Cart abandonment is a significant problem that all ecommerce businesses face. It leads to missed opportunities and, therefore, revenue loss. Connecting with customers from the first time they interact with your store and throughout their ecommerce journey is vital to reducing your number of abandoned carts.
One way to do this is through abandoned cart notifications – a subtle nudge to entice would-be shoppers to revisit your store and complete their purchase. This article gives you 14 messages you can copy and paste into your campaigns to start collecting missed revenue immediately. But first, why do people add items to their basket but never make it through the checkout?
Why buyers abandon shopping carts (and solutions)
Many reasons exist for cart abandonment. Some are beyond your control, but you can still implement solutions to increase conversions.
1. Shoppers are 'just browsing'
According to a 2023 survey by Baymard Institute, nearly half of shoppers say they abandon their cart because they're merely 'window-shopping' and aren't ready to make a purchase.
As a seller, you can’t do much other than fall back on advertising and continue to push for conversions. Bear in mind that shoppers often browse to compare products. So consider your brand's USP and how your product differs from competitors. Focus your campaigns on the reasons why shoppers should choose your store.
2. Extra costs or hidden fees
Extra costs are the second biggest reason behind cart abandonment, according to the same Baymard Institute survey mentioned above. This includes delivery fees and taxes not explicit to the customer before the checkout page, resulting in an unwelcome surprise during that final step.
Be clear on extra costs on individual product pages so customers know what they'll pay before clicking 'add to cart'. Put a note on your home page footer about shipping costs and whether prices include or exclude taxes. Include a detailed section in your FAQs too.
3. Glitchy interface
Online shoppers don't have a great deal of patience. If anything's functionally wrong with your website, it can diminish the customer experience and put people off completing their purchases (even loyal customers).
Check for broken weblinks or navigation buttons. Ensure your store's interface isn't complicated, confusing or slow to load – it must be lightweight, responsive, intuitive and user-friendly. Ensure your site works perfectly on mobile devices since many customers shop with those.
4. Forcible account creation
Some e-commerce websites slap an unavoidable 'create account' button at the final step of the checkout process. Messente's growth marketer, Sten Kütt, says: "While this can help save time for repeat customers (as payment details are saved for the future), it's a very risky strategy. Customers don't necessarily want to create an account when buying from your brand for the first time - hence, they might not bother at all."
Make the checkout process effortless with as few steps as possible. Always offer an option to 'checkout as guest' or similar. It's much quicker for first-time buyers, and you can always provide an incentive to encourage them to create an account next time, such as a discount on their next purchase.
5. Selected items are out of stock
This is where customers add multiple items to their cart, but some items run out of stock by the time they reach checkout. Customers may go on and buy the items that are in stock, but sometimes, they'll abandon their entire cart and buy everything they need elsewhere, all in one go.
Keep your inventory up-to-date to reflect current stock levels as accurately as possible. Show the stock levels on each product page so potential customers can see if they need to buy quickly. (Automatically hide products that run out of stock.) Provide a ‘wishlist’ or ‘save for later’ option and let customers request a back-in-stock SMS notification.
6. Lack of payment options
Customers want a variety of payment options, including frictionless methods such as in-app and one-click payments (e.g. payment by text). If you only accept payment by credit card or PayPal, you're restricting how customers can pay you.
Let customers pay via their channel of choice. Consider Google Pay, Apple Pay and other digital wallet options, plus bank transfers, interest-free instalments, gift cards and cash (the latter is important if you also have a brick-and-mortar store).
7. Lower prices offered by competitors
For some shoppers, price is the deciding factor – so they prepare carts across multiple stores and then compare individual prices or basket totals.
Keep a close eye on competitors' pricing and try to match it if possible. At the same time, you want to avoid running your business into the ground by cutting profits. So consider bespoke incentives (that your competitors aren't using) to capture price-sensitive buyers. For example, a conditional offer like 'buy three beauty products and get the lowest priced item free' can provide real value to shoppers.
The top channels for sending abandoned cart reminders
There are three options for sending reminders to customers who abandon their shopping carts: SMS, email and push notifications. These can be used independently or in combination for greater impact.
Traditional text messages are delivered via mobile phone networks. They're a good choice for abandoned cart notifications as they're delivered immediately and are opened 98% of the time. There's less clutter in SMS inboxes, so even if the recipient has SMS notifications disabled, they'll see your text in their SMS inbox when they open their messaging app. SMS can easily be used in combination with WhatsApp, Viber, and other direct messaging channels.
Tips when using SMS for abandoned carts:
Use a reliable business texting provider to benefit from high delivery rates.
Keep your abandoned cart text short and clear, and include a link to the customer's online cart – a shortened link if possible since SMS length is limited.
Always follow SMS compliance rules and allow subscribers to opt in and out of communications.
Emails offer greater flexibility for shopping cart abandonment, as you can add the complete details of abandoned orders, including the product name, price and image (for multiple products if needed). However, email is a saturated channel. So, these notifications can often go ignored or get diluted due to an influx of other emails in the inbox. And, if your emails have low open rates, they could fall prey to spam filters.
Tips for using email abandoned cart notifications:
Use a double-opt-in when capturing email subscribers to ensure recipients really do want to be part of your list.
Clean your email database regularly to remove incorrect emails (which can bounce and raise a red flag to email service providers).
Remove email opt-outs straightaway.
