WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Recovery
Ideally, when a customer adds a product from your WooCommerce store to their cart, they’ll purchase it shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes customers add items to their carts and then leave your site, going days, weeks, or even months without completing their purchases.
That’s where abandoned cart recovery comes into the picture. This process reminds customers about the items they’ve left behind, and encourages them to return to your store and finish checking out. With the right strategies, you can capitalize on the lead generation you’ve already done rather than losing potential customers.
This guide will teach you more about what abandoned carts are, and how you can use them to reel customers back in. We’ll also share ten plugins that can help you start the abandoned cart recovery process in WooCommerce. Let’s get to work!
What Is an Abandoned Cart?
In short, an abandoned cart is the result of a customer visiting your online store, adding one or more products to their virtual cart, and then leaving without making a purchase. It can also refer to situations where customers add items to their carts and then go for a prolonged period of time without checking out, even if they don’t technically leave the site.
While abandoned carts obviously aren’t ideal, they’re not the worst thing that could happen. After all, you’ve already succeeded at the hard work of drawing visitors into your store and getting them interested in your products. All you need to do now is encourage them to follow through with the checkout process.
This is where abandoned carts become useful tools instead of annoyances. They’re opportunities for you to secure more sales, without having to start from the beginning of the process. Instead, you can re-engage customers who have abandoned their carts with a few easy techniques.
Why Do People Abandon Their Carts?
The key to getting your potential customers to stop abandoning their carts is to understand why they do it in the first place. While there are many reasons consumers might abandon their carts, research indicates that 63 percent of shoppers point to shipping costs as a primary factor. This might be due to encountering unexpected fees, or higher costs than they were anticipating. Other common reasons shoppers abandon their carts are:
- Forced account creation before checking out
- Payment security concerns
- Long or confusing checkout process
- Unexpected (real-world) distractions
- Lack of payment options
- Unfriendly return policy
- Poor mobile checkout experience
Additionally, different industries have been found to experience varied rates of cart abandonment. What’s more, when you look at abandonment rates on mobile devices, you’ll see that they tend to be higher than on any other type of device.
Ultimately, the checkout process is a multi-step process that unfortunately comes with many opportunities for consumers to get frustrated or change their minds. Some of these situations can’t be easily fixed—you can’t keep a shopper from getting distracted by a nosy friend or a puppy with a small bladder, for example. But many of these reasons for shopping cart abandonment can be addressed.
How to Recover Abandoned Carts (5 Methods)
Some level of cart abandonment is inevitable for an online store. Fortunately, there are several ways you can work to recover some of those consumers, and convert them into loyal customers. Let’s look at five key techniques you may want to implement for your WooCommerce store.
1. Offer Free or Discounted Shipping
Like we previously mentioned, cost of shipping is the number one reason online shoppers abandon their carts at checkout.
If your margins support it, offer free or discounted shipping (bonus tip: create a minimum order threshold to receive free shipping to increase your average order value).
2. Allow Guest Checkout
Forced account creation often discourages shoppers from finishing their checkout. Allowing guest checkouts will likely decrease your abandonment rate. If the number of accounts is really important for your business, offer an incentive after checkout for account creation, like a free digital download or expedited shipping.
3. Offer Multiple Payment Options
To make it easier for your customers to checkout, you’ll need to create flexible options for payment. Try offering multiple payment options and make sure your site has an up-to-date SSL certificate and other security indicators. To learn more about payment options for WooCommerce, check out this article, Top 4 WooCommerce Payment Gateways.
4. Send Abandoned Cart Emails
One of the first recovery approaches you can consider is sending out abandoned cart emails. These emails go to would-be shoppers who placed items into their carts, but did not complete the checkout process.
In fact, abandoned cart emails have proven to be highly successful. One study shows that half of the recipients who interact with this type of email content ultimately make a purchase. This means that out of the reported 46 percent of recipients who open the email, around 50 percent of them click through and make a purchase.
Later, we’ll look at some helpful plugins that can automate the abandoned cart email process. The statistics show that this particular tactic has a strong rate of return, so it’s highly recommended for most online stores..
5. Add Shoppers to an Email Nurture Campaign
In addition to specific abandonment emails, adding shoppers to a larger email nurturing campaign or strategy is another key tactic. An email list is an excellent form of direct communication with customers, and enables you to keep your business ‘on the radar’ of your target audience.
