How an abandoned cart workflow can lead to more sales and higher profits

70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. When customers abandon their carts, your business is losing out on potential sales and, therefore, higher profits.

That is why your email marketing strategy is not complete without an abandoned cart workflow.

But what is an abandoned cart workflow, CANDESCENT? How do we use it to boost our sales?

We hear you. This blog includes everything you need to know about:

  • What an abandoned cart workflow is,
  • Why an abandoned cart workflow is important,
  • Why people abandon their carts, and how you can solve these problems.

What is an abandoned cart workflow?

An abandoned cart workflow are the emails that are triggered when a customer adds an item to their cart online, but fails to complete their order.

These emails are not manually sent, but are automated so they appear in the customer’s inbox when they leave the checkout flow.

You may have seen abandoned cart emails that include the following elements:

  1. A reminder of the products/services the customer was interested in buying with details and images,
  2. A short summary of the products/services and why they’re with buying,
  3. A link to the business’ website so the customer can easily finalise their purchase.

All these elements are crucial for ensuring the customer is given everything they need to increase the likelihood of them returning to their cart and making the purchase.


Why is an abandoned cart workflow important?

The power of abandoned cart emails should not be underestimated. In 2020, 34% of people who clicked on an abandoned cart email went ahead and finalised their order. Without that email workflow, that 34% of customers may never have returned to their cart.

The crucial reason behind using an abandoned cart workflow is this: it is your opportunity to ensure your customers return to their abandoned cart and make the purchase. You have a direct line of communication to your customers, and you can use it to give them a little nudge to empty their cart and buy your products/services. This figure shows that using email marketing in this way is productive and helpful when trying to encourage people to return to their carts and make a purchase.


Why do customers abandon their carts, and what can you do about it?

Before we can understand how we can use abandoned cart workflow to its greatest effect, we need to understand why exactly customers abandon their carts…

  • They’re not convinced by the product/service,
  • They’re put off by the price,
  • They are saving the product/service to buy later,
  • They got distracted and simply forgot.

This section of the article will analyse each of these problems in detail offering a solution for how you can combat them using an abandoned cart workflow. By the end, you’ll know how to create the perfect abandoned cart workflow to increase sales.


1.   They’re not convinced by the product/service:

This problem is multi-layered. Firstly, customers may be intrigued by your products/services, but may not wholly convinced that it’s for them. This could be down to a number of reasons: they’re not sure about the quality, they can’t quite grasp what it is that makes your product/service unique, or they don’t understand how the product/service will add value to their lives. Whatever the reason, if people aren’t convinced by what you’re selling, they’re going to look elsewhere and switch their loyalties to another business.

Secondly, when deciding on purchasing products/services (especially those with a higher price tag), many customers will ask themselves ‘Do I really need this?’ or ‘Do I want to pay that much?’ These questions are your enemy, as customers can often talk themselves out of a purchase.

Solution: Use the abandoned cart workflow to showcase the very best of the product/service

Send emails that convince your customer that you are the business to buy from by demonstrating what it is about your products/services that means they’re worth the money. Sharing an insight into the production process or how your products/services are contributing to your ethos of sustainability, highlighting positive customer testimonials to show how amazing the product/service is from a customer perspective, or demonstrating the unique qualities of the product/service are ways in which you can encourage your customer of the success of your product/service.


2.   They’re put off by the price:

For some, it’s all about the price tag. Customers compare prices between different businesses, and make their decisions based on how much they’re willing to spend as much as they do about the quality of the product/service they’re interested in.

When people make purchases online, there’s also often an additional cost of some sort, the most common one being shipping costs. Additional costs such as these may affect the customer’s experience of your brand, and they may be less likely to buy a product that charges high shipping costs compared to a brand that offers free shipping.

The price you’re selling your products/services at adds to the perception of your brand, and provokes customers to ask themselves ‘Is this worth what I am spending?’

If they decide they need a little more time to weigh up their options, they may choose to leave their cart for a while.

Solution: Show them why your product/service warrants the cost

Use your abandoned cart workflow to highlight what makes you different in comparison to other retailers, so that you can encourage your customers to see that they simply cannot go without and it’s definitely worth the purchase. Highlight the best features on offer and give detailed information about the quality of the product/service; all of this will help when convincing your customer to make the purchase.

