Get Big Returns with Abandoned Cart Email Remarketing


Too often, merchants forget that shopping cart abandonment is not the end of the line. In fact, it can be a very small stumbling block toward an increase in sales. That's what Dungarees has discovered.

In just 30 days, and using iGoDigital personalized product recommendation software, Dungarees realized a 490 percent increase in abandoned cart email revenue. Implementing this software within their existing email service provider (ESP) solution, Dungarees is able to send an email, triggered by an abandoned cart, that makes recommendations based on the abandoned item, while using that item in the subject line. Those emails had a 55 percent open rate, 17 percent conversion rate and the aforementioned 490 percent abandoned cart email revenue increase.

"In a content-driven world, the number of messages consumers receive on a daily basis continues to increase, making personalized marketing messages that much more important," said Eric Tobias, president, iGoDigital. "By injecting product recommendations into remarketing emails and mentioning the name of the abandoned item in the subject line, Dungarees has seen an improved customer shopping experience, ultimately generating more purchases and return visits to its website."

SeeWhy, another provider of remarketing solutions, recently concluded a study that found customers who abandon shopping carts spend 55 percent more than those who purchase straight-away. Why? There are many reasons, including that heavy online shoppers are accustomed to price comparison shopping before making a final purchase - hence the abandoned cart. Another factor is that some customers are using shopping carts as virtual lists, saving items for purchase later while they shop around. A remarketing email reminds them of that list, as seen in the Dungarees example of mentioning the original product in the email's subject line.

SeeWhy also found that timing is critical. In the first 24 hours following abandonment, 54 percent of returning customers who make a purchase will do so within the first few hours. After 48 hours, that number climbs to 64 percent and rises again, to 82 percent after seven days. In other words, more than half of customers will abandon the cart for good if not remarketed within 24 hours of the abandonment. SeeWhy outlines four key metrics when analyzing remarketing:


  1. Recovery rate - percentage of visitors that abandon, are remarketed to then return to make the purchase.
  2. Open rate - SeeWhy's analysis shows an average 46 percent open rate for remarketing emails, more than double most standard email marketing campaigns.
  3. Clickthrough rate - the rate of those who click to the site from a remarketing email. SeeWhy shows 15 percent, more than triple standard email marketing campaigns.
  4. Unsubscribe rate - the proportion of shopping cart abandoners who subsequently unsubscribe from future remarketing emails.

While the monetary returns are most impressive, developers should keep in mind that retargeting is not just limited to ecommerce.

When unsubscribing from Groupon email lists, you might see this page. It asks you to punish "Derrick", the person responsible for keeping Groupon subscribers active. Click the video and Derrick gets chastised, ending with a splash of hot coffee in the face, followed by a button to re-subscribe. Of course, Groupon is known for its edgy, witty atmosphere so this approach is not for every business. But it does highlight a unique approach to remarketing.

Email remarketing could be used to gather feedback. If a user unsubscribes, why not ask a couple of questions? Why did they unsubscribe? Were you sending too many emails? Are the products or content no longer relevant to their interests?

Another option might be to introduce a new product. Perhaps they have unsubscribed because of a relevancy issue - but do they know about your new product or service? That might be just what they were looking for. In the same vein, maybe you have another website that more closely matches the user's needs? Consider including a little information about that site, along with a link to a page describing the benefits and, of course, a subscription button.

By all accounts, remarketing with email is an opportunity available to just about every business using any sort of email marketing system and can be tailored to fit any unique business model. If the customer is all but lost, why not make an effort to get her back?