Advanced Strategies for Mastering Abandoned Carts Blog Post Graphic

Mastering Cart Abandonment: Advanced Strategies to Accelerate Conversions and Enhance Customer Experience 

By Jill Redo, VP Customer Experience Strategy. One of the biggest pain points for brands across industries remains cart abandonment. Whether mid-sized or enterprise, most brands have some form of an abandoned cart behavioral triggered email already in market today. However, with the advancements in deep personalization, segmentation, and channel orchestration, has your cart abandonment strategy evolved? Are you still using the status quo two-touch contact strategy, or have you evolved this to drive greater engagement and revenue? 

From understanding your average time to purchase, segmentation advancement, number of touchpoints and series length, there are some quick wins that can significantly improve business results by advancing your abandoned cart strategy, with the ultimate goal of decreasing the time from exploration to purchase for greater conversion. 

Understanding The Cart Abandonment to Purchase Timeline 

Whether retail shoppers or travel bookers just simply aren’t ready, or are finding obstacles in the buying process, it’s vital to understand the behavioral reasons of why cart abandonment occurs. Further, knowing your brand’s abandonment and conversion points is crucial when developing your trigger contact and content strategy. 

Let’s start with some data points within the travel and retail industries. Did you know that 80% of travel bookings take longer than 4 weeks to complete? Within retail apparel, path-to-conversion can range from a mere 30 minutes to an average of 19 days, with some taking up to 48 days. This variability highlights the significant opportunity to better influence consumers by simply meeting them where they’re at. The good news is that 25% of consumers actively appreciate being reminded about the products they were thinking about buying or travel services they were thinking about booking. 

Fun Fact: Experience shows that 3-5 touchpoints are the optimal abandoned cart series length, but brands send a whopping 8 touchpoints! Different segments respond to different series lengths, so testing and evaluating touchpoints by segmentation is crucial for greater insights and conversion accuracy.

Why They Abandon 

Within travel & hospitality, studies show that an extended research phase (39%), costs (37%), and a complex checkout process (13%) are the main reasons bookers abandon the cart. And within retail, studies show that browsing (34%), shipping issues (23%), and price comparisons (18%) are the main reasons retail shoppers abandoned their cart. These insights show that carts often function as “wish lists” rather than imminent purchases. This disconnect shows the challenge with cart abandonment as a whole, as marketers push for the commitment to purchase, rather than discovering the needs or wants that delay the purchase. 

Meeting Consumers Where They’re At 

With so many shoppers at the top of the funnel researching and getting started, understanding where, exactly, your prospect or customer is in the funnel is important — and how you can best meet them where they are at to best support their needs. 

Their website/app engagement is certainly a clear signal, but where exactly are they with their purchase consideration? Are they just showing interest and research behaviors? If so, how does your brand pivot to help reinforce your brand story and value? Here, big picture content is typically needed to entertain, inform, and educate to continue their interest path. 

If they are a bit deeper within the consideration stage of the marketing funnel, this means that they may also be evaluating competitors. Here, our messaging focus needs to pivot to ease, convenience and pain point solutions. Inspirational and educational content will help bring customer stories to life, provide reviews for purchase confidence, motivational ideation through videos, editorial curation, tips and tricks, and perhaps perks through loyalty services. 

It’s hard to make decisions in isolation, so make it easier for your buyer by providing meaningful context for the choices you’re asking them to make. By providing options, like both a greater and inferior option to what they saved in their cart, you can actually help them to not make decisions in a vacuum. This will help simplify their decision-making process by comparing items that are similar in value. And consumers will often select the middle option (the item they initially abandoned). 

Evolving To Human Experience (HX) 

Human Experience as the next logical step beyond User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX). Why? Consumers are willing to spend +47% more with brands that treat them like HUMANS. 

Operating under the premise that UX focuses on HOW the consumer interacts with a brand and products and CX focuses on the experience that consumers have with a brand from their 1st brand encounter to the end of their journey, HX connects with the consumer on a deeper level. And all too often Cart Abandonment Triggers are over saturated with messaging focused on the WHAT (product) and the HOW (offer or urgency), but not the WHY (storytelling and value). One way we can accomplish more HX into our messaging is to instill trust and feeling into our personalization efforts — ultimately HUMAN-based principles. 

We, as humans, are driven by the emotions, needs and relationships experienced with your brand and products. And our role as marketers is to help facilitate this within our messaging. 

Top positive emotions include:

  • Achievement (congrats, you’ve qualified for X% off)
  • Gratitude (because you’re a valued customer)
  • Convenience/reliability

Top negative emotions include:

  • Urgency (hurry, before your cart expires)
  • Curiosity (open to view an exclusive offer)
  • Encouragement (you’re almost there)

We need to unleash the power of their WHY, rather than continuing with the How and What. 

Creating An Impactful Human Experience (HX) 

Creating an impactful HX reinforcing genuine, personal connections begins with building rapport through engaging, immersive experiences, while simultaneously scaling up your first party data capture so you can better understand your audiences without losing their trust. Creating fun, engaging polls, quizzes, and immersive experiences can help you better understand purchase intention, personal context, and how the consumer wants the brand to recognize them. 

For example, you could poll within your messaging to understand their purchase time horizon. Or better understand what obstacles they are encountering such as fit or expedited shipping pricing. Maybe they need to simply be connected to a customer service representative to help guide them.

With technology advancement, obstacles can be better addressed through dynamic content snippets for greater resonance within future communications, making triggered touchpoints feel more like “trustpoints.” By simply asking questions, you will be able to better personalize your message, directly demonstrating that you understand the specific needs of each customer or guest. 

Advance Your Abandoned Cart Segmentation 

Tailored Abandoned Carts powered by advanced segmentation are much more effective than a one-size-fits-all. This tailored approach using advanced segmentation will help ensure your triggers will resonate more deeply, increasing the likelihood they’ll return to convert. 

You can segment shoppers and guests based on: 

  • Value: Low vs high cart/browse value
  • Customer Type: 1st-time customer vs repeat customer vs VIP
  • Persona: Price sensitive, affluent, etc.
  • Checkout stage (if they got this far)
  • Product type and category
  • Entry Source (web, email, store)
  • Device

Did You Know? US customers who shop on a computer (75% abandonment rate) are more likely to complete the purchase than shoppers who use mobile (86% abandonment rate) and tablet (81% abandonment rate) when compared to the Global audience. 

In conclusion, transforming your cart abandonment strategy is crucial to driving higher conversion rates and decreasing the time from abandoned shopping carts to purchases.

By leveraging advanced segmentation, deep personalization, and a focus on human experience (HX), brands can create more meaningful and effective engagements with their customers. Understanding the reasons behind cart abandonment and addressing them through tailored messaging and multiple touchpoints can significantly enhance the shopping experience, making it easier for consumers to complete their purchases.

As we shift from just user and customer experience to a more human-centric approach, it’s vital to remember that the emotional connection and trust we build with our customers are paramount. By meeting consumers where they are in their purchase journey and addressing their unique needs and concerns, brands can not only recover lost sales but also foster long-term loyalty and satisfaction. 

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