Abandoned cart recovery tactics: 5 ways to win back customers

July 19, 2023
9 minutes
Abandoned cart recovery tactics: 5 ways to win back customers

During peak purchasing times, e-commerce stores see record-breaking levels of incoming web traffic. Whether it’s the holidays, a sale period or a global retail event like Black Friday, shoppers will be meticulously browsing your product listings, setting up their accounts, and filling their virtual carts to the brim, setting your store up for healthy sales that drive your business’ growth.

But then, seemingly from nowhere, they abandon their carts and never complete the purchase. In fact, data shows that of all the incoming traffic to your e-commerce site, only 2% of visitors will actually convert into paying customers.

Cart abandonment is a silent killer that eats into your bottom line. It costs billions in sales for businesses across all verticals and is widely regarded as one of the largest issues faced by e-commerce stores. In our mission to make shopping online easier for both sellers and buyers, we’ve previously discussed some of the common reasons that users cite for abandoning their carts, in our guide on the psychology of cart abandonment.
We’ve also pulled back the curtain on some of the catch-all methods that you can deploy to reduce your cart abandonment in the first instance, avoiding pitfalls in website user experience that could increase cart abandonment rates.

But the reality is, even with the best strategies to push prospects further down your sales pipeline, there will still be potential customers who slip through the net. This might be because they want to look elsewhere for a better price, or an alternative product. In any event, it leaves money on the table — and if you want to earn it back, you’ll need to build an effective abandoned cart recovery strategy.

Abandoned cart recovery tactics aim to re-engage customers that have added to their cart on your site but navigated away before completing their purchase.

Here, we’ll provide some of our top recommendations for enticing these customers to return and check out their carts on your e-commerce platform, as the next line of defence against cart abandonment.

Laptop with a cart

How to recover abandoned carts

So, you’ve lost a prospect. As the shopper navigates away from your website, they leave their goods in the virtual basket and may have no intention of returning to complete the transaction. However, there’s still an opportunity to convert them into a loyal customer — and one that you can ensure a lifetime of value from, if you work to recover their voided sale.

Here are our top recommendations on how to recover abandoned carts.

1. Capture and utilise exit intent

When a user moves to exit from your webpage and terminates their transaction, the solution can sometimes be as simple as asking them ‘why?’. By leveraging exit intent surveys, you can get to the bottom of what it is that is driving users to abandon their carts and implement strategies to mitigate against these pain points, both on a per-user basis and for your wider customer base.

One such technique is to use an exit intent pop-up. These are dedicated messages that will appear on the screen when a customer goes to navigate away from the page. For example, you may present customers with a window containing several options to explain the reason for their abandoning, such as:

  • Unsure of what to buy
  • Price too high
  • Shipping costs too high
  • Checkout too long

Once you’ve captured their response, you have the opportunity to immediately offer an incentive to keep them on the webpage or implement this at a later stage. Your exact response can be tailored to the specific user — if they say that shipping costs were too high, for example, you may offer a one-time free delivery promotion. Or, if they indicate that they don’t know what product to purchase, you might provide product recommendations based on their browsing history.

Capturing exit intent also serves the secondary purpose to gather information about an unknown shopper, such as their email address. This way, you can send out subsequent communications reminding them to complete their purchase.

2. Remarket using targeted ads

Marketing comms can be tailored on a visitor-by-visitor basis when purchasing intent is captured and advertised back to customers elsewhere. For example, providers like Meta Ads and Google Ads can present personalised banners to users based on their cookie data, complete with a call to action reminding them to finish their purchase. Remarketing ads via social media and search engines can effectively re-engage customers who have abandoned their carts.

These platforms provide a variety of tailored targeting configurations that make it easy to reach your audience with messages that will resonate and drive direct action. When setting up a remarketing ad, it’s vital that you create a visually enticing asset using high-quality product images, compelling copy and a clear, accessible call to action. These can be tweaked according to the customer segment, too, to address specific concerns that they may have or provide bespoke incentives.

For example, first-time shoppers on your website may have abandoned due to being unfamiliar with your store and having concerns about its credibility. In this instance, a segmented ad that incorporates trust signals such as your Google Review or Trustpilot rating as social proof might help to encourage their conversion and recover the abandoned cart. 

What’s more, retargeted ads can be an omnichannel experience, spanning multiple different avenues for website entry. For example, push notifications are available through some web browsers, providing handy reminders to reroute traffic to your site.

Laptop getting emails

3. Send ‘abandoned cart’ emails

Implementing a campaign of timely abandoned cart emails after users navigate away from your store with a full basket can help to recover abandoned carts. Emails provide a little more real estate than targeted ads or notifications, allowing you to personalise their content based on user purchasing behaviour and drive direct response.

To send an abandoned cart email, you’ll need to have captured a user’s email address during their customer journey or have them already be a member on your website from a previous purchase. From here, you can set up an email automation triggered when a shopper fails to complete their purchase. These are most effective when deployed as part of a sequenced campaign, first with an email reminding users to purchase their cart, and if unsuccessful, followed up with later incentives. Email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, Hubspot or Zoho Mail each support abandoned cart emails.

But what should you include to incentivise customers to finish their transactions?

We’ve written a full guide on what makes for an effective abandoned cart email. As a brief overview, these are some of the criteria that you may consider:

  • Send the email within 1 hour of cart abandonment
  • Complete an email sequence
  • Include an expiring discount code
  • Promote product value with reviews and testimonials
  • Suggest alternative product recommendations
Learn what makes an effective abandoned cart email

4. Implement cart saving

Even if a user fills their cart and then navigates to another webpage, they may still have the intent to return and complete their purchase. In some instances, shoppers may have only temporarily abandoned their carts due to indecision, time constraints, or distractions. As a result, it can hugely undermine their buying experience if they find their cart of items empty upon return — which may lead to them withdrawing from the purchase altogether. 

Developers can introduce cart saving by using browser cookies that will ‘remember’ individual users’ basket contents without the need to log in, so the cart is still full each time visitors return to your site.

Cart-saving measures work in tandem with the outreach methods we’ve already discussed, such as targeted ads or abandoned cart emails. These comms can be tailored to include a direct link to a user’s abandoned cart, allowing them to seamlessly return to the point at which they terminated the purchase and continue where they left off.

By making it hassle-free to jump back into the final moments of the transaction, customers are more likely to respond positively and act on reminders that they still have goods left unpurchased, reducing the cart abandonment rate at your store.

Buying online with a card

5. Fight cart abandonment with Simpler

Cart-saving functionality creates a more streamlined process for customers that return to their transaction — but if the remainder of your checkout isn’t user-friendly, it won’t stop high rates of cart abandonment from then on. Instead, you’ll need to design a checkout process that minimises unnecessary friction at every possible pain point.

When you use Simpler as your checkout platform, shoppers are guided seamlessly towards conversion. We integrate all major payment and shipping options and even store your customer’s preferred billing and delivery details to be automatically selected every time they shop.

If you’ve implemented strategies to successfully re-acquire customers and direct them back to your website, all that’s left to do is help them over the final hurdle to conversion. And with Simpler, finishing the sale couldn’t be easier — new users can shop 50% faster than with traditional e-commerce checkout, while returning customers can buy in under six seconds.

Optimise your abandoned cart recovery and make lost customers a problem of the past with Simpler.

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