Eighty-eight percent (88%) of online consumers abandon items in shopping carts, according to research by Forrester. This mess of almost-shoppers results in $18 billion of lost revenue annually. How does a company even begin to wade through the chaos of all those abandoned carts and turn any into sales? By learning why shoppers abandon their carts, and targeting those shoppers most likely to be turned into buyers.

According to a July 2015 Survey from Market Track, the top six reasons shoppers abandon their cart are:

  1. 28% decided they didn’t need it
  2. 27% wanted to do more research
  3. 19% found it cheaper elsewhere
  4. 13% waited for it to go on sale
  5. 7% wanted to look at it in-store first
  6. 5% did not originally intend to buy it

But think about it this way: 66% of the customers from the Market Track survey were motivated to buy. They may have needed more information or wanted better pricing, but their intentions were to make purchases.

How do you recapture those consumers who are motivated to buy? Using strategic email re-marketing campaigns. According to a study by Experian, click rates for abandoned-cart emails were significantly higher than general marketing emails; and the click-to-purchase rate for these targeted emails was 28.7% compare to just 2.5% for general emails.

Here are some important considerations for implementing a successful re-marketing initiative:

Building Blocks of an Email Re-marketing Campaign

  • Timing — As they say, timing is everything. Shopping cart abandoners have a short attention span. According to SalesCycle’s survey of 200 global brands:
    • emails sent within 20 minutes achieved on average a 5.2% conversion rate
    • emails sent within an hour achieved on average a 4.5% conversion rate
    • emails sent over 24 hours after a basket was abandoned achieved on average a 2.6% conversion rate
  • Content — An effective re-marketing message isn’t just about what’s placed in the cart; it incorporates behavioral data and knowledge of the consumer to deliver a personalized message.
    • Personalize. Using information about the individual’s profile, engagement history and behavior can help marketers determine what call to action the consumer will most likely respond to—or if the cost of re-marketing outweighs the value of the customer.
    • Offer contextually relevant product recommendations based on their browsing and shopping behavior, in addition to reminding them about abandoned items.
    • Include customer reviews. Social validation has been proven to have a significant impact on purchasing decisions.

Cart abandoners are an online retailer’s gold mine so it’s important to have the right tools in place to deliver the right message at the right time.