Wait, Don't Go: Abandonment Emails Pull High Open Rates And Sales, Study Shows

Retailers that fail to send cart and product abandonment emails are leaving money on the table, judging by the 2018 Retail Email Benchmark Report, a study set to be released by Bluecore. Those automated follow-ups generate open rates of over 40% and high dollar amounts. But not everyone is getting the most of out of these efforts. 

"This year a primary takeaway was how consistently marketers prioritize what their customers are searching for and abandoning on their commerce sites, and how little priority they give to the products they’re engaging with and buying,” says Fayez Mohamood, CEO of Bluecore.  

He adds: “Currently, only one in four marketers are integrating insights from these product interactions to match people and products in their emails. This represents a largely untapped opportunity for retailers — and a highly lucrative one too, according to the performance numbers we’re seeing from those that do.” 



Let’s look at the numbers. How do your metrics compare with these results?

According to Bluecore, cart abandonment emails achieve a 40.32% open rate, and product abandonment messages do even better, at 41.47%. And cart abandonment messages pull a 10.09% click rate, while product abandonments are at 8.40%. 

Conversion rates are also impressive, considering the dollars involved. Cart abandonment messages result in a 2.05% conversion, and product abandonment result in  0.62%.

These numbers reflect credit given for conversions that happen within five days of the email send. And they point toward having ‘a set of prospects ready to buy or may be the results of highly relevant, urgency-driven emails,” the report states.

These emails generate money — $2.53 per cart abandonment message and $6.29 in revenue-per-click, Bluecore reports.

Now let’s get to the annoyance factor. Cart abandonment emails prompt an average 0.12% unsubscribe rate compared to .040% for post purchase emails and .19% for one-time sends.

Bluecore says that’s high, and that it represents “both a significant problem and great potential.” Are these drop-outs the result of irrelevant offers, or do they come from first-time purchases who didn’t now they were signing up for message?

The solution is to send relevant or value-add emails — i.e., “how do best enjoy your purchase” information, the report states.  

Granted, cart abandonment rates are also tied to average order value. As the report states, consumers shop differently for computers than they do for tee shirts. The cheapest products pull the lowest opens and the highest conversions.

A purchase of up to $99 will typically pull an open rate of $39.34. A buy of $250-$499 will generate 44.45%. Those in the $500-plus rate will get slightly less—42.03%.

Click rates are also highest for transactions in the $250-$499 range—11.65%. The only average purchase to fall below 10% is $100-249. The conversion rates for expenditures of $500 or more is 1.50%, compared to 2.35% for those in the 0-$99 area. 

Those with the highest average order value will also pull the most dramatic unsubscribe rate—0.2%--mostly because these are one-off purchases. 

“Few consumers need more than one washing machine at a time,” the study states. “Absent a need for those products, consumers are less inclined to receive emails from retailers offering them. 

It goes without saying that those $500 purchases also pull the highest revenue per open and click — by far.

Food and leisure pull the best open rates, tech & hardware the second best and home & leisure the worst — but not by much 

And while tech and hardware top the click-rate charts, food & leisure products enjoy the highest conversion rate — 2.53%. Oddly, they also suffer the highest unsubscribe rate, at 0.15%. 

Of course, technology & hardware receives the highest revenue, both per email ($4.23) and click ($22.14).

The report is based on analysis of 350 million emails sent by ecommerce brands from October 2016 through September 2017. Bluecore manages “over 125 million products and power email interactions with more than 400 million individual customers,” Mohamood says.


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