Online shopping is revolutionizing the retail industry. Now, more than ever, consumers are turning to their laptops to make purchasing decisions. With retailers aware that their brick and mortar stores and USPS mailed coupons are having less of an impact on consumers, they are looking for other ways to stake their claim in the industry. As consumers, you and I are always looking for ways to save money. This is where the concept of online shopping cart abandonment comes into play.
What is Shopping Cart Abandonment?
Every time you go to a retail website and decide you want to purchase a product the first step you take is adding it to your cart. Your online cart serves the same purpose that a physical shopping cart would in the real world. As you continue to shop online you add more and more items to your shopping cart. Just as you would if you were walking through a store and placing more items in your real shopping cart.
Let’s say you’re doing some online shopping at work. Oops! Your boss walks over and you quickly close all of your tabs to avoid having him see what you’re “working on”. You’ve just abandoned your shopping cart. You fully intend to return to online shopping when he walks away but he gives you a giant project with an unrealistic deadline and you are forced to forget about your shopping cart.
How This Affects Retailers
Your boss’s interruption is a huge problem for retailers. In fact, a recent study showed that over 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned. That’s right, for every 100 online shoppers a store has, 67 of them decide they don’t want to make their purchase immediately. Online retailers are losing trillions of dollars each year because you and I forget we put items in our virtual shopping carts.
So, what are retailers doing to try and keep people from abandoning their shopping carts?
Email Recovery Campaigns
As a consumer, email recovery campaigns are going to become your new best friend. Knowing that most consumers abandon their cart before completing their purchase, companies have come up with ways to get you back to their website to complete your purchase. If the company has your email address, they can send you targeted email campaigns encouraging you to complete your purchase. Often times these campaigns include coupons for you. I’ve seen coupons ranging from free delivery to 50% off your purchase.
The Longer Your Cart is Empty, The More You Can Save
Recently, I discovered an online resume building service. Intrigued by what they had to offer, I decided to take a look around their website, and add a package to my cart. Not quite ready to pull the trigger and go through with my purchase, I abandoned my cart. The images below show their abandoned cart email campaign.
Immediately after I abandoned my cart: No discount
One Week after I abandoned my cart: 25% off
Two Weeks after I abandoned my cart: 35% off
There you have it, had I not waited, and just gone through with my purchase immediately, I would have spent an extra 35%. Which, in this case, would have been an extra $100. Having patience and waiting it out saved me some serious money!
Where Shopping Cart Abandonment Works Best
As you’ve probably guessed, abandoning your shopping cart doesn’t work all of the time. There are certain companies, or rather, certain types of retailers with which this shopping trick works best. Because every store has their own marketing strategy, some companies offer bigger discounts than others.
The Amazon Effect
Stores that have to compete with Amazon are going to have a higher chance of offering an abandoned cart discount. Think about it, if you can get anything you want on Amazon, why would you buy it anywhere else? Because you can find a discount! Consumers and businesses alike know that Amazon rarely, if ever, offers discounts. What does that mean for you? At this point, don’t expect to see any discounts in your inbox from your abandoned Amazon cart.
Consumers and businesses alike know that Amazon rarely, if ever, offers discounts. What does that mean for you? Don’t expect to see any discounts in your inbox from your abandoned Amazon cart. But do use your knowledge of Amazon’s impact on retail to your advantage. If a brand is losing more of their market share to Amazon, there’s a good chance they will do everything in their power to keep you as a customer. Often, that means you can expect abandoned cart discounts.
Which stores (Reportedly) Offer Recovery Email Discounts?
Keep in mind, companies are constantly adjusting their marketing strategies. This is, by no means, a comprehensive, or 100% accurate list. However, according to Reddit, these stores have, at some point, experimented with recovery email campaigns.
Discounts for New Customers Only
Some retailers only offer recovery email discounts to new customers. So, if you’ve shopped with a company before, you probably shouldn’t expect to see an abandoned shopping cart discount. But, as with everything, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. So try it out with a company you frequently shop, you never know when they’ll send you a discount code.
Other Ways to Save Online
If you don’t receive an abandoned shopping cart email discount, there are other ways to save online. My favorite Google Chrome extension is Honey. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars this year alone by using Honey. Honey searches the web for online coupon codes and automatically tries them all so that you can easily score the best deal online.
Not only do you save money immediately with coupon codes. Honey also gives you cash back for every purchase. Just today I redeemed a $10 Amazon Gift Card from Honey because I’ve earned that much in cash back. Check my review for more information on how I use Honey to my advantage.
Be sure to comment below if you’ve ever received an abandoned shopping cart email discount. How much was it for? What company? How long did you wait before you received it?