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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