Write attention-grabbing subject lines that create urgency and tempt subscribers to open your email and click through to their online cart.
Mobile or web push notifications
Push notifications are delivered via the recipient's web browser and can appear on both desktop and mobile devices. They're sent in real-time, and you can include deep links, which lead seamlessly to the shopping cart – the recipient doesn't have to open up another app or perform any other action. Push notifications can contain images and creative call-to-actions (CTAs) – helpful for a personal touch.
However, a push notification can be intrusive, flashing up on-screen while your customer is browsing online. Two hurdles to think about: recipients must first 'allow' notifications via a popup box on your website or app and must be connected to the internet to receive them.
Abandoned cart push notification tips:
Include an eye-catching image.
Make use of text formatting, e.g. bold and italic.
Use more than one CTA button if your provider allows, such as 'checkout now' and 'continue shopping'.
14 abandoned cart notification templates and ideas
So, what should you include in your abandoned cart message content? There are several strategies to try, from the simple reminder designed to lure your buyer back to your store to smart incentives that can actually increase your customer's order value at checkout.
1. Simple abandoned cart notification
Hi Jack, you left our Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds – €199 in your shopping cart. Check out now while stocks last! [URL]
2. Loyalty points checkout reminder
Revisit your basket, Emma – you'll get an extra 1000 loyalty points worth €10 when you buy any branded beauty product before end Nov! [URL]
3. Limited time price incentive for a completed purchase
Great news, Toni! You're eligible for a 5% discount on your shopping cart total if you check out before midnight. Complete your purchase: [URL]
4. Abandoned cart bundle checkout incentive
You've got great taste, Kamil. And we've got great value for you. Add two more items to your shopping cart to get a 10% discount off the total! [URL]
5. Free delivery (within a specified timeframe) checkout incentive
Hi Jade, check out by 6pm today for FREE standard delivery on your online order. Revisit your shopping cart: [URL]
6. Fear of missing out (FOMO) or urgency abandoned cart reminder
Hurry – only 2 Grey and Chrome 6-in-1 Multicookers left in stock. Grab yours before it's too late! Complete checkout here: [URL]
7. Out-of-stock notification and alternative product recommendation
Hey Tom, you added our Caramel Coffee Pods 12pk to your cart. Unfortunately, we've run out of stock. Why not try our Cocoa Coffee Pods instead? [URL]
8. Flexible payment plan checkout incentive
Hi Maria, we noticed you added our Farmhouse Dining Table to your cart. Why not buy with our flexible payment plan (3 affordable instalments)? [URL]
9. Alternative shopping channel incentive
Did you know you can buy directly via our WhatsApp channel, Simon? Try it out and receive 5% off your order at checkout: [URL]
10. Back-in-stock abandoned cart reminder
Great news, Zara: the HY434 Sewing Machine is now back in stock. Add it directly to your cart and check out here: [URL]
11. VIP member checkout incentive
Want VIP access to our newest products and biggest discounts, Ami? Complete your order today and automatically join our VIP group: [URL]
12. Flash sale abandoned cart notification
Items in your shopping cart have just been discounted for 24 hours! Don't pass up these big savings, Mike – revisit your cart here: [URL]
13. Exclusive promo code or coupon incentive
Exclusive offer just for you, Chris! Complete your purchase online and get 15% off. Enter promo code 15 at checkout: [URL]
14. Cross-sell or up-sell abandoned cart notification
Hey Judi, you added XP12 Hair Curlers to your shopping cart. You might also like the XP12 Assorted Curler Attachments. See them here: [URL]
Best practices for sending abandoned cart notifications
In addition to the channel-specific tips covered earlier, be sure to do the following to maximise the success of your abandoned cart campaigns:
Personalise your messages – even when using the short character limit available with SMS. Just addressing the recipient by name adds a personal touch and will grab attention.
Get the message frequency right – don’t send too quickly, as that can appear creepy, pushy, or both. But don't wait too long either; you don't want the customer to head off to a competitor.
Use action words – like 'checkout now', 'hurry' or 'save'.
Appeal to buyers' emotions – look at the product added to the cart – so if it's a beauty product, the buyer potentially wants to treat themselves – tap into that with your message.
Use images of cart items – in email and push notifications to make the invitation to purchase more enticing.
Automate your reminders – based on timing, when an item is restocked or for products where it's possible to cross-sell something else.
Deliver drip campaigns – send abandoned cart campaigns over a few days – one an hour after cart abandonment, another 24 hours later and then a third and final one 48 hours after that (try to offer a better incentive each time).
Use multiple channels for maximum visibility – try SMS or push notifications with email.
Use incentives – offer free shipping, discounts, VIP perks and other sweeteners to bring shoppers back. It doesn't necessarily have to be something of high monetary value.
Tackle abandoned carts head-on
Customers abandon their shopping carts for various reasons. However, you can reduce the number of abandoned carts (and lost sales) by ensuring your website performs well. It should be quick to load, up-to-date regarding product inventory and able to take multiple payment methods. Don't force customers to create an account, and take action when you notice items left in shopping carts by sending out automated abandoned cart reminders.
Use SMS, push notifications and email in combination and try different strategies and incentives to appeal to customers' emotions and pain points. Keep tweaking your message copy and CTAs to see which campaigns work best.
Interested in learning how abandoned cart SMS messages work with Messente? Talk to our sales team today.