A customer, say, John, comes into your store, looks at a bunch of products, adds them to his cart, goes to checkout, and then clicks off before completing a purchase. Now that full cart is just sitting there, mocking you, hinting at what could have been. What do you do? Ignore it?

The cart abandonment problem

John’s situation is not unique. Not even by a long shot. Cart abandonment is an insidious problem in e-commerce. Seven in ten customers click off and leave items in their carts. Following up with these abandoned carts can help you claw back some of that revenue. Klaviyo notes that you can claw back 3%-14% of lost sales with a simple follow-up email.

3%- 14% is a decent chunk of change. If you follow up on all the carts that are abandoned every year, that cash really starts to add up.

If you sell pricey items, skip the automated email altogether and call the customer. The human touch works wonders. Leave a message if they don’t pick up. If you don’t have the customer’s number, you can always send an email. But remember to personalize it. Nothing is unappealing as a generic email blast, especially when there are hundreds and maybe even thousands of dollars on the line.

Pick up the phone and make the call. The customer has already left your store. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Why not do it?

How to go about it

You shouldn’t send the art abandonment email or make the call the moment a customer clicks off. He could just be doing something else and plans to return. Wait a couple of hours at least although a day is best. If the customer doesn’t return in 24 hours, then it’s acceptable to make contact. Wait too short a time and it would be creepy, too long and it would be pointless.

What to say

For the best results, always make it about the customer, not yourself. Cart abandonment happens for a lot of reasons, the most prominent ones being additional fees. Ask the customer how you can help, if they encountered any problems at checkout, have any questions, and what you can do to improve.

You should also offer additional value. Tell the customer about your user guarantees. Things like free shipping, your no-frills return policy, BNPL plans, and the like. If you do your job right, you won’t even need to ask him if he wants to complete the purchase. The hints are all there.