Bring 'em Back

by , Jan 23, 2013, 6:15 AM
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According to the Listrak fourth annual study of the Internet Retailer 1000 Companies’ Shopping Cart Abandonment practices, 30% more companies adopted shopping cart recovery tactics in 2012.

The study found that 19% of the Internet Retailer 1000 companies sent at least one email to re-engage shoppers, up from 14.6% in 2011 – a 30.1% increase. The Top 500 companies had a respectable 4.8% increase over last year, with 19.4% reaching out to shoppers. But the Second 500 had a remarkable improvement over last year with a 75.7% increase. 18.8% of the Second 500 companies are now sending at least one shopping cart abandonment message compared to only 10.7% last year.

The study also discovered that more companies are sending a series of messages to re-engage shoppers, instead of relying on a single message. Across the IR1000 companies, there was a 19.5% decrease in the number of retailers only sending one message, a 7.6% increase in the number of retailers sending two messages, and an incredible 207% increase in the number of retailers sending three messages.

Number of Follow-up Messages (% of Respondents)

Messages

IR 1000

Top 500

Second 500

1 message

62.4%

62.5%

62.3%

2 messages

17.0

16.7

17.3

3 messages

20.6

20.8

20.4

Source: Listrak, January 2013

Online retailers are also sending the messages closer to the abandonment time to re-engage shoppers while the sale is still top of mind. 58.7% of the Top 500 companies and 75.3% of the Second 500 companies send the first message within 24 hours of the abandonment, an increase of 14.8% and 5.9% respectively over 2011. The second message in the series is also being sent closer to the first message with 66.5% of the Top 500 and 77.2% of the Second 500 sending within 48 hours of the first message, an increase of 8% and 43.2% respectively over last year.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Email Recovery Attempt Timing, 2012 (% Internet Retailer Top 1000 Company List)

Top 500

% Sending

   1st message within 24 hours

58.7%

   2nd message within 48 hours of first

66.5

Second 500

   1st message within 24 hours

75.3

   2nd message within 48 hours of first

77.2

Source: Listrak, January 2013

Many retailers previously relied on special discounts to tempt shoppers into completing the order; however, there was a 17% decrease in offers in the first message, a 5.4% decrease in the second message, and a 7.6% decrease in the third message across the IR1000 companies. Retailers are realizing that a simple reminder message is sometimes enough to prompt customers into action.

Percentage of Offers in Messages

Company Group

Message One

Message Two

Message Three

IR 1000

38.2%

57.7%

57.7%

Top 500

32.3

61.1

55.0

Second 500

44.1

54.3

68.4

Source: Listrak, January 2013

 

Sampling of Email Offers Across Three Message Series

Sample

Email 1 Offer

Email 2 Offer

Email 3 Offer

Top 500

1

Free shipping

free shipping

none

2

none

none

none

3

20% off

20% off; free shipping

20% off; free shipping

4

5% off

10% off

10% off

5

free shipping

free shipping

free shipping

6

none

free shipping

free shipping

7

10% off

10% off

10% off

8

none

free shipping

$3 off

9

none

5% off

10% off

10

none

free shipping

5% off

Second 500

1

none

none

10% off

2

none

none

20% off

3

5% off

5% off

5% off

4

none

none

none

5

none

free shipping

none

6

none

none

33% off

7

free shipping

free shipping

free shipping

8

none

none

free shipping

9

free shipping

free shipping

free shipping

10

none

10% discount

none

Source: Listrak, January 2013

Finally, the author offers some thoughts for consideration:

  • While there was a 30% increase in adoption rate of shopping cart recovery emails in 2012, there are still fewer than 20% of Internet Retailer 1000 companies sending emails to capture lost sales. We would expect to see another significant increase in companies implementing shopping cart abandonment emails in 2013.
  • Many retailers are following up two or three times, rather than relying on a single message. Research has proven that a three-message series is a best practice that every retailer should consider. Conversion rates for the third message don’t typically decrease significantly from the second message – averaging about 10%.
  • Retailers are reaching back to customers closer to the abandonment time, another best practice, as abandoned items are still fresh in shoppers’ minds, and a friendly email tempts many into completing the sale. Testing of the timing of messages suggests that the first message should be sent within three hours of the abandonment, the second message two days later, and the third message three days after that.
  • Fewer retailers are offering discounts in the shopping cart recovery emails, especially in the first message. The Listrak studies suggest the discount ladder approach is most effective: not including an offer in the first message, offering a small discount in the second message, and increasing the offer in the third message.

For more information, and access to the complete study, please visit Listrak here.

 

 

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