Nowadays, 70% of online shopping carts end up abandoned in eCommerce stores. Think about that for a minute – it means you’re only tapping into 30% of what your revenue could be.
With those numbers, eCommerce stores are looking for new tools and tactics to recover that potentially lost revenue. Sometimes, it’s as easy as sending out a reminder email in order to prompt that user to quickly return to their purchase. Other times though, the issue isn’t quite simple.
There are many reasons for which customers abandon carts, and a successful recovery strategy must take each of them into account. The most efficient strategies out there focus on personalizing their messaging outreach and trying to understand the motivation behind the purchase – or lack thereof.
So let’s look at some numbers as to why shoppers abandon carts:
- 93% of online buyers would be encouraged to buy more products if free shipping was included
- 25% thought the item was priced too high
- 23% did not want to create an account in order to finalize a purchase
- 13% had card security concerns
- 12% believed the checkout process was too complicated and gave up
- 8% couldn’t find a discount code
If you’re trying to convert those shoppers into paying customers, you need a way to understand which reason applies to them and, in turn, try and find a solution. Conversational SMS Marketing is an efficient and convenient way to gain personalized insight into each customer by reaching out in real-time and talking to them about their pain points.
Let’s look at some ways you can apply SMS marketing to your online store:
Assistance with failed transactions
One of the most common reasons shoppers abandon their carts is payment issues. Once they go through the entire checkout process, the last step fails in completing the purchase. More often than not, because of high frustration levels, they leave the site without trying alternative payment methods or retrying their credit card.
With SMS marketing, you can reach out to these consumers and figure out what prompted them to abandon their cart, then pursue them to return. The benefits don’t stop at a completed purchase – if the client’s issue was due to payment problems on your site, the development team could be notified to improve the UX on that end as well, making it easier for future prospects to complete purchases.
As a recurrent issue, transaction issues can’t be uncovered through typical analytics, causing more and more abandoned carts in the future without the retailer truly knowing why.
Personalized product recommendations
Oftentimes people hesitate to buy due to unfamiliarity or being overwhelmed with product options. When you start using SMS marketing as a support function, rather than pushing out your latest promotion, it becomes a way to help your shoppers navigate your site and get answers to questions that stopped them from purchasing in the first place.
As customers have product-specific questions that they cannot find the answer for on your website, it’s no surprise that they choose to abandon their purchase – they might think about returning later with more detailed information, but let’s face it: most of the time, they don’t.
Product recommendations are one of the most commonly used features of a great SMS marketing tool as it is difficult to cover through conventional marketing tools – at least not in real-time. A good conversational SMS marketing strategy should be like a virtual personal shopping assistant that helps prospects understand complex product details, uncover hidden benefits, and ultimately be convinced that shopping your eCommerce store is a good fit for them.
Customers reaching out to your support team aren’t interested in waiting around on the phone until the next available representative is available or sending an email that takes you 2-3 days to reply. They have a problem, they’re looking online for a solution, and they will pick the one they can get answers for first.
Fortunately, eCommerce stores have tools like SMS marketing that can create a two-way conversation, where a customer can engage with your brand in real-time, via text message and ask for support. Most importantly, they can get answers from a real person, not a chatbot.
Let’s take this example – Your store sells automotive parts, tools, and accessories and you’ve just launched a new product series for Coating Sprays. This product is of great quality, known by professionals in the industry, but not a familiar name with the general public (who make the most of your audience). Naturally, they will have questions.
At this time, your audience has two options: skip the product, or reach out to you for support (if they don’t find an answer elsewhere).
Let’s think about that for a minute – how many times have you sent an email to a company asking for detailed product information and support? Let me tell you: rarely.
But what if you’d have the option, like in the image below, to send a text to your favorite brand and get an answer within a few minutes? No holding on the line for the customer, no abandoned carts for the merchant – and in the end, a lot of time saved for both.
Shipping and delivery information
Brands have been using SMS to provide order information for a while now. Most of them, though, use it as a 1-way communications stream with no real input or feedback from the customer. Once someone completes a purchase, the only valuable information they need (and want) from you is when will their order arrive.
We live in an instant culture where we are impatient (knowingly so), and once a reasonable time passes, we will reach out to customer service continuously and overload their service channels with questions about our package. Anything less than overnight delivery seems to be too long nowadays.
So what can eCommerce stores do? Apart from sending those automated status updates, you can reach out to your customers and see their orders. Personalized attention will provide a level of transparency and interest that your customers will appreciate and it might just give them a little bit more patience while waiting for their order to arrive.
Up-sells and cross-sells
Within the marketing space, the discussion between new lead generation (acquiring new customers) and upsells & cross-sells is still ongoing. In theory, upsells should be easier (and more cost-effective), right?
That’s definitely true when you’ve established a relationship with these customers and built enough trust throughout their customer journey. SMS marketing helps you here as well.
For example, with done-for-you tools like Cartloop, where a Recovery Expert personally reaches out to your shoppers, you can use SMS from product recommendations, shipping information, or technical assistance all the way to subscription reminders.
At the end of the day, up-selling and cross-selling shouldn’t be looked at solely as tools for revenue growth, but also helping your customers make the most out of your products and services, and giving them a chance to try out products they otherwise wouldn’t have looked at.
Do you know why we dislike some marketing communications messages?
It’s because we don’t see any value in them – we know they’ve been sent in bulk, with no personalized information, so they aren’t really valuable to us.
SMS marketing gives you a chance to do better and amp up the way you communicate with your audience.
When a customer abandons their cart and you reach out to them and offer assistance, it becomes less about promotion and recovering revenue and more about building real connections and valuable conversations.
One of the key benefits of conversational SMS marketing is that you don’t have to invest time in segmenting your lists or building pre-made personalized content. Ask your customers what problems they’re encountering and they will tell you.
A good UX/UI of an eCommerce store is a given, but sometimes even the best have technical issues from time to time. Help your customers navigate those situations and make it easy for them. Your goal should be to build a smooth shopping experience and use SMS to translate as a personal shopping assistant.
With SMS marketing as part of your strategy mix, you’ll be able to turn your sales process around and improve your customer relationships significantly. Your customers will appreciate the real-time approach and ability to connect to a real person, who can answer their questions in a personalized manner.
With a platform like Cartloop, that focuses on conversational SMS marketing, you now have the opportunity to bring the in-store experience online in just a few clicks. When customers abandon their carts, one of our eCommerce experts reaches out to them via text message and starts a conversation. This way, you get to uncover real-time feedback on why shoppers are abandoning their carts. The kind of feedback such as: “the delivery takes too long”, “there was a problem with the payment method”, “the shipping cost is too high” is not available through regular surveys, nor is it observable through typical analytics tools.
Raluca Tarcea is allegedly wise to the ways of Marketing, PR and Social Media at Cartloop. Entrepreneur, pilot, visual thinker & planning ninja.