9 mins

The Biggest Conversion Mistake You are Making Online

Mollie Thick
Oct 4th, 2018

A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a successful ecommerce merchant.

We were sat in a coffee shop discussing what it takes to run a high revenue ecommerce store, and the conversation was incredibly focused on one element.

Hustle.

This store owner is one of the hardest workers I know. They’re tirelessly looking at how they can generate more traffic, find new products to up and cross-sell, or create new ad campaigns to drive more sales.

And from their standpoint, 12+ hour days are the only way to build a successful business.

But I disagree.

I’m not here to say hard work isn’t required, because it definitely is. However, what I am going to say is that a lot of online business owner’s focus is in the wrong areas.

They think working at 100% across all areas is the best way to increase their business. But really, a smarter approach is going to garner much better results.

Putting in 12+ hour days at full speed isn’t sustainable in the long run. If you want to continue growing your business you eventually have to realize one key change. You have to work smarter, not harder.

Working Smarter, Not Harder for Ecommerce Success

We’ve all heard the 80/20 rule of business.

It’s one of those catch all rules that’s been spun to encompass everything from revenue gains to productivity and happiness to personal growth.

The basic concept is that 80% of the results come from 20% of your actions.

The key to growing an effective business and living a happier life is to focus on that 20% of your actions that bring 80% of results.

If you can nail that, you’ll be able to grow your business far more quickly and effectively than simply trying to do everything yourself.

As mentioned though, this is something of a catch-all rule.

Within ecommerce it could relate to the 20% of your products that are driving 80% of your revenue. The 20% of your traffic generation that lead to 80% of your visits. Or even the 20% of your staff who help you achieve 80% of your results.

All are viable areas to examine. All could, with the right leverage, improve your business.

And yet there's one area which, in my experience, is one of the most damaging but is never talked about because it has a negative connotation.

I’m not going to look at where 80% of your results are coming from. But rather, I want to talk about where you’re losing 80% of your revenue, and the 20% action that could fix it.

Cart Abandonment is the Biggest Problem You’re Facing

At this point, this shouldn’t be a surprise to you.

It’s a pretty well-established statistic in the world of ecommerce and a problem the majority of us are well aware of. Almost 80% of the items that are added to your cart are never purchased.

That means, on average, for every $1 you make, $4 are walking out the door.

It’s a problem that costs the ecommerce industry trillions of dollars in lost revenue every single year. And yet, it has a super simple, low maintenance fix.

The Established Cart Abandonment Practices (And Why They’re Half Measures)

Cart abandonment isn’t anything new.

And there’s a tone of awesome solutions to help you re-engage abandoners and bring them back to your site. Here’s a couple of my favorite methods and some supporting articles to help you make the most of them.

Retargeting Ads

Hitting the user with some ads of the products they’ve left in their basket is a great way to remind them of what they’re missing out on.

You’ve got two really cost-effective ways of doing this. A lot of brands like to use Google Display Network to retarget users with visual ads of the products.

A user looks at your product, exits your store, and then sees reminders like the below on sites from Reddit and Imgur, to the BBC or CNN.

Another popular method is to use Facebook ads for retargeting. Again it’s pretty cost efficient and can provide some great gains. However, if you’re going to use FB ads you have to be aware of ad fatigue.

One of the best guides I’ve read on how to make the most of retargeting on FB is from Shoelace CEO Reza which details his method of sequential retargeting.

However, whilst retargeting ads are great they’re very passive in their approach. You’re depending on the visitor seeing and paying attention to your ad.

It’s very much a case of wait and see. You’re putting some great creative out there and use hoping it’s enough to get people to respond.  

Personally, I prefer something a little more direct. Something which I know the user is going to see and so I can better track the effectiveness of.

Which leads us to the next best method.

Direct Response Cart Abandonment Campaigns

Email has long been the king of ROI and first choice for cart abandonment campaigns across the globe. With good reason.

It does provide an incredible ROI for your campaigns.

The engagement rates for email cart abandonment emails are way higher than the current industry averages. In ecommerce, you’re looking at a general open rate of around 20%, but for cart abandonment, it’s not unusual to get 40-50%.