After all, not all consumers want to use social media for retail engagement. Additionally, email communication gives you complete control over how your content will appear to customers. Sending out periodic updates and letting your list know about new products and deals is an excellent way to bring reluctant shoppers back in.
6. Remarket Shoppers With Facebook Messenger
Facebook opened up its messaging app to outside developers in 2016. Now, there are many ways that app can be used for eCommerce, including various opportunities for remarketing and retargeting. This means you can automate messages to shoppers based on specific actions they take through Facebook:
Considering that Facebook has 2.45 billion active monthly users, there are a lot of potential customers that you can access through Messenger. Users have to opt-in to receiving messages, but once they do there are a number of different ways you can use the feature. The good news is that Facebook Messenger is highly effective at engaging users, with an 88 percent open rate and a 56 percent Click-Through Rate (CTR).
7. Send Shoppers Push Notifications
Push notifications are something most mobile users are familiar with, and many even rely on. These notifications tell users when they have a new text message, but also give them a heads-up when there’s something going on with one of their applications.
Push notifications can also be implemented for desktop browsers, adding a helpful tool to your cart recovery toolkit. Since the notifications are sent in real-time, they provide a unique opportunity to interact with your shoppers at a pivotal point in their customer journeys.
In other words, you can use push notifications to remind customers about your business when they’re in danger of abandoning their carts forever. Additionally, because push notifications are delivered through the browser, you can obtain a lot of data about them for segmentation and other marketing purposes.
8. Add Social Proof to the Cart Page
Social proof is a powerful psychological concept when used in marketing. Among other things, it employs the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) feeling people tend to get when they see all of their friends enjoying something, and they want to enjoy it too:
Including social proof on your shopping cart page can have a positive impact on consumer decisions. Whether it’s a testimonial, a feed of complementary Tweets, or a snapshot of how many people are currently looking at a specific item, these elements can create a sense of urgency within your shoppers. Social proof can also help to improve credibility for your company and website.
WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Recovery Plugins
So, how are you meant to implement the techniques we’ve described? While you can employ some of them manually, it’s much more effective to use the right tools. With that in mind, let’s look at ten abandoned cart recovery plugins, which can help you encourage customers to come back and check out.
One staple of the abandoned cart recovery process is the notification email – an automated message that reminds customers when they’ve left products in their virtual carts. Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce enables you to send those emails as soon as one hour after a cart was abandoned.
Plus, you can send them both to returning customers and to guests who have entered their email addresses on your site. This feature works out of the box, as the plugin includes a default email template you can use. Alternatively, you can also create your own customized templates if you prefer.
In addition to sending these reminder emails, Abandoned Cart Lite also provides valuable data. You can see which products customers have abandoned, for example, and compare the total value of your abandoned orders to that of your recovered orders. Plus, this plugin is free to use.
The Abandoned Cart Pro for WooCommerce plugin brings a whole suite of tools together in one place, all geared towards improving your cart abandonment rate. Many of the techniques listed earlier are made easier with this plugin.
That includes setting up automated emails, sending text messages, and remarketing with Facebook Messenger. Another benefit of this plugin is that you can set up these actions for customers who are logged in, as well as for guest customers. You can get a single store license for $119 annually.
This WooCommerce Follow-Ups plugin was developed by the WooCommerce team, and comes with many highly-customizable features. That includes templates for emails, coupons, newsletters, and more. Customers crave personalized experiences, and you can give them that with the personalized coupon feature.
For $99, you can get started with a single store license. You’ll have thousands of trigger action combinations to work with for setting up automation rules. You can also integrate this tool easily with Google Analytics, and get even more value out of your marketing data. Additionally, the plugin comes with many built-in tracking and data-gathering features.
YITH WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart provides email notifications that are similar to those available with Abandoned Cart Lite. You can configure how long the plugin should wait after a cart is abandoned before sending a notification, and customize the sender, subject, and content of the email.
A key difference between this plugin and Abandoned Cart Lite is that this one doesn’t provide data on your abandoned products or recovered revenue. If you’re looking for a simpler tool that handles messages without all the frills, this one may do the job.
It is worth noting that reviews are mixed, however. So you may want to test this one out thoroughly before adding it to your live site.
If you’d like a more comprehensive solution, Metorik – Reports & Email Automation for WooCommerce provides a variety of automated emails and reports related to several key aspects of your eCommerce store. It generates detailed cart reports showing not only abandoned carts, for example, but open and placed orders as well.
