TECHNOLOGY

Study: Abandoned carts are a $60 million marketing opportunity

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

By tightening their email marketing strategies, retailers can turn around cart abandonment — and recover lost sales.

This was according to a new report from Klaviyo. The study looked at abandoned cart messages sent to more than 9 million consumers from over 2,800 retailers in the second quarter of 2017.

According to data, the best way for e-retailers to get customers back to their site to complete a purchase is to improve their email marketing messages. This practice is so lucrative that within the study’s three-month window, participants using abandoned cart emails generated more than $60 million in sales.

However, retailers have their work cut out for them if they want to grab a piece of this wallet share. When analyzing the performance of more than 3,000 current cart abandonment emails, retailers achieved a 41.18% open rate, a 9.50% click rate, and each generated $5.81 revenue per recipient.

To increase these outcomes, retailers are encouraged to:

Keep it Simple. Use subject lines that simply remind the customer that they left something behind. These emails performed the best with an open rate of 47.24%, more than 6% higher than the average. This type of email also produced a high revenue per recipient of $138.68. The most popular subject line was “It looks like you left something behind…”

Adding an emoji helps add personality to subject lines, and can also boost open rates. While there was a slightly lower open rate (39%) among subject lines featuring emoji overall, when looking at the top 10% of campaign performance, those who used an emoji actually saw their open rate jump to 82%.

Don’t Spam Shoppers. The challenge every email marketer faces is figuring out how to maximize revenue while protecting their send reputation by optimizing response. Understandably, the more emails a retailer sends, the more response rates go down, which could ultimately affect deliverability. According to all three benchmarks, two to three emails in an abandoned cart series seems to be the sweet spot, before open rate, click rate, and revenue per recipient all drop off dramatically.

Deals and Steals. It’s no secret that savings and discounts are catnip to customers, so much so that shipping costs are often cited as the number one reason for someone to abandon a cart. Because of this, it makes sense to include free shipping as an incentive. These result in a higher than average open rate (43.39%), and an even higher click rate (12.53%).

Discount-focused subject lines containing either a percentage or dollar sign received an open rate slightly under the average but a click rate slightly above. Dollar-based discounts were the highest performing with the second highest open rate and the highest revenue per recipient ($15.91).

“Though many retailers look at abandoned carts as lost revenue, the truth is they’re exactly the opposite: an opportunity to make money if handled correctly,” said Agata Celmerowski, VP marketing at Klaviyo. “With relevant, timely emails prompting users to revisit their potential purchases, our customers made nearly $30 million last quarter alone off abandoned carts. These takeaways are for all merchants who want to replicate that success.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Bed Bath & Beyond rolls out membership program

BY Marianne Wilson

Bed Bath & Beyond is looking to drive sales with its new membership program.

The chain launched the program, Beyond +, in an invitation-only pilot last year. It is now open to all consumers. The program, which has an annual fee of $29, provides members with a 20% discount on purchases (with some exclusions), both online and in store. It also offers free shipping for online orders (with the exception of oversized items).

On the marketing side, Bed, Bath & Beyond is best known for its direct mail 20%-off coupons, which also appear in such magazines as “People,” and $5-off coupons. The coupons are so easily available and so widely used that, according to industry analysts, the promotions are pressuring the chain’s gross margins.

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TECHNOLOGY

America’s largest mall steps up mobile navigation

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The Mall of America’s newest mobile upgrade will make it even easier for customers to plan their visit — and reach their destination.

To streamline navigation for its 40 million annual shoppers, America’s No. 1 mall now offers live navigation within its custom mobile app — a service that the mall expects to save customers valuable time during their stay. The technology is provided by Senion’s StepInside technology. The suite delivers accurate indoor positioning for mobile devices to provide a smooth, accurate and responsive user experience, in real-time.

As visitors input a destination within the app, and the navigation system will show them exactly where they are, as well as provide accurate navigation to their destination, whether it is a store, restaurant or an attraction.

This is the latest addition to a growing portfolio of technology features that augment the Mall of American guest experience. Earlier this year, nearly 100 digital directories were implemented, saving time for customers who can easily search their destination and text directions to their mobile device.

In addition to step-by-step directions, the directories now sync directly with the mobile app to initiate the live navigation. The feature also gives the customer a direct connection to a digital concierge who can answer live questions about reservations, directions, and store recommendations, among other services. The digital kiosks and live navigation in the mobile app were developed in partnership with Minnesota-based Express Image.

“With a property as large as Mall of America — 5.6 million sq. ft. — one of the most important things we can do to enhance the experience for our guests is make sure they can quickly find their destination,” said Jill Renslow, senior VP of marketing and business development at Mall of America. “We continuously talk with guests about what they want here at MOA, and this real-time navigation feature is something our guests expect when visiting a destination of our size.”

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