As an avid online shopper, I’ve often found myself lost in the online shopping experience, adding items to my cart without actually completing the purchase. It’s a familiar scenario that many of us have experienced. 

In fact, more than half of all shoppers in the world are just window shopping when they visit an online store. This, and other reasons, are why customers don’t always buy when they shop online, leading to abandoned carts. 

In fact, only three out of ten customers proceed to checkout to complete a purchase. 

You’re not alone if you’re wondering what happens with the rest. Some proceed to buy from your competitors. Others leave with the intent to come back later, although it’s not guaranteed. 

While you may not know the exact reason a customer abandoned their cart at your store, you can always reach out to them with reminders. And if your abandoned cart recovery strategy is good enough, it could help you convert cart abandoners into paying customers.

What is abandoned cart recovery?

An abandoned cart is a shopping list that a customer created on an ecommerce website or app but left without completing the purchase. 

Abandoned cart recovery refers to a marketing or re-engagement strategy to follow up with customers who have abandoned their online carts. It’s like a virtual shopkeeper who sends you gentle reminders and incentives to return to your abandoned cart and complete your transaction. 

The benefits of using SMS text messages to recover abandoned carts

Here are some advantages of utilizing SMS as a cart recovery tool:

High open and response rates

Reports show that SMS messages have high open and response rates. In fact, the majority of people will open every text message they receive within three minutes. 

Many of us know how addictive our phones can be. The “ping” of a new message captures our attention immediately, and most of us can’t resist checking it within seconds. It’s highly likely that customers will read and engage with your abandoned cart text message, increasing your chances of getting them to checkout.

Higher conversion rates

With high open rates, text messages also point to high conversion rates. This is also partly due to the direct and immediate nature of SMS. Research shows that following up with abandoned cart text messages can increase conversions by up to 63%

Immediate and direct communication

The success of your cart abandonment recovery relies on how fast you act. Luckily, text messages are delivered instantly and directly to the customer’s mobile device. This immediacy can prompt quick action from the customer, as they can view the message right away, even on the go.

Mobile-friendly and accessible

SMS is a mobile-native communication channel, and most people own a mobile phone today. We carry our phones everywhere we go, making SMS a reliable way to reach customers no matter where they are. 

Plus, unlike other communication channels that require internet connectivity, SMS messages can reach customers even when they’re offline, ensuring that your reminders don’t go unnoticed.

7 abandoned cart text message strategies to implement now

Despite the reasons for abandonment, text messages provide a reliable way of recovering incomplete sales. Considering that 72.9% of ecommerce transactions happen on mobile devices, implementing a strategy to communicate with customers where they are most active really matters. 

1. Offer an incentive

Everyone loves a good deal, and incentives can be the key to winning back customers. Offer something compelling such as discount codes, free shipping, exclusive gifts, or any other enticing offers that add value to the purchase. Actually, 66% of customers expect free shipping for all online orders.

2. Include an image of the abandoned product

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in abandoned cart recovery, it’s worth a thousand reminders. 

one abandoned cart text message strategy is to include an image of one of the items left in the cart along with your text
While not all SMS providers will allow images, if you can add one to your cart abandonment text message, it can provide that extra push to turn an abandoned cart into a sale. (source)

This friendly reminder helps them recall their initial interest and can be just what it takes to bring their attention back to the shopping cart.

3. Use the call to action to create FOMO

Believe it or not, the fear of missing out is real. An impressive 33% of SMS recipients will act on a CTA. So it’s a good idea to tell the customer what you want them to do. 

Phrases like “Complete your purchase now,” “Return to your cart,” or “Shop now to secure your items” provide clear instructions on what they should do. 

If you offer a discount code, try to place a deadline for it. Create a sense of urgency by emphasizing that there is a limited time to use the offered code. This urgency can motivate the customer to take immediate action.

4. Follow up with an abandoned cart email

Unfortunately, not all subscribers may be responsive to SMS messages alone. Others may prefer email. By leveraging both SMS and email, you cater to different communication preferences.

Sending abandoned cart emails after an SMS reinforces the message. Additionally, cart abandonment emails provide more characters to elaborate on the value proposition, showcase product images, and provide more detailed information.

5. Personalize your SMS messages

It’s always a nice feeling when someone remembers your name, and customers are no exception. Always address the customer by name. It creates a personalized connection and makes the message feel more relevant and tailored to them.

6. Ask if they have any questions or need help

In the vast world of online shopping, customers sometimes encounter obstacles or have lingering doubts that prevent them from completing their purchases. Show your genuine care by offering assistance and support via text. 

Cart abandonment can occur due to various reasons, such as unclear product information, technical issues, or issues encountered during the checkout process. By opening a channel for customers to ask questions, you create an opportunity to address their concerns and provide the necessary guidance to overcome any barriers. 

7. Be strategic with how you set time intervals for sending texts

Timing is everything, and this holds true for abandoned cart recovery. SMS can be integrated with cart recovery automation tools, allowing businesses to set up and schedule the delivery of automated text messages at specific time intervals after cart abandonment. 

By strategically timing your reminders, you can strike a balance between staying top-of-mind without overwhelming customers. 

What should a cart abandonment text message include?

It’s evident that implementing SMS text message marketing best practices can help recover customers and boost conversion rates. When crafting an effective abandoned cart text message, make sure to incorporate the following elements:

A hyperlink or clickable button

At the bottom of the message, provide a button or a clickable link that directly leads the customer back to their abandoned cart. 