You can also see product category sales reports, launch a subscription service, and access various customer service tools. Plus, Metorik will send automated emails to customers with abandoned carts, as well as to high-value purchasers, new customers, and a variety of other unique users.
It’s important to note that you’ll need a Metorik account to use all of this plugin’s features. Plans start at $20 per month for stores with 100 orders or less.
Jilt for WooCommerce is an email-marketing focused plugin that sends automated messages for abandoned cart recovery, new customer welcome campaigns, post-purchase follow-ups, and more. The plugin also provides starter content that you can use to create a customized email series with a visual builder.
Additionally, this plugin collects data on cart abandonment rates and revenue, so you can track both successful and incomplete purchases. You can use that information to improve your checkout process and future email marketing campaigns.
You will need a Jilt account in order to use the plugin, but you can choose to use the free plan if you like. Paid plans start at $29 per month, and increase in cost depending on the number of customers you email each month.
For a more complete marketing tool that includes abandoned cart recovery features, you can check out CM Commerce for WooCommerce. In addition to sending automated abandoned cart recovery emails, you can use it to generate follow-up messages and receipts for your customers.
This plugin will also help you track conversion data, collect and display product reviews, and gather customer feedback to help you improve your online store. You can manage everything from your CM Commerce dashboard, so your data and campaigns will stay organized.
This is another plugin requiring an account to access its tools. You can sign up for a free CM account for 30 days. After that, pricing is dependent on the number of customers you will be sending messages to. For example, if you are working with a list of 500 customers, you can get the starter plan for 5,000 emails at $9 per month.
CartBack is a plugin designed specifically to tie together your WooCommerce store and Facebook Messenger. Its features are geared towards recapturing shoppers who have abandoned their carts before checking out.
This plugin enables you to connect your business Facebook page to your WooCommerce store and send messages to customers. You can create personalized messages, automated messages, and more. You’ll also be able to gain insight from built-in analytics features.
The plugin is $89, and includes six months of support from the developer as well as future updates. A newer feature also enables you to add a Send to Messenger button on your website using WordPress shortcodes.
Push Monkey Pro is a plugin dedicated to delivering browser-based push notifications for desktop and mobile users. Primarily designed to alert readers when new content is available, its integration with WooCommerce now makes this plugin a powerful remarketing tool.
When used for notifications in the Chrome browser, you can also include images, creating an even more enticing marketing message for customers. You will need to create a free PushMonkey account to get started. The plugin enables you to connect your website to the PushMonkey servers where your notifications are sent from.
All of the features are available for free, up until you reach a certain number of subscribers. Plans start at $19 per month for 2,000 subscribers.
WP Real-Time Social-Proof can help you bring a highly-engaging marketing tool to your checkout process. You can create real-time social proof pop-ups that motivate your customers to join the bandwagon, and not miss out on items other people are enjoying
This is a plugin that does not require a third-party account, and can be set up quickly. It is compatible with WooCommerce right out of the box. Additionally, you can configure it to display pop-ups on certain posts and pages, and exclude them from other portions of your website.
The free plugin comes with quite a few features, but if you want more integration options and advanced functionality, you’ll need to upgrade to the Essential package for $57 per year. This covers one website, but none of the ‘pro’ add-ons. If you need to use this on more websites and want the extra add-ons, the Premium plan is only $77 annually.
How Do Abandoned Cart Emails Impact the Digital Experience?
The primary purpose of abandoned cart emails is to get customers to return to your store and complete their purchases. However, they can also provide additional benefits if you craft them carefully.
Like other marketing emails, abandoned cart notifications are a chance to engage with your customers and promote your brand. By using a plugin to create customized emails featuring your branding and your consumers’ personal information, you can build trust with your customer base.
Customers abandon their carts for all sorts of reasons, including simple forgetfulness. They may appreciate your reminder about the products they’ve left behind but still need. Plus, by re-engaging absent customers and reminding them about your store, you could land additional sales.
Start Your Abandoned Cart Recovery Process With WP Engine
As experts in providing a quality digital experience, here at WP Engine we’re prepared to equip you with the tools and skills you’ll need to better engage your customers. Our Resource Center also provides high-quality advice on a variety of eCommerce topics, including a complete guide to WooCommerce.
For even more support, you can check out our WordPress hosting plans. Each includes features that are capable of taking your eCommerce store to the next level, and providing your customers with an unforgettable digital experience!