Your customer has abandoned their shopping cart; can you still turn things around? Shopping cart abandonment frequently happens, with 90% of online shoppers not completing the order process after putting items in their carts. Abandoned shopping carts may still present a good sales conversion opportunity — with some useful recovery strategies.  

Email Marketing vs. Conversational SMS

Email and SMS are the two most common means used to steer a customer back towards completing their order. However, the reason why a customer abandoned their shopping cart will determine which strategy will have a better chance of changing the customer’s mind. 

Tinuiti’s shopping cart abandonment statistics revealed that:

  • 68% of online shoppers abandon their carts

  • 61% of consumers are “at least somewhat likely” to abandon their carts if free shipping is not offered

  • 43% of shoppers abandon their carts because shipping fees were too high

  • 41% of abandoned carts are made by people who are not currently ready to purchase the product

  • 27% wanted to compare prices against competitor websites

  • 25% of shoppers who changed their minds thought the product’s price was too high

  • 23% abandon their carts after being prompted to create an account

  • 13% were worried about card security

  • 12% reported that the checkout process was complicated

  • 8% said they couldn’t find the voucher

Out of the 68% of abandoned carts, 63% are recoverable. Choosing which recovery strategy to adopt is crucial to increasing your chances of nudging a customer towards the preferable direction. 

Email Marketing: When Does It Work?

You can’t possibly address all the reasons a customer abandoned their cart via a simple “Don’t forget your shopping cart” email, and addressing why they didn’t complete their purchase is key to turning things around. Most consumers don’t even bother opening marketing emails before deleting them or marking them as spam.

Email marketing is ideal for customers who meet any of the following characteristics:

  • A loyal brand follower

  • Expressed an interest to receive promos and offers via email

  • Engaged with your brand through your website or any of your social pages

Your email marketing analytics should inform you which type of email messaging gets the most attention, i.e., are opened the most, from your customers. You may also look at your social media analytics to figure out which types of posts get the most engagement. And then, use this information to formulate a cart recovery email to which your customers will most likely respond.

Successful email marketing is often closely tied with having a solid customer base, as this means that most of your customers actually want to hear from you — even via email. Email marketing is an ideal strategy if:

  • You have a solid lead nurturing email marketing program.

  • Your email marketing campaign has strong, proven content that drives website visits.

  • Email marketing is only one part of your overall marketing strategy.

  • You have categorized your customers according to their interests.

  • You use email marketing and other types of communication with customers to track data and gain target market insights.

Sending out automated cart abandonment recovery emails may not be an effective strategy if:

  • Your emails are not customized according to different customers’ interests

  • You’ve only been using email for random product announcements and offers

  • You only do email blasts occasionally for major product launches or events

  • You only reach out to potential customers when you are struggling to find new leads 

  • You only use email to contact customers who have abandoned carts 

SMS Marketing: When Is It An Effective Strategy?

It's easy to customize SMS marketing to be more conversational, and it opens the door to two-way communication. This means your customer is more likely to engage with you and respond to your message, and you’ll be able to address the specific issue that made them change their mind about completing their purchase. 

Conversational SMS marketing gives your customer a more personal experience, allows you to build a relationship with them, and nurtures them to be more loyal customers. When they engage with you, there’s a higher chance that you’ll be able to turn things around and convince them to go back to their abandoned shopping cart. You should opt for SMS marketing if:

  • You’re looking to build a relationship with your customers and nurture customer trust.

  • You want to show your customers empathy and let them know that you care about their needs.

  • You are interested in finding out why a customer abandoned their cart and are willing to find a solution for them.

  • You have a dedicated program for shopping cart abandonment recovery via SMS communication, which means you have a team that’s ready to respond promptly to each customer’s specific needs.

  • SMS marketing is your primary tool to increase conversion rates, i.e., you have a solid and dedicated SMS marketing strategy.

SMS marketing may not work if:

  • Your SMS communication only consists of a standard automated template sent out via an automated platform

  • You’ll be sending text messages in bulk or essentially sending out spam text messages

  • You don’t have a team that can actually respond to your customers when they reply to your message/s

  • You’re not interested in discovering why your customer did not complete a purchase or getting feedback about their shopping experience. 

Final Thoughts: Between Email and SMS, Which One Is Better?

You will have to use both to find out which strategy delivers the higher conversion rate. And then, you can focus on the one that performs better and improve on the other. 

In terms of addressing customers’ needs which, as we mentioned, is key to abandoned shopping cart recovery, SMS marketing offers a better opportunity to actively and personally engage with your customers. Allocating a bigger marketing budget to your SMS marketing program will be worth your while — as long as you have a solid conversion strategy and you are committed to engaging with your customers promptly.