeting efforts get noticed, unlike the ads that fail to reach out to the users due to ad blockers.
You can know more about web push notifications here.
The need for engagement to make users convert
You can’t expect users to convert in the first go, especially if you are selling high-value products. While users might add to cart, they might not make a purchase. Out of these, a few users will be willing to make a purchase in the future.
The key here is to engage them. Remind them they have something in the cart, and gradually encourage them to convert. You can slip in a special offer for loyal users to speed up the process as well.
Wait but why should users subscribe to notifications?
By subscribing, users can receive notifications catering to their interests. A dress they like is out of stock? They will be notified when its back! Users would subscribe to notifications when they realize what is in it for them; what updates they would be receiving.
Users can subscribe to push notifications with just one click. No personal information needs to be shared, hence making its opt-in rate 30X higher than Email. You can go ahead and even give them a clear idea of what they can expect if they subscribe to your notifications. This can be done by crafting the description that goes on the subscription prompt. You can have a look at customizable permission prompts here.
Two Levers for marketers to gauge buying intent
As a marketer, frequency and recency are two levers that I use to gauge the buying intent of a user. Once done - setting context becomes so much simpler (not easier). Here is how My Bageecha, a Shopify store uses these two levers to identify low hanging opportunities in their conversion funnel -
Creating 3 key segments:
- Users with high purchasing intent: Users who have abandoned shopping cart recently
- Window Shoppers - Users who have browsed more than 2 product pages recently
- Users with low intent - Users who bounced away from the homepage
Given the fickle minded nature, I prefer setting up a series of drip notifications to ensure that users are engaged consistently.
Here are the automated notifications that they send once a user abandons a cart-
Notification sent after one day of cart abandonment
Notifications sent after two days of cart abandonment
The engagement stats were through the roof with notifications converting at a 3X efficiency of display campaigns.
As you can see, they provided a discount for some of their customers. So the question that arises is, should you be discounting your products if there are chances of bagging more sales?
One size doesn’t fit all
Customers are now well aware of this marketing strategy and purposely add an item to the cart to receive a discount. While discounting does work for specific categories it does not imply 100% success. The focus instead should be on targeting valuable customers and building a loyal relationship with them.
Again discounting is not a bad option but it is not the only resort. Turn to discounting as your last weapon to lure customers. This becomes more powerful when you focus on customers who are price sensitive.
Dealing with a niche audience
The rules of engagement change drastically when you start looking at niche audience sets. This is exactly what we learnt from the marketing team at Bajaao. As the largest marketplace for music instruments and studio accessories, Bajaao deals with musicians and artisans. Given this niche audience and the product range, the nature of communication and frequency of communication change. While the approach remains the same, execution differs as the buying cycle varies from 10 days to 2 weeks.
Hence a campaign with personalized notifications spread over 15 days helped them set the tone right. Here are the notifications of one of their campaigns -
Notification sent after 30 minutes
Notification sent after 1 hour
Notification sent after 2 hours
Notification sent after 24 hours
They ran 3 automated campaigns exclusively to recover abandoned carts and saw a 14% lift in top-line revenue.
Making your conversion funnel more efficient
In effect, there are three key tools that you have as a marketer to make your overall funnel convert better and faster-
- Understanding user behavior better
- Setting up triggers for contextual notifications
- Personalizing communication to build recall
Reclaiming lost sales
- Almost out of stock - tapping into urgency
- Discounts, coupon code
- Combination offers - Pair it up with something in the cart
It might not always be your fault if users abandon their cart. But if you are doing nothing to recover it, you might as well know that you are letting away potential sales go down the drain. And that, is your fault. Unless you are Apple or Macy’s, who have the luxury to keep mum when carts are abandoned, you need to work on a cart recovery campaign to bag extra sales. Don't let abandoned carts take advantage of you. Re-target customers to your store with web push and encourage them to convert.