Pretty good right? Transactional messages are simply more targeted and so get a higher open and click rate.

However, email is no longer the top dog when it comes to transactional, cart abandonment campaigns.

Whilst the open rates for cart abandonment specifically can be pretty great, the click throughs and responses are still super low.

In testing them at Recart, we’ve seen cart abandonment click rates for email hover around the 12% mark.

That means if 100 people add an item to their cart, 80 will abandon.

12% of that 80 (~10 people) will engage with your email to once again look at the product.

If we assign a monetary value of $10 to each person and assume that every single person who clicks the email then purchases, you can expect to recover $100 out of a possible $800 in lost revenue.

And that’s with favorable numbers.

So what’s the better solution that’s taking the ecommerce world by storm?

Messenger marketing.

Over the last couple of years conversational commerce and live chat solutions have risen to prominence within all digital marketing industries.

Within ecommerce, they’re proving to be one of the most effective methods of driving revenue, especially for automated cart abandonment campaigns.

We ran a test to pit email against Messenger and discovered the below.

Again, if we imagine that 80 people out of every hundred abandon and each is worth $10, Messenger would redirect 4 times as many people back to your site which could mean $400 of recaptured revenue compared to email’s $100.

That’s 4X the revenue generated, simply by using a more effective channel.

Messenger is the channel your store needs to implement ASAP to make back as much of that 80% of your revenue that’s being lost.

But how does it work in action?

How Messenger for Ecommerce Works

Messenger is much like email in that it’s a direct response channel. The difference comes in how the message is delivered.

First and foremost the messages are short, taking mere seconds to read and understand compared to minutes in email.

Not only are they shorter and more engaging, they’re also delivered through a medium in which people aren’t used to seeing marketing materials. Messenger is, generally speaking, a place where you speak to friends and family, not where you expect to see a reminder of your abandoned products.

And as such, there’s no filters or spam folders to stop your message reaching your audience.

Add to this the fact that each message causes your phone to vibrate, ring, and leaves a notification on screen that needs to be manually dismissed, there’s simply a much higher chance of your message being read and thus, interacted with.

So let’s look at how you can set one up today before exploring what it’d look like to the customer.

With Recart, we’ve a number of push-button solutions to get you up and running quickly. In the dashboard for Recart all you need to do is activate Messenger marketing’s opt-in from the relevant menu.

Once that’s done, users have the option to quickly and easily opt-in to receive correspondence through Messenger.

Then simply activate the automated Messenger campaigns. As default, we activate three campaigns spread over a 12 hour period.

Again, there’s default options in there so you can quickly and easily get up and running today. You’ll eventually want to personalise this a little though.

That’s all it takes to set up cart abandonment messages. With those three quick steps this is what it will change on your store.

When looking at your products there’ll be a tick box underneath the add to cart button which permits Messenger marketing outreach (you can get this pre-checked to make sure it always pops with a little admin work wth Facebook’s team).

As soon as that is clicked, the user will get a message through Messenger that’s a simple welcome. But unlike email, their attention is drawn to the message as it comes up as a notification.

If we imagine they abandon this purchase, then they’ll also get a cart abandonment message a few hours later which lookalike the below.

As you can see, it’s super similar to a regular email cart abandonment campaign. However, it’s simply delivered through a channel which has much higher engagement rate and thus, a higher chance of gaining the sale.

Messenger is the One Thing Your Online Store Needs

Automated cart abandonment is one of the key actions any store needs to implement. It’s an action which will take up less than 20% of your time, but we’ve seen it recapture a large portion of that 80% of lost revenue (in many cases recapturing 6-figures plus for online store owners).

It's a simple but incredibly effective method that your store needs to implement.

With the industry’s ongoing shift towards more conversational means of marketing, this is going to be the future for the majority of the ecommerce sector.

You can wait to implement Messenger marketing and lose out on untold profits, or you can join those already raking in the profits through Messenger experiments they’re running right now.

If you are ready to get started, click here for a free trial with Recart.

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