Abandoned Carts – Recapturing Missed Revenue

March 24, 2016
Hema Dey

What if we told you that there was a missed revenue stream hovering just below the surface of your online store? Whether you know it or not, potential customers are visiting your site every day, browsing, filling a shopping cart, and then clicking away to another site without ever making a purchase.

This phenomenon, known as Cart Abandonment, could be affecting your sales more than you think. According to research from Business Insider, $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in shopping carts this year, and 63% of that revenue is potentially recoverable. As online shopping has become more habitual — and more shopping options are available — cart abandonment rates have increased: in 2013, 74% of carts were abandoned, compared to 72% in 2012, and 69% in 2011. Leaving that much revenue on the table sounds troubling, doesn’t it? Now imagine if you could just convert 25% of those abandoned orders into sales. That would turn into quite a revenue boost in the long run.

Unsurprisingly, cart abandonment has become a huge focus for eCommerce retailers. Shoppers that abandon carts are still very strong sales leads, and taking time to recapture them should be viewed as a high priority investment.

Here are some ways successful retailers are combating cart abandonment…


When a customer leaves your site with a full cart, they usually intend on returning. Data from SeeWhy said that three fourths of customers say they plan to return to carts when they click away, even if most never do. This is where re-marketing comes in: through a service such as Google Adwords, Adroll, or Retargeter, you target that potential customer with ads on other popular sites, leading them back to your site.

The targeted adds can feature the exact product the customer was viewing, or show them related options that may draw them back to the site. They may have left the site in the first place because they couldn’t find the product they wanted, so presenting other options just might tip the scale in your favor.

Email Recovery Campaigns.

This one should be a no-brainer. If the customer got so far as creating a shopping cart, you should already have their email. Many companies will automate a series of personalized emails that retarget customers just for this purpose.

These emails should be brief, timely and customized based on the purchase they were considering. You should include a picture of the product they abandoned, testimonials from other shoppers, and a strong call to action linking them back to your site.

Many companies send out one email within the first 24 hours of cart abandonment, then a second within two days, and a third within a week. Most businesses report a handful of additional conversions from using this strategy, and some see revenue boosts up to 35%!

Offer a discount.

In a 2013 poll of 19,000 online shoppers, market researcher Statista found that 56% of respondents cited unexpected costs as their reason to abandon a cart, 36% said they found a better price elsewhere, and 32% said the product was just too expensive.

Including a discount or coupon code in your retargeting efforts can bring people back to your site and save these sales. After all, savvy online shoppers often take pride in their bargain-hunting skills, so many will be tempted by what they feel as an exclusive deal.

However, many experts advise against immediately responding to all cart abandonment with a discount, as this could condition customers to purposefully abandon carts, expecting to save money. Instead, consider saving this move for big-ticket purchases, or save it as an ace-in-the-hole for the final round of retargeting emails.

Of course, the layout and usability of your website and online store has a huge effect on the customer’s sales journey, and implementing the right practice can help prevent cart abandonment in the first place. Iffel’s eCommerce Powerhouse program can optimize your site’s ability to turn leads into sales, while implementing strategic retargeting campaigns to keep customers coming back.

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