How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

To pinpoint the best ways for how to reduce shopping cart abandonment, we at Go Inspire collaborated with a major client of ours, a retailer with a household name.

We tracked cart abandonment rates with 200,000 customers across three months, and we’ve put together the best ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

You can read the full results, including helpful abandoned cart statistics, by downloading our whitepaper here.

What is cart abandonment?

Cart, or basket, abandonment is one of the most significant contributors to loss of sales in the e-commerce sector. It refers to when a user adds an item to their online cart, but then leaves without making the purchase.

The best ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment

Throughout our study with the major retailer, we found concrete evidence that the following ways are the best at reducing shopping cart abandonment.

Use postal mail reminders in addition to abandoned cart recovery emails

Our control test compared the impact of solely receiving a triggered email, versus those who received both a triggered email and a physical, postal mail reminder.

Successful re-activation email campaigns achieve a typical conversion rate of 5-7%.

However, when we added postal mail re-activation conversion rates doubled.


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In other words, when customers were sent both email and postal mail re-activation campaigns, conversion rates were twice as much as using email re-activation alone.

Work on your abandoned cart reminder strategy

In the old days, it was expensive to send out daily postal reminders, as deep postal accounts (with the biggest discounts) were usually only available to high volume mailings.

However, at Go Inspire Group, we have the technology to combine many, small, daily volumes (from across our client base) into one, high-volume whole.

By using a data-driven approach, and fully automating document variations (such as customer name and address, and the item the customer abandoned in their basket), it’s possible to quickly send a handful of letters each day, so they reach the customer promptly, but at an affordable cost.

How a postal system to reduce abandoned carts works:

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The best time to send abandoned cart reminders

The trial found that the best time to send physical, mail reminders was within a week of the customer abandoning their basket.

Time was critical, as after this point there was a swift drop-off in customers going back to purchase the items in their baskets.

Consider generational divides

Within the next two years, those born from 1995/97 – 2010/12 will make up 40% of the average consumer base (of course, this will vary depending on your sector).

Named ‘Generation Z’, this is an increasingly retro-inspired demographic, who value print-based experiences highly.

Content that can be consumed without digital interruptions (such as adverts, notifications, etc), goes down extremely well when marketing to Generation Z.

As such, adding a well-planned postal marketing technique aimed at reducing abandoned carts, will serve to solidify customer loyalty and drive conversions amongst this increasingly retro generation.

How can we reduce shopping cart abandonment even further?

The results of the trial concluded that retailers can double revenue for basket reactivation and decrease cart abandonment.

This is done by introducing postal re-activation mail, in addition to their email abandoned cart re-activation campaigns.

In fact, by not adding postal mail re-activation,  almost all sectors of retail could be missing out on huge amounts of untapped revenue:

Table showing revenue of abandoned baskets retrievable

Source: Go Inspire Abandoned Basket Whitepaper


The trial also reinforced that the easier it was for customers to make a purchase online, the higher the conversion rates to begin with.

Of course, this also meant the easier it was to ensure customers go back and complete their abandoned carts.

Here are more proven, successful ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment:

Tailor your campaign to your customers

Much research has been done into targeted or direct mail campaigns, but an important way to reduce cart abandonment, is to personalise your communications for who will be receiving them.

This can be done in a multitude of ways. You can tailor your efforts demographically (as mentioned above for Gen Z), or by adding categories that the customers were interested in, or their ‘most browsed’ products.

Improve functionality and simplicity

Simplifying your checkout process and its functionality is imperative in ensuring customers can make purchases easily from your website.

Make sure everything is easy to find, with a simple flow.

Make sure you highlight call-to-actions, buttons to go to the next step and ensure a user doesn’t have to take a complex route around your site to make a purchase.

Allow guest checkout

Adding the roadblock of creating an account will cause large volumes of users to drop out of the checkout process.

Ensuring a smooth, guest check out experience means users who don’t have the time, or want to spend it on this step, will be much less likely to abandon their cart.

Save the items in the cart

Online shoppers are comparison shoppers, and will often go back and forth between different sites, including yours and your competitors, abandoning their baskets in the process.

They may come back to your site to find their basket erased, making it more time-consuming to go back and add them all.

You could consider adding a save for later function, like ASOS or data-driven recommendations, like Amazon, with a similar save for later function.

Users then have items at the forefront of their mind, and they’re ready to move them to their basket when they make the decision to buy.

Add a lowest price promise/quality selling point

If you know that what you offer is the most competitive on the market, either in price or another, unique quality, make sure this is visible.

It reassures comparison customers that they’ve got the best deal, or that they’re getting a unique experience or service that simply isn’t replicable elsewhere.

Only ‘X’ number left

Adding a sense of urgency to the customer can help with basket completion, if done authentically and when it adds value to the product page.

Customers are then made aware that the item they have their eye on could be out of stock quickly, and they may miss out if they delay the purchase.

Offer a discount

Think of your users with abandoned baskets as the window shoppers of traditional retail outlets.

Many users shop with low purchase intent, and they’ll simply browse through your site, as they might do a store.

Offering the incentive of well-timed discounts can help reduce cart abandonment. However, be careful to offer them to loyal customers only once in a while, as customers may then be incentivised to wait to be offered a discount, before making a purchase.

Read more about reducing cart abandonment

If you require more information regarding any of the points mentioned above, or want to know how we can help set up your abandoned basket reactivation campaigns, get in touch today.

Read more data-driven marketing research in our whitepaper hub, or download our whitepaper on reducing abandoned baskets, here.