Remembrance of Carts Past: Email Reminders Can Bring Back Lost Shoppers

We’ve talked before about the perils of targeting potential customers too effectively or being a little too on-point with reminders. A post from AdAge today seems to agree with John Battelle: Carefully considered reminders and observation can reap major dividends.

This means there’s some hope in redeeming the bane of the e-commerce world: the abandoned shopping cart. An abandoned cart is the epitome of lost possibility and failed efforts and can be caused by dozens of issues–both controllable and not.

How do you avoid the Ghost of Sales that Never Were? Re-targeting. People who have abandoned their defenseless filled carts have an 18 percent response rate to reminder e-mails–and the rate climbs to nearly 50 percent for serial abandoners. If you do lure them back, you’re likely to get a little bonus: AdAge reports that repenting serial abandoners spend 55 percent more than people who have walked only once. Shoppers who leave a trail of deserted carts in their online wake are often rigorous researchers and multitaskers who appreciate the reminder and may show their gratitude by throwing a few extra items in their cart when they come back.

So keep chasing the one that got away. If you’re savvy enough about it, your little email nudge could spur extra sales–and give your customer the warm fuzzies that come with a helpful, well-timed reminder to finish what they started.

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