How big brands send abandoned cart emails [Case study]

How big brands send abandoned cart emails

When it comes to abandoned cart emails, you have two main pillars to rest on: abandoned cart email studies and learning from big brands. Today I want to share details of a small email marketing case; everybody writes on how we should actually send emails, but I wondered how big brands were using abandoned cart emails at the moment. If you’re interested in the results, please proceed to the article.

How to get abandoned cart emails for your own case study

To see how big brands send abandoned cart emails, I needed to emulate shoppers’ behavior.
Here’s the scenario I followed for 40 e-commerce shops, and basically you can use these steps to conduct your own experiment if you need to investigate competitors’ abandoned cart email strategy:

  1. Create a new account
  2. Don’t forget to subscribe to all newsletters and emails – otherwise there’ll be a chance you won’t receive an abandoned cart email
  3. Add an item or items to the shopping cart
  4. Abandon ship. Just leave the store without making a purchase
  5. Write down the time and date when you filled the cart and abandoned it
  6. Write down the time and date of any abandoned cart email your receive
  7. Count in any email mentioning abandoned cart/basket. Ignore emails just with promo codes or regular sales messages. Carefully check all the folders in your email account, including the spam not to miss any messages.
  8. Wait. I waited for 1 month.
Note: the following email case study does not exactly represent the settings of a particular shop. We can analyze what we see, but in reality the time of getting an abandoned cart email may be not the same as the time of sending it. What is more, due to various reasons not all of the messages reach their recipients.

Getting the list of shops to receive emails from

Here’s the list of 40 shops I registered at. Most of them were taken from top Alexa websites on Shopping:

zappos.com

asos.com

casper.com

dx.com

ikea.com

mothercare.com

lego.com

disneystore.com

converse.com

nike.com

petsmart.com

michaels.com

bananarepublic.com

jcrew.com

gap.com

staples.com

macys.com

victoriassecret.com

nordstrom.com

walmart.com

homedepot.com

newegg.com

aeropostale.com

blair.com

Jcpenney.com

sears.com

6pm.com

hm.com

bhphotovideo.com

sephora.com

rei.com

marksandspencer.com

iherb.com

llbean.com

ralphlauren.com

backcountry.com

anthropologie.com

modcloth.com

potterybarn.com

williams-sonoma.com

I know that 40 shops is probably not enough for a large scale study, but here I specifically wanted to see how big brands send abandoned cart emails, and they are definitely not a majority as their number is very small compared to the number of working e-shops total.

Abandoned cart emails statistics

Now let’s move to the results I’ve got.

  • From 40 shops, only 11 sent me abandoned cart emails.
  • I received 17 emails total.
  • Only 4 shops sent me more than 1 email.
  • 100% of abandoned cart emails were sent 1 PM – 9.30 PM.
  • 76% of emails came to me 5 PM – 21.30 PM (however, you must take into consideration that they may be hooked to the time you actually registered or abandoned cart).
  • Only 2 shops sent me 3 emails each.
  • 2 shops sent me 2 emails each.
  • 7 shops sent me 1 email each.
  • 3 shops sent me emails within 24 hours.
  • 5 shops sent me emails the next day. Others sent emails later.
  • The fastest abandoned cart email came to me within 2 hours.
  • The last abandoned cart email came to me after 6 days, thus, all the sent emails were received withing a week, and I’ve got no abandoned cart emails later.
  • 9 emails contained recommended or ‘you might also like’ sections, and most of them looked like personalized ones.
  • Only 1 email contained ‘people also viewed’ section.
  • Only 1 email contained a discount.

Here’s a chart to describe these stats for your better understanding:

Abandoned-cart-email

Excerpts

Well, you don’t have a lot of opportunities to make your abandoned cart email stand out, because it’s a short one, so the key factors here are the title, creative wording inside and a decent call to action (which is basically a button that leads to the shopping cart). And, sure, a link to the ready shopping cart. If the customer follows the link and sees a home page, he’ll leave your store. Learn more about reducing cart abandonment in our article Cart Abandonment: Is It the End or Just the Beginning?
Here are just a few elegant tips I’d like to point out:

Title

I loved the series of 3 emails from Converse with the following headlines:

  1. We got you.
  2. We still got you.
  3. Last Call: 20% Off Your Saved Order

ModCloth.com were also rather creative with their Warning: Unattended items in your bag may be eaten by gnomes headline.

Wording

Staples know that too simple ‘you have left something in your bag’ doesn’t make your letter stand out from the crowd:

staples-abandoned-cart-emails-wording

We know that the sense of urgency is essential; and most of the merchants add information about it: like ‘available today, may be gone tomorrow’ or ‘I’m going back on the shelf soon’. But Converse decided not to hurry its customers:

Converse abandon cart emails

What can you do?

Want to implement some of these strategies? Have a look at Magento Abandoned Cart Email:

Increase your conversion rate by motivating customers to recover their abandoned carts. Send mass cart reminders, easily customize email templates and generate coupons to encourage visitors come back to your store.

  • Create unlimited number of flexible rules
  • Use customizable sending schedule
  • Easily create and edit email templates
  • Automatically generate coupons
  • Track sending history

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Ksenia Dobreva

Ksenia Dobreva

Ksenia is a devoted marketer with special love to blogging. She believes that content with several pinches of SEO and social can be a brilliant daily special. When she’s not working on Amasty updates and blog posts, Ksenia runs a blog on movies and books and helps animal shelters.

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2 Responses

  1. John G. says:

    This is great study! Store owner can get some valuable info on here I think. I’m curious what is best or recommend of those 1) How many email should send 2) What time is best 3) How much hour or day after abandon 4) If coupon code use, how much expire date or time work most (I will def try your extension when I start abandon email strategy)

    • Ksenia Dobreva Ksenia Dobreva says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      First of all, I feel it’s important to point out these recommendations are very general as we don’t know your audience, niche, your abandoned cart rate, etc. From this perspective, it’s not fair to give you exact numbers 😉

      Thus, I would recommend doing:

      1) Pick your direct competitors and conduct the same study.
      2) Do the same with big brands that are the closest to you.
      3) You may want to google some particular abandoned cart email statistics to adjust your strategy.
      4) Measure what you have now to know where you’re going to move.
      5) Merge the data you’ve got from stats and your own studies and set your campaign.
      6) Test, test, test! The best answers will come from this. Recommendations can get you pretty close, but it’s only ground for a start, details will be available after you run your abandoned cart email campaign.

      Hope that helps.

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