You could also set up a loyalty system and promote this in the abandoned cart workflow, so customers know they will be rewarded for their loyalty. This is another added bonus that may swing your customer when deciding whether to return to their cart.

Why not offer an insight into price comparisons between you and another retailer within your emails? You could also create a system whereby if a customer can prove they can get a very similar item to what you are selling for less money,  you will honour that and agree to drop your price to match that of the competitor. This way, you’re showing integrity as a business, and also retaining a customer who will hopefully turn into a repeat customer after having such a positive experience with you. Plus you’re getting a sale (even if it’s less than what you initially hoped for).


3.   They are saving the product/service to buy later:

Sometimes, an abandoned cart has nothing to do with the product/service. In fact, customers may be really happy with what you’re offering and are eager to make the purchase! It might be that they have simply decided to hold a few things in their cart so they don’t forget about them, and they’re planning on returning later.

Solution: Send them reminders periodically

This one is less of a solution, and more a case of knowing what to do to guarantee the customer will return to their cart. Make use of the abandoned cart workflow by giving them a gentle nudge every now and then to remind them that you’re saving their product/service (nothing too regular, though, as this can become annoying).

As time goes by, the customer may forget why they loved the product/service in the first place, or they may find a better alternative. So, keep them engaged by giving a summary of the best features on offer; this way, they’ll never lose sight of why they loved your product/service and they’re sure to come back!


4.   They got distracted and simply forgot:

Often, people abandon their carts for no other reason than they get distracted and end up forgetting about what they were going to purchase. Thus, this means they haven’t lost interest in your product/service, but making the purchase is no longer their top priority.

Solution: Don’t let them forget!

Use your abandoned cart workflow to gently remind your customer that they’ve abandoned something in their cart. Don’t overload them with information; start your emails with ‘Don’t worry, we’ve saved [insert product/service] for you’ or ‘Remember to come back and collect [insert product/service]’ so the emails are doing the job without overwhelming the customer and changing their mind about making the purchase.


The all important email address

Remember, you can’t make use of an abandoned cart workflow without having the email addresses of your customers. Here are a couple of ways you can prevent missing out on an opportunity to grab their email before they abandon their cart:


1.   Offer a discount, promotion or deal:

Whilst your customers are browsing your site, add a pop-up which offers them a deal they can’t turn down. In order to claim the deal, they’ll have to enter in their email address. This way, you’re giving them the incentive to give you their email address, and you are good to go if you have to turn to your abandoned cart workflow.


2.   Ask them to create a user account:

User accounts are another great way to get hold of someone’s email address. When they click ‘Checkout’, ask them to enter their name and email address into a form before they are able to make the final purchase, and you’ll have their email address to use in your abandoned cart workflow (plus your generic email list so you can continue to nurture your relationship with them!).

However, be careful with this one. Asking customers to create a user account can be tedious, and the extra hassle may turn one away from making the purchase. So, make sure your user account creation system is simple and easy for customers to do; don’t ask for too much information at this stage.


BONUS tips when using an abandoned cart workflow

Here are some final reflections on using an abandoned cart workflow…

  • Boost the open rate of your abandoned cart emails by using intriguing subject lines. If you’re looking for ways to make your subject lines eye-catching and engaging, why not check out our ‘52 Email Topics’ to get 183 pre-made lines straight into your inbox?
  • Make sure to segment your workflow, so that each customer is receiving a personalised email with details of their desired product rather than a generic email that could be sent to anyone. This will make your efforts to show off the best of the product/service they’re interested in buying all the more effective. If you’d like to read more about segmentation and how you can apply it to your marketing strategy, check out this blog post which has everything you need to know about segmenting your emails.
  • Always include the product/service that was left in their cart within the abandoned cart email, either as an image or a brief outline of the main features. This is crucial for reminding them what they’re missing.
  • Keep it short and snappy and stick to the point – tell your customers what you think they need to know about this product/service that will make them return to their cart.
  • Always use CTA buttons and links throughout the email, so it makes it simple and quick for your customer to return to their cart.


Got a question about using an abandoned cart workflow? We’re here to help! Drop us a message on our social media and we’ll get back to you: @WeAreCandescent


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