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Hope for Abandoned Carts: Retargeting Strategies to Reconnect


We've all been there. We go through the motions of making an online purchase but abandon our carts before completing the action. Why? Maybe we were comparison shopping between one online brand and another. Perhaps we wanted to compare total costs with shipping to a brick-and-mortar store price. Maybe we were putting items in our carts on the last few minutes of our lunch break and will return later - if we remember to, that is.

​But as an online business, we don't want to let an abandoned cart be the end of our relationship with our customers. After all, they showed interest in us. And an interested customer is more efficient to convert than attracting a cold lead. So, what can we do to help potential customers put their trust in us and complete their purchase? Let's dive into what's holding them back and strategies to help them overcome those obstacles.


What’s Holding Your Customers Back

Customers abandon their carts for all sorts of reasons. Baymard Institute research reports total cart abandonment rates to be around 70%. Furthermore, their research uncovered the top ten reasons beyond the 48% who say they are “just browsing and unready to commit.” They are:

  • High extra costs (shipping, taxes, fees)​
  • ​Requirements to create an account at checkout
  • ​Not trusting the site with credit card information
  • ​Slow delivery
  • ​A lengthy or complicated checkout process
  • ​Unclear order totals
  • ​Unsatisfactory return policy
  • ​Website errors
  • ​Insufficient payment methods
  • ​Declined credit card

You can increase your sales online by resolving many customer hesitations through a better checkout experience. According to the report, a business could improve conversions by 35.26% with a streamlined checkout process.


The Best Defense Is a Good Offense

Go on the offensive and create a user-friendly checkout process to reduce friction. You can review the list above and determine how to tweak your current setup for a better customer experience. For example, would a “Guest Checkout” option work better for more of your customers than having them create an account?


A Good Defense: Retargeting

You'll continue to experience cart abandonment and to succeed you’ll need to implement one of the leading defensive strategies. But what can you do if you already have a pretty stellar checkout process? And how can you entice those customers who are just browsing or noncommittal? If you want to convert abandoned online shoppers, focusing on retargeting ads is essential.


Understanding Your Customers

Understand who your dream customers are so that you can target them better. There could have been a mismatch between your brand messaging and target customers. Maybe your targeting was on track, but now you must dive deeper into who abandoned their carts and what was in them.

​Try segmenting your customers to find similarities and patterns. Segmentation also helps you hyper-personalize the user experience, which customers are looking for nowadays. For example, sector according to cart value, checkout solution (i.e., payment method, shipping discounts), or customer.


Time to Retarget

The most effective way to win over cart abandoners is with savvy retargeting ads. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest make great vehicles for these promotions.

Various advertisements can display previously viewed products and services, as well as other recommended items and best sellers. A good marketing funnel software turns your ads into a powerful tool that pulls customers through to the appropriate product or service pages, prompting the desired outcomes.

Run retargeting ads to your website visitors/cart abandoners for up to seven days to encourage them to return and take up the lead magnet again. Use dynamic ads to hyper-personalize showcased material and improve click-through rates.

​Consider segmenting your retargeting ads like many effective marketers do:

  • By customer: Differentiate new and returning customers. Offer first-time customers a welcome discount. Reward loyal customers with a personalized message to make them feel valued.
  • ​By product: Showcase similar products that are your best sellers.
  • ​By cart value: Tailor the experience by adjusting your messaging and design based on a customer’s cart value.

Any way you segment your ads, you will reach customers in a personal way that fits their wants and needs.


Retargeting Best Practices

Effectively appeal to your audience and compel them to purchase by using the three closures throughout retargeting campaigns. These closures drive them into action:

  • Emotion
  • ​Logic
  • ​Fear (urgency/scarcity)

Create retargeting ads ahead of time to minimize your efforts. It's similar to creating soap opera sequences inside follow-up funnels.

Zero in on those needing retargeting messaging by placing a pixel–a block of tracking code–on your sales funnels. It'll track the customer journey and optimize advertising efforts.

Use prospecting ads to generate leads and sales upfront. Focus on filling target audiences, including social following lists, to engage new followers and retarget audiences for better conversion rates.

​Remember how effective email marketing is, and use it in your retargeting efforts. Emails present an excellent opportunity to personalize messages using your customer's name and browsing history. Follow up with at least three emails sent at 1-hour, 24-hour, and 72-hour intervals after cart abandonment.


Abandoned Carts Present Opportunities

Digital marketers should first simplify their purchase process to prevent the friction that causes users to abandon their carts in the first place.

​Cart abandonment will still happen as shoppers browse but don't commit. However, online businesses can significantly reduce abandonment rates and gain loyal customers with retargeting campaigns.


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