A Practical Guide to Dealing with Abandoned Carts for Shopify Stores

69.5% of online shoppers, on average, abandon their cart before making a purchase, meaning that you could be losing out on a whole heap of sales. This article sets out some proven strategies to help you tackle abandoned carts delivering the little nudge the user may need to go from a store visitor to a paying customer. Each of the tips mentioned here is back up by real data insights.

Abandoned cart messages and their effectiveness

These are automated messages which are triggered and sent to any shopper that leaves an item in their cart without making it through to the checkout. Abandoned cart messages can be sent via email, web push notification, SMS message or Facebook Messenger.

You can tailor the copy in your abandoned cart message to add an incentive to tempt your would-be shoppers to come back and complete their purchase. Here's an example:
Example of abandoned cart in Facebook Messenger
Template of abandoned cart reminder
Abandoned cart messages can help you claw back revenue that would otherwise be lost. Some of the most successful Shopify and Shopify Plus stores are tackling abandoned carts through push notifications.

Ivory Ella is a Shopify Plus store that's seen tremendous success with their abandoned carts strategy. They've already generated more than $1 million in revenue using Firepush push notifications alone - and their most successful push notification type relates to abandoned carts.

Phaser FPV is a niche consumer electronics store (also part of Shopify Plus). Abandoned cart push notifications are this store's most effective push notification type, with $10.2 in revenue being generated for every abandoned cart alert sent.

So, what can we learn from stores like these who are already adopting an abandoned carts strategy and achieving excellent results in the process? Quite a lot!

Tip #1: use the cheapest, most visible channel first

Web push notifications are a cost-effective option when it comes to marketing channels. The great thing about them is that are relatively cheap to send and they can be received on any device (desktop or mobile) that's connected to a browser.
Ivory Ella’s push notification statistic
An example of Ivory Ella's perfomance
The screenshot above refers to the performance of Ivory Ella's abandoned cart messages. More than 300K abandoned cart push messages were sent, generating $262,551 in revenue. This shows that using push notifications for abandoned carts is highly cost-effective.
Ivory Ella’s web push example
Abandoned cart notification
So, a great strategy for getting started with abandoned cart messages is to only use push notifications at first. This is the most affordable channel and it's usually highly effective - you can always add higher cost channels like SMS once you're up and running.

Push notifications have a few other big advantages:

  • Generates more subscribers - because customers don't need to leave an email address or phone number, getting subscribers is easier and faster.
  • Messages are triggered sooner - because subscribers typically sign up when they first land on a site, you can actually track abandoned carts earlier than you can using SMS or email. With SMS and email, customers must proceed to the checkout page and enter their phone number or email address before an abandoned cart message can be triggered. But with push notifications, abandoned cart messages are triggered when a customer adds an item to their cart and then leaves the site, even if they don't reach the checkout. Therefore, push notifications can catch a larger number of potential sales.
  • Highly visible - for abandoned cart alerts to work effectively, they need to be highly visible. Because push notifications can be received on any device, this gives them a very good chance of being seen.

Tip #2: Send abandoned cart alerts at the right times

Firepush, a retargeting app for Shopify stores, recently published some detailed research into Black Friday marketing, and part of this included optimal timings for abandoned cart alerts. By analyzing historical performance data, Firepush discovered that abandoned cart messages are best sent at three very specific times following cart abandonment.

The first message should be sent out at 50 minutes following cart abandonment, or after 30 minutes, which is almost as effective. This first message typically achieves the highest open rate and best ROI.
The best time to send first abandoned cart SMS
When to send first abandoned cart SMS
A second abandoned cart message performs the best when sent out 8 hours following cart abandonment. It gives a long enough break in between messages to avoid annoying the would-be shopper but is still timely and relevant.
The best time to send second abandoned cart SMS
When to send second abandoned cart SMS
Finally, a third message should be sent out at around 23 hours following cart abandonment.
The best time to send third abandoned cart SMS
When to send third abandoned cart SMS

Tip #3: use incentives within abandoned cart messaging

We've touched on using incentives within your abandoned cart message copy above. But what kind of incentive should you use, and when?

You don't want to go all out and offer a valuable incentive in your first abandoned cart message, because a simple reminder might be all that's needed to prompt the recipient to get back online and finish their purchase.

So perhaps save your incentive for the second abandoned cart reminder. But put a deadline on it to evoke a sense of urgency. In terms of an incentive, you might want to offer a small discount, free gift or free shipping.

For your third and final message, you may want to include a stronger incentive, if this makes business sense. Either way, make sure your message copy conveys the fear of missing out!

Key takeaways when devising an abandoned carts strategy

An abandoned carts strategy can help you pull in sales passively, while you focus on other areas of your business. For best results, remember these key points:

  • Start with the cheapest channel available to you (web push notifications) before exploring other, more expensive marketing channels

  • Send abandoned cart messages at the right times and at the right frequency as outlined above

  • Use incentives to capture the attention of would-be shoppers, but use them wisely

By following these guidelines for your abandoned carts strategy, you should find that you get an excellent ROI and can lessen the impact of abandoned carts on your business.

Created by FirePush

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