6 Proven Abandoned Cart Retargeting Strategies

The journey from an intrigued online shopper loading their virtual cart to a completed purchase isn’t always a smooth ride. On average, 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts. This highlights the significant challenge faced by online retailers. The challenge for e-commerce brands is not just understanding why shoppers abandon their carts, but devising practical solutions to increase the conversion rate. This is where the art and science of abandoned cart retargeting come into play.

Powerful and effective abandoned cart retargeting strategies

There are many factors contributing to e-commerce cart abandonment. E-merchants need to identify the drop-off points during the purchase process and work to remove them.

Common culprits tend to be slow website speeds, poor product descriptions, a complex checkout process, and hidden costs. But, even when e-commerce websites are optimized, customers can still abandon their carts. Here’s how to bring customers back into the checkout loop through abandoned cart retargeting.

1. Retargeting ads

Before the cookie apocalypse, abandoned carts relentlessly followed online shoppers around the internet in the form of retargeting ads powered by third party data trackers, also known as third party cookies. Today, digital marketers must embrace a cookieless future. Google, the final holdout, officially begins phasing out third party cookies with the goal of retiring them completely by the end of 2024. Other tech giants such as Apple have already significantly phased out their cookies. 

While third party cookies will soon become obsolete in favor of stricter data privacy regulations, retargeting campaigns aren’t going away. They will evolve instead. Digital marketers can still run retargeting campaigns without cookies. They do so by increasing their investment in first party data, better understanding their customers’ behavior, and using marketing segmentation more efficiently. Here are some examples of how marketing technology enables cross-channel retargeting using first party data: 

  • Klaviyo allows brands to sync a segment of recent cart abandoners to Facebook Custom Audiences using their Facebook integration. Through this integration, retailers can add Facebook to the list of channels used to redirect customers to complete their online purchases. 
  • GrowthLoop enables brands to send customer segments (including recent cart abandoners) from their data warehouse to key destinations such as Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and more. No code required. 

Through first party data activation, brands can retarget lapsed customers in less intrusive ways that feel thoughtful and personalized rather than transactional. Cross-channel retargeting is essential because it enables brands to connect with their audience through multiple touch points. This reinforces their message and increases the likelihood of engagement and conversions. 

2. Personalized messaging in the online cart

Personalized content is critical for brands that want to catch the eyes of customers. Persado Dynamic Motivation goes above and beyond conventional e-commerce personalization, tapping into the capabilities of Generative AI (particularly the Persado Motivation AI knowledge base) and session data. This innovative approach dynamically serves the highest-performing personalized messaging in the online cart based on the customer’s preferences, buying history, and browsing behavior. One shopper may see “Amazing choices” while another will get “Your basket is ready.”

While personalized messaging in the online cart does not officially fall into the category of retargeting, this approach to connecting with customers provides an added push to get them across the finish line at the moment of purchase – which eliminates the need for retargeting. It’s also effective. Brands that apply Dynamic Motivation to the online cart see an up to 5% increase in e-commerce revenue on average. A fashion retailer saw a $220,000 increase in online revenue, a 4.1% revenue lift, and a 1.5% order lift after around two weeks of applying Dynamic Motivation to their online cart. 

3. Cart abandonment email campaigns 

Cart abandonment email campaigns are a popular and powerful tool to bring lapsed customers back into the purchasing journey. Leveraging the visual medium of email allows online retailers to effectively showcase the products that the customer was on the verge of purchasing. According to Persado analysis of top-performing abandoned shopping cart email examples, prominent product images and copy that call out items in the cart perform better than a general reminder to continue shopping. Formatting choices and observational CTAs also contributed to cart abandonment email success. 

Other abandoned shopping cart email best practices include timing, optimizing for mobile, and highlighting key selling points. Digital marketers and e-commerce leaders can generate the highest-performing digital marketing copy in real time using Persado Essential Motivation, an enterprise self-serve text generation solution that generates text that taps into consumer motivation

4. Cart abandonment SMS campaigns 

Incentivizing lost customers through SMS or MMS is a highly effective retargeting strategy that capitalizes on the unique advantages of this channel. SMS provides a swift and direct way to reach customers, and has an impressive open rate of 98%. Notably, customers open 95% of these messages within three minutes, making it an ideal channel for time-sensitive tasks. The speedy open rate of SMS proves to be a massive benefit in the context of abandoned cart recovery, ensuring that customers promptly receive and engage with your message.

E-commerce teams may want to test MMS (multimedia messaging service) campaigns also as one of their abandoned cart recovery strategies. While they are more expensive to send, MMS gives retailers the ability to better showcase the products customers left behind through photos, audio, GIFS, or video and longer character limits. 

Learn more about how to recover abandoned carts via text. 

5. Cart abandonment push notification campaigns 

It’s important to use multiple channels to retarget customers who have abandoned their carts, so don’t forget about push notifications. Unlike SMS and MMS, push notifications tend to have low open rates. According to platform data from Customer.io, the average open rate for push is only about 4%. This isn’t surprising considering most if not all of the message is already visible to the recipient without them having to take any additional action. Customers can simply see the message on their mobile phone screen and take a mental note. That doesn’t mean that push notifications aren’t effective—their impact may not be immediate. If a customer completes their purchase within two days of receiving a push notification, chances are it influenced a conversion. Brands get the most out of push notification campaigns by using personalization and incorporating rich media such as images and videos.

For inspiration on your next cart abandonment push notification campaign, check out these examples

6. Abandoned cart popups

By utilizing a marketing automation tool, businesses can seamlessly schedule abandoned cart retargeting campaigns triggered by a customer exiting a page with items in their cart. Cart abandonment popups are a prime opportunity to create a sense of urgency. Popups can also highlight key selling points like free shipping and returns, display social proof, or feature products customers are leaving behind. The right message can inspire online shoppers to complete their transactions before leaving the website. 

Leverage GenAI to increase abandoned cart recovery

By leveraging GenAI in abandoned cart retargeting campaigns, brands can significantly improve engagement, conversion rates, and overall customer satisfaction in their abandoned cart recovery efforts.

To experience firsthand the impact of Persado Motivation AI on reducing cart abandonment and driving conversions, request a risk-free trial. Unlock the power of the highest-performing language across digital channels, including email, SMS, social media, website, push notifications, and more. It’s a chance to elevate your retargeting efforts, captivate your audience, and transform potential into incremental revenue.

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