The Importance of Abandonment Emails
||By Adam | 3 Jul 2015 10:00:00
If you run your own eCommerce website you should probably be making use of abandonment emails. If you aren't, I'm going to talk about them in this blog post and why it is that they are so important. Calling them 'abandonment' emails makes them sound a like something which is terribly dramatic, but it's actually nothing like that. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, an abandonment email is essentially just an email which is sent to a customer who took the first few steps towards making a purchase, but then abandoned the sale.
There are lots of reasons a customer might abandon their sale: maybe they're internet connection failed and they gave up, maybe they got a telephone call from a friend and decided to focus on that instead, maybe they remembered they've got to have some repairs done on their car and thought it would be best to save money for the time being. The point is that there are a huge number of reasons that somebody might abandon their sale but still be interested in buying from you. Abandonment emails are a great way of making sure these people come back.
If somebody did abandon their purchase and you run a small and independent website, they might not come back to finish it, because they might not visit your website very frequently and they could have easily forgotten. Maybe they had almost finished the transaction, but cancelled at the last minute and didn't realise it hadn't gone through. In these cases, the abandonment email will be greatly appreciated and the customer is likely to proceed with their purchase. Even if they changed their mind half way through and have no intention of continuing with the sale, an abandonment email isn't likely to bother them and may even encourage them to have another look around.
What may be a good idea is to include a little optional survey in the abandonment emails so that customers can tell you why it is that they didn't go through with the transaction. Not everyone will do it, but some will and this will be very helpful. If, for example, a lot of people write in the survey that they abandoned their transaction because they got timed out half way through and couldn't be bothered to continue, it's quite possible that your website is timing people out before they have time to fill in their details (which could happen with less computer-savvy users) so then you could take steps to increase the period of time people can remain on a page before being timed out. This would enhance the customer experience and, therefore, hopefully also increase sales!
So, if you aren't using abandonment emails on your eCommerce website, then you should probably try to implement them soon, if possible. You stand to gain a lot by making good use of them.