What do you think is the number one challenge you are facing while building your e-commerce empire?
Let’s assume of course that you’ve got some consistent traffic and have started generating a few sales – even if they’re hit and miss. And let’s also assume that you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time learning the in’s and outs of the technical aspects.
With those two things crossed off the list, you’ve probably discovered that one of the biggest challenges you are up against is shopping cart abandonment.
Fixing the problem completely is obviously out of the question – that would be unrealistic. But improving your abandonment rate? Now that’s something we can work on. Even a small reduction in shopping cart abandonment can pay big dividends.
This post is going to explain how using the Abandoned Cart Pro Plugin for WooCommerce can help you do just that – boost sales and profits by reducing your cart abandonment rate.
The Problem of Abandoned Shopping Carts
Your time is a finite resource which is why it’s so important to determine where you should spend it. Understanding just how big of a problem cart abandonment has become will shine a light on exactly why this issue deserves your attention.
As of the writing of this post, Listrak is reporting a 6-month average abandonment rate of 77%.
Think about that number for a moment.
Imagine if 77% of the people who went shopping at your local WalMart, filled up their shopping carts and then just walked away leaving their full carts sitting in the middle of the isle.
That’s what’s happening every day in your online store. Luckily, as an e-commerce store, you’re not left with the problem of cleaning up and restocking the mess, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem that needs solving.
Even a mild improvement in your cart abandonment rate can produce measurable results. Assume you have 100 checkout visits each month, an average order size of $100 and an abandonment rate of 75%. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to see that recovering 7 of those lost sales (less than 10%) can result in some serious revenue gains.
Why Cart Abandonment Happens
Sure, there are going to be some tire-kickers that visit your online store. People who are browsing, for whatever reason and have no intention of making a purchase.
But of the people who have the intention to make a purchase, there are some well-established reasons why they might change their minds. Statista reports the following reasons why people abandon their shopping carts:
- 56% are presented with an unexpected cost (ie. shipping).
- 36% find a better price elsewhere.
- 32% decide the overall price is too expensive.
- 26% decide against buying.
- 21% felt the process was taking too long.
There are many more potential reasons, but these are a few of the ones that you have control over. One of the best ways to recover some of your abandoned carts is by utilizing email. If you’ve ever shopped at Amazon you already know how they use email sequences to help bring you back to complete your purchase.
This is the exact approach that Abandoned Cart Pro can help you replicate which is why we’re going to take a closer look at this plugin and how it can help you to improve you sales and profits.
WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Pro
Built by Tyche Softwares, The WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Pro Plugin is available at three price points:
- $119 for a single store
- $199 for up to five stores
- $249 for unlimited stores
License keys are valid for a period of 1 year at which point in time they can be renewed at a discounted rate. Having already discussed how a small improvement in abandonment rate can reap huge rewards, you can see how quickly this plugin is capable of paying for itself. Plus, keep in mind that although this plugin will require some setup and monitoring, for the most part, it will allow you to put your cart recovery on autopilot. Once setup, you’ll be able to focus on other aspects of your business.
Installation & Set-up
Installation was exactly as you would expect it to be – simple and hassle-free. Once installed, Abandoned Cart Pro adds an easily located sub-menu under the WooCommerce dashboard.
The tabs aren’t placed in sequential order so we’re jumping to tab number three, the “Settings” tab. Here you’ll find all the initial settings that you’ll need to configure before getting started. At the top is a simple checkbox that will enable or disable the plugin as required. Until you got everything configured and your email sequence created, you’ll probably want to uncheck this box.
The second setting specifies when Abandoned Cart Pro should actually consider your cart to be abandoned. This particular setting deserves some experimentation but within the range of 45-60 minutes seems to be a good starting point given that Hubspot reports 75% of the top 550 eCommerce companies send the first email within 60 minutes. An even more important statistic is the fact that 72% of consumers who intend to purchase will do so within the first 72 hours.
Also within the settings tab is the ability to delete an abandoned order after a certain number of days (don’t do this without for giving your customer one last opportunity to claim their cart).
If you would like to be notified each time an order is recovered, you can request to receive an email notification. As well, you have the ability to track any coupons that are applied to abandoned carts and to disable guest carts from being tracked.
With your initial settings configured, the “Email Templates” tab is where you’ll likely spend the majority of your setup time. By setup, I mean giving serious thought and planning to your recovery email content and sequence. You’ll be able to see each individual template as well as how many times the email was sent and how effective it was in terms of percent recovery.
From this tab you’ll be able to create an unlimited number of email templates, each with customized content and settings including:
- Template name
- Sender’s name
- Sender’s and reply email
- Email content
- Whether the template is active
- How long after cart abandonment the email should be sent
- Coupon code information
Creating the actual email content is relatively straightforward. You have the ability to insert the appropriate WooCommerce fields via a simple drop-down menu as seen in the image below.
Any time a customer visits your website and adds an item to their shopping cart, the timer begins ticking. If the customer does not complete their order within the specified time limit, it will be added to the abandoned orders list.
If emails are enabled for guest cart users, the timer will not begin until they actually visit your checkout page. Although not a perfect system, this goes a long way towards eliminating tire-kickers from your statistics. One can only assume that if a customer visits the checkout page, they were at least considering a purchase.
Once your customer completes a purchase with a previously abandoned cart, the order will be moved to the “Recovered Orders” list. This tab presents a filterable list showing the initial creation date as well, whether an email was sent and when the order was recovered.
The “Sent Emails” tab logs a complete list of every email sent by the plugin that includes all pertinent details. One feature that would be a nice addition is the ability to export this list to an excel file and then delete the data. Over time, this list and the database will likely grow quite large. For email compliance purposes, I can see that it might be convenient to retain the data while keeping the database relatively clean.
Wondering which products are most likely to result in abandoned or recoverable carts? Abandoned Cart Pro will keep track of that information for you. For products with a high abandonment rate, it might be worth making some changes to the product copy or pricing.
Back in April of 2015 Tyche Softwares, the creators of the Abandoned Cart Pro Plugin moved from a ticketing support system to a forum based system. Personally, I prefer forum-based support. Most of the time you can find the solution to your problem by searching through the forums instead of waiting for support.
In case you need to leave a new message for the support team, it appears that that are responsive to requests. Almost all of the questions I looked at in the forum were answered within one to two days, occasionally three. They also offer email support as a second option.
Ok, let’s cut to the chase. If you’re running an eCommerce store there is no point in debating whether or not you need to be dealing with abandoned carts. It’s an industry-wide problem that I think is safe to say affects almost everyone.
So the real question is whether or not this particular plugin, Abandoned Cart Pro, is the right one for your eCommerce site. Here are the key takeaways:
- Built for WooCommerce.
- Reasonably priced considering the potential ROI.
- Easy to setup and use.
- Tracks your basic statistics for abandoned cart emails.
- You’ll need to capture your customer’s email for the plugin to work.
- A practical plugin that gets the job done without a ton of useless features.
If you’re not currently dealing with the problem of abandoned shopping carts in your WooCommerce store, Abandoned Cart Pro is an option worth considering.
If you’re running an eCommerce store, how do you deal with the challenge of abandoned shopping carts?