Doing this will eliminate any additional steps, making it easy for the customer to return and complete their purchase.

Mobile-friendly design

As text messages are often viewed on mobile devices, ensure that the call to action is mobile-friendly. Use a responsive design that adapts well to different screen sizes. Also, consider using a URL shortener to make the link more concise and easier to click for mobile devices.

An option to opt-out

Remember to include an option for the customer to stop receiving messages from you. For example, at the end of each message, you may ask them to reply with the word “STOP” to opt out of further SMS communications. 

With that said, consider that each message may be the last time you’re texting a lead or customer, so make your messaging count. But if you’re stuck, we have some great ideas to inspire you.

Abandoned cart text message examples

Sending an abandoned cart text message emphasizes to the customer that their cart has been saved and their items are still available.

Here are some abandoned cart SMS templates and reasons why each one is a great idea. 

Offer discount codes

“Hi [Customer Name], Don’t miss out! Your items are patiently waiting in your cart. Complete your purchase today and get 10% off with code CART10 [link]. Happy shopping!”

This SMS creates a sense of urgency and offers a discount incentive to entice the customer to return and complete the purchase. 

By personalizing the message with the customer’s name and mentioning the items in their cart, it grabs their attention and reminds them of their initial interest.

Provide an extra reason to buy

 “Oops! Looks like you forgot to check out. We’ve saved your cart just for you. Return now and we’ll add a surprise gift to your order. Click here to reveal [link]!”

This text message takes a playful and engaging approach. It acknowledges the customer’s oversight and offers a surprise gift. Presenting that bonus creates a sense of excitement and enhances the perceived value of checking out. 

Initiate a conversation

“Hi [Customer Name], it’s [Your Name] from [Your Company]. I noticed you left some fantastic items in your cart. As your personal shopping assistant, I’m here to help you complete your purchase hassle-free. Let me know if you need any assistance or have questions [link to communication channel]. Happy to help!”

This SMS incorporates a personal concierge approach. The message aims to build trust and reassurance by emphasizing that the customer’s shopping experience is a priority. 

It also provides an open invitation to ask questions or seek assistance. This shows a proactive commitment to helping the customer overcome any remaining barriers.

These are just a few abandoned cart SMS examples. Feel free to customize yours but remember the aim is to encourage your customers to return and complete their purchase.

Common reasons for cart abandonment

Abandoned carts are a common occurrence in ecommerce and can occur for various reasons. Some potential causes for cart abandonment include:

The customer was just window shopping 

Not all store visitors turn into customers. Some will add items to their cart to see how much it would cost if they decided to buy. They treat the cart as a wishlist and may come back to make a purchase.

There were unexpected costs 

Once a customer has added items to their cart, they may decide to leave it if the total cost was not what they expected to pay. It can happen if there are additional charges such as shipping fees, taxes, or hidden costs. 

Complicated checkout process

A lengthy checkout process with too many steps can frustrate customers and lead to abandonment. The same applies to mandatory account creation before checkout. In the eyes of a customer, this can be distracting. Make it simple for people to buy from you by shortening the buying process.

Payment security concerns

Customers may also abandon their cart if they are unsure about the security of their payment details. These include credit card numbers, bank account information, or personal identification information. 

Website visitors — not only the tech-savvy ones — look for indicators like SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryptions or HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) protocols to ensure that their data is transmitted securely. These are encryption and security measures that assure a customer that their sensitive information will be transmitted safely over the internet.  

make sure your site is secure to avoid cart abandonment during checkout. No one wants to provide their banking information to an unsecure site.
If your website doesn’t conform to internet safety standards, even search engines can warn visitors from interacting with it. (source)

The customer was comparing you with a competitor

As opposed to window shopping, a customer doing comparison shopping may abandon a cart on your website but buy the same item(s) from a competitor. It is common for people to browse multiple websites to compare prices and features or read reviews. Their buying decision can be influenced by any of these factors or personal preferences.

They got distracted

Sometimes the reason a customer didn’t checkout is not related to you. They may actually have intended to complete the purchase, but something came up. It could be anything from loss of internet connection to a long phone or video call. 

As you can see, external factors can be the reason behind abandoned shopping carts. That’s why you should always seek to get to the bottom of the issue. To do this, ask for feedback from your customers. Analyze the information you get to identify trends or patterns that may indicate systemic issues needing your attention. These could be anything from website optimization and streamlining the checkout process to improving customer support.

The perfect SMS marketing tools for your cart abandonment strategy

Your customer can abandon their shopping carts at any stage of the checkout process, such as after selecting products, entering shipping information, or just before they paid for the goods. 

As an online shopper who has experienced both the frustration of abandoned carts and the joy of successful recoveries, personalized communication made those experiences feel easy and supportive. So, adopting an SMS-based abandoned cart recovery strategy is your second chance at convincing customers to move forward with the purchase. 

To start, find a provider like Constant Contact that can supply you with top-notch text message marketing services. Then, tailor your messages to individual subscribers and give them an extra reason to checkout successfully. Follow up with emails if you have to, but always be mindful of the customer. You want to give them the best shopping experience ever.

The best part is that you can achieve this goal by leveraging the right abandoned cart recovery tool, as it’s a surefire way to boost your conversion rates. It also allows you to engage with cart abandoners on a personal level — a tactic that can help you to optimize the checkout process. Leverage the power of SMS marketing today to connect with your customers in a personalized way.