Shopping Cart Abandonment: More Emails, More Patience

Shopping cart abandonment is the bane of ecommerce, and retailers try all sorts of strategies to re-engage customers who have forsaken an order. A new study by retail marketing company Listrak looked at the top 1,000 internet retailers and their use of shopping cart abandonment (SCA) campaigns . This was the fifth consecutive year that Listrak ran this study, and the main finding was that, although use of SCAs is still growing, it seems to be reaching a plateau — and well before its use has become widespread.


Here are a few of the interesting highlights of the report:

  • About 1 out of 3 top internet retailers use SCA campaigns.
  • Most Top 1,000 retailers are still only sending a single email message, but the overall ratio is dropping. The number of Top 1,000 retailers sending 4 or more SCA email messages increased in 2015 to 9.5% (up 31.9%).




  • For the first time since 2001, there was a decline in retailers sending the first retargeting email within 24 hours. In 2014 around 80% sent the message within the first day, but that number dipped to below 60% in 2015.




  • Retailers are waiting longer to offer discounts and incentives. (Providing  free or discounted shipping, for example, can sometimes entice a customer back that abandoned a cart due to “sticker shock” upon seeing the shipping and handling costs.) While more than two-thirds (75.8%) of retailers provide offers, only 17.3% offer an incentive in the first email.


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  • SCA re-engagement campaigns are still a useful tool. The average open rate for these emails (across verticals) was 24.3%, the click-through rate was 26.9%, and the conversion rate was a whopping 19.7%.


Those interested can download the entire study from Listrak. The numbers here seem to be pretty clear: There is still a lot of money being left on the table when it comes to using SCA re-engagement campaigns. Best practices are gravitating towards more emails (at least four) with discounts and incentives offered later in the sequence.

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