Emily Conyard

Basket Abandonment Guide

In 2017, 75.6% of baskets were abandoned and the majority of those were in the retail sector.

Our in-house email marketing executive, Emily, has developed a handy basket abandonment guide, which highlights the importance of re-targeting those who have failed to proceed to payment, in order to retain customers and ensure revenue is generated!


What are basket abandonment emails?

With the rise of online shopping and the competition for the best prices, customers can find their choice of purchase overwhelming. This can often result in items left at the checkout without the customer proceeding to payment.

Basket abandonment emails look to target those who have left their baskets, encouraging them to return and make a purchase. At Visualsoft, they are typically split into three emails sent at staggered send times (ranging from one hour to 7 days after the basket was left). Content focuses on highlighting the USP’s of the brand, delivery costs and reminding the customer of what they’ve left at the checkout. The overall aim is to retain the customer by recovering the basket, ensuring revenue is generated for the brand.


Why should you pay attention to them?

Despite products being left, basket abandonment emails encourage customers to review their checkout and highlight the need for them to purchase previously selected items.

Basket abandonment emails can generate a click through rate of 28.7% and a conversion rate of 5% (Omnisend, 2016) showing that, if done correctly, they can have a significant impact upon your overall revenue and purchases.


Reasons why customers may abandon their basket:

Some customers may come back after a couple of days to purchase the item they left behind. However, here are several of the most common reasons for basket abandonment:

  • Customers are just ‘browsing’ for products.
  • Comparison of prices to competitors.
  • The delivery costs associated with the product.
  • The customer decided to purchase in-store instead.
  • The customer may decide to wait until an item goes in the sale before purchasing.
  • The customer wanted to search for discount codes.


Features of a good basket abandonment email:

Basket abandonment emails are key to both remind the customer of what they’ve left and encourage them to then make that purchase.

The first key feature of an effective abandonment email is to tailor it to your brand. Feature your house colours and tone of voice to help promote brand awareness.

You can also help boost your conversion rate by offering an incentive on these emails. These range from a discount off their next order, to free next day delivery. We recommend this is left until the last abandonment email and features a unique code, as a last attempt to encourage your customer to save their basket.

In addition, highlighting your USP’s is another proven way of encouraging purchase. Do you have 5 star reviews on Trustpilot? If so, include that. Do you sell a range of high-end designers? Add that in as well. These emails are a chance for you to promote your strengths as a brand, what makes you stand out against competitors?

Lastly, a reminder of the products they left behind is a key part in recovery. Including a call to action in your email instead of a link increases your conversion rate by as much as 28%. Therefore, having a feed and strong CTA could encourage your customer to return to their basket and purchase. Ultimately, generating more revenue for your brand.


Send times:

Establishing your send times for these emails is key to finding out when your customer is most engaged. This could be 1 hour after they abandon their basket or 5 days. By altering these times and monitoring open rates, you’ll be able to maximise engagement and boost your conversion rates.

Visualsoft’s commission based basket abandonment model is tailored to retain your customers’ orders by splitting content into three baskets sent at various times throughout the day. Through personalisation and tailored content, they’ve contributed to a 280% increase in recovery emails and 250% increase in recovered revenue.

The first step with your abandoned orders is to recognise the customer’s user journey with you: are they considered new or existing? Those who have bought from you previously will have already established a relationship with you, therefore content will focus less on your USP’s and more on conversing with the customer. Whereas if they’re new, you need to really stress why they should purchase from your brand, this can be done through exclusive discounts, urgency and delivery highlights.

Likewise, the time that you send your recovery email is key to capturing maximum engagement. Your basket abandonment emails act as reminders to your customers who may have previously forgotten what they’ve left behind. Therefore you need to stagger content to ensure you’re capturing their attention, our recommendation is sending at 1 hour, 18 hours and 2 days.


Tailoring your content:

Emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and they can help improve your conversion rates by 10% (Campaign Monitor, 2016). This is due to the welcoming nature of the content, they allow your customer to feel nurtured by you. If you’ve remembered their name and tailored the content to what stage of relationship they are with your brand, (new or existing customer), then they are more likely to interact with you, therefore more likely to make a purchase as you have built up that awareness with them!

Something as simple as adding the first name into your subject line can have a massive difference on your open and click through rate. By monitoring these and amending to see the impact, you’ll be able to tailor your content based on your customers’ engagement.


How to measure your success:

You can measure your success on basket abandonment emails in a number of ways:

  • Your open and click through rate aligning with the industry average for your sector.
  • If the average recovery rate is in line with the industry average of 17.4%, meaning that your customer has recovered your basket and converted to purchase.
  • Ensuring your mode of communication is strong through brand awareness.
  • Your customer has chosen to contact you through the basket abandonment email suggesting that they’ve read your content and chosen to act upon this.



Looking for additional help with your Basket Abandonment emails? Our Email team know their stuff! Get in touch via [email protected] or call 01642 988416.

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