Why Your Cart Abandonment Strategy Needs To Get Emotional

Last updated on June 16, 2021

If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur, then you’ll almost definitely have dealt with cart abandonment at some point in your business. It’s a crucial part of your ecommerce marketing strategy, and one that requires constant finessing to make sure you’re getting the most from it.

If your cart abandonment strategy isn’t getting the positive returns you’d expect from it, it might be time to pull at your customers’ heartstrings and get emotional.

Here’s the how and the why of getting emotional.

Choosing the heart over the head

Every good marketer knows that emotions play a big role in marketing. By reaching out and appealing to a person’s feelings, brands can break down barriers and compel their consumers to take action. While the sales-driven approach has its place, connecting with your customers through emotion is where you’ll really reap the rewards. In the words of salesman and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar:

“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

If you try to reason logically with your customers, you might see a modicum of success by giving them objective reasons to buy your product. But when you appeal to a person’s emotions, you’re appealing to them as a human being. In doing so, you cut through to what really drives them, making it easier to compel them to act.

And research supports this too. Studies show that a person’s emotional response to an advert affects their purchase decision more so than the content of the advert itself. So while your ad might provide a blow-by-blow account of why your product beats your competitors’, if it isn’t delivered with an emotional charge, it’ll ultimately fall flat.

Injecting emotion into your cart abandonment strategy

Your cart abandonment strategy should be one of your top ecommerce priorities. A study by the Baymard Institute claims that carts are abandoned at a rate of 68.63% every year. That’s a staggering number of missed sales!

There are myriad reasons why consumers neglect to commit to their purchase, including a confusing checkout process, no express shipping option, or an unanticipated shipping cost, to name but a few. Having a cart abandonment strategy in place means you can chase up on these missed sales and maximize your profits.

But simply sending a polite email to your dithering customers reminding them about their abandoned purchase isn’t enough. Today’s consumers are marketing-savvy and have a plethora of e-tail options available to them. It’ll take more than a simple reminder email to convince them to return to your store. An emotionally-driven cart abandonment strategy helps urge your consumers to act, whether that’s through humor, guilt, or simple fear of missing out (FOMO).

How to get emotional with your cart abandonment strategy

There are a number of ways you can introduce emotional manipulation into your cart abandonment strategy, with each approach appealing to the right consumers in different ways.

Customer segmentation

First and foremost, you should consider your customer segmentation. Each of your customers falls into a disparate demographic that lets you identify their fears, concerns, and pain points. Armed with this knowledge, you can tailor your cart abandonment emails according to each segment, addressing these concerns.

For example, an email to a parent of young children might respond better to an email highlighting the costly expenses of back-to-school gear. Positioning your products as the solution to their problem in your email helps convince customers to return and complete their purchase.

It starts with a great opener

Another aspect of your cart abandonment strategy that could benefit from an emotional overhaul is your email subject line. One of the hardest things for any email marketing campaign is getting an email opened in the first place, and your subject line plays a vital role in this.

A really superb example of an email subject line that really compels the reader to open is from monthly subscription service Birchbox. In February, selected customers received an email with the subject line: “We Forgot Something in Your February Box!”. Birchbox didn’t actually forget anything of course — instead, customers were given a discount code for a partner brand. Regardless, it’s a subject line that even the most shrewd of consumers would struggle to ignore.

The example above shows how exploiting a customer’s fear of missing out can persuade them to take action. When you write your chaser emails, craft a subject line that needles your readers into opening. A humorous jab at their inability to commit for example could, when written well, give your customer enough of a laugh to open your email and give it their full attention.

FOMO-inducing offers

Building further on customer FOMO, you could drop in a discount code in your first chaser email. The code comes with a caveat however: it expires in 24 hours. This tantalizing offer is virtually guaranteed to convince your customers to take advantage of the offer. No-one likes missing out on a bargain, even if it’s only a small percentage off the original price.

Keep chasing

Of course, one email is never enough to convince the most stubborn of customers. They’ll often require two or three further emails over a period of time before finally being convinced. And because you’ll have repeated contact with them in this way, you could inject your sequence with an emotional narrative that grabs your reader.

For example, you could turn your repeated emails into a humorous barrage of unrequited love letters. A tongue-in-cheek email asking “was it something we said?” might be enough to raise a smile on your customers’ face and make them read on.

Drip sequenced emails are simple to set up. There are plenty of cart abandonment widgets that work with most major etail systems like Shopify, as well as more niche ones like Prestashop, Volusion and Bigcommerce.

There is no excuse for not following up with your cart abandoners — and if you can do it on a variety of sales channels, the better. See your strategy as a cart abandonment sequence, not a one-off reminder that you can simply set and forget.

If your cart abandonment strategy is falling short, then it might be time for a revamp. Introduce an emotionally-driven campaign that cajoles and manipulates your customers into returning to your store and committing to their purchase. When done right, you’ll see your cart abandonment rates decrease and your sales soar.

Patrick Foster is an ecommerce and marketing specialist who shares his knowledge on his blog, Ecommerce Tips. Delivering insight into the latest developments in the world of ecommerce, Ecommerce Tips is your one-stop shop. Stay up to date with Patrick on Twitter @myecommercetips.

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