By Ashley Kim,
Dec 7, 2020
Lowering Abandoned Cart Rates for Beauty Brands: How Email and SMS Can Win Back More Customers
Cart abandonment on e-commerce sites is on the rise. In 2019, almost 70% of e-commerce shoppers abandoned their purchases before checkout. In early 2020, the abandoned cart rate shot up to nearly 95% as locked-down consumers increasingly turned online for their shopping.
However, for D2C beauty brands, the trend is going the other way, thanks to creative use of cart abandonment follow-up campaigns. Cart abandonment rates for beauty brands used to be above 81%, but have now decreased to 74%—below the cross-industry average.
Many people have discovered that it’s easier, and often safer, to restock beauty products from home, but there are still barriers to purchase. Some people get scared away by shipping costs or the need to create a customer account. Others have beauty-specific concerns: What if their skin tone isn’t a match and they don’t figure it out until they’ve opened the product? What if the product isn’t right for their skin type?
No matter the objection, you have a prime opportunity to overcome these blockers by getting back in touch with these highly qualified leads. Using CRM, email, and SMS to follow-up with abandoned cart customers are powerful techniques that can help beauty brands reduce abandoned cart rates.
How to Use Email and SMS to Improve Customer Service
Beauty customers have highly individual questions about your products. You can’t anticipate every sticking point, but you can offer help on demand.
That’s what Versed does with its SMS Skin Hotline. Customers can text the company with any skin question they have and a real person will respond during business hours with a personal answer.
It’s easy to offer answers to cart abandoners. Your message can be as simple as, “We noticed you left something behind. Are you wondering whether it’s right for you? Text us at 50813.” (Use your own number, of course — that one belongs to Versed!)
You can add reassuring messages like this to your cart abandonment campaigns, whether you’re sending those out via SMS or email. Shoppers can get answers to their questions, and you can remove barriers to purchase.
How to Use Abandoned Cart Email Flows
Another way for beauty brands to reduce cart abandonment is to send out tailored follow-up emails. The key is to not give up after one message.
According to Klaviyo, “There’s one thing marketers can do to improve their chances of re-engaging and converting cart abandoners: Persistency.”
An initial email sent one to four hours after abandonment, reminding the customer that you’ve saved their cart.
A second email, sent 24 to 48 hours later, encouraging the customer to complete the purchase.
A third email that creates urgency or offers a discount.
Cosmetic and beauty brands can tailor these abandoned cart emails to inspire the customer, showing them how they can use the products placed in their cart. This strategy works great for beauty brands like Fenty Beauty and even skincare brands. Educational content in abandoned cart emails may remove barriers to purchase by answering customers' questions before they're even asked.
If you can use the product itself to entice customers back to purchase, you may not need to offer as many discounts, or you may want to consider offering discount alternatives.The occasional coupon code can bring back customers who might have price objections, but you don’t want to set up the expectation that anyone can automatically get 10% or 20% off by abandoning their carts.
Urgency messages also reduce your dependence on discounts. If a customer finds out that a sale price is expiring or inventory is low, that deadline can encourage them to make a decision.
How to Personalize Emails and Use SMS
Data shows that 91% of consumers prefer to shop with brands that customize their offers. Fortunately, the more information people give you before they abandon their carts, the more personalized you can make your abandoned cart messages. If you have someone’s name (one of the first pieces of information that customers enter when they buy) you can immediately create a personal connection.
Set up your cart abandonment email or SMS messages so you address the person by name. Introduce yourself, by name, as a customer representative so the message feels more personal. Instead of “Hey Susan, your cart is waiting for you,” use a message that says “Hey Susan, it’s Tim from Avex Beauty. Are you still interested…?”
Once you’ve made a connection, you can present an offer to entice them back. Klaviyo calls this “branching” — splitting your abandoned cart sequences based on who you’re talking to.
“An existing customer has purchased from you in the past,” says Klaviyo, “and you may not need to offer a sales discount to get them to buy again. For a new customer, you… may want to be more aggressive with an offer.”
Order value also matters. Someone with a larger cart value might appreciate upselling suggestions while a lower-end shopper could respond better to discounts.
You may also choose to segment your abandoned cart sequences by purchasers of a specific product category or collection, so the offers and suggestions you send are more targeted to what the customer wants. For example, if a shopper browsed your lipstick line, you can include suggestions of other products to pique their interest.
A tip when cross-selling or upselling: People see themselves as a premium person, a thrifty person, or somewhere in the middle, so offer similar products in that range (10-25% of the product price) that allow them to self-identify and choose.
Get started – Optimize your email and SMS messages
Customers who have taken the time to visit your site, shop your products, and place them in their cart represent highly qualified leads that are ready to purchase. The right message can counter customers' objections, remind them why they loved your products in the first place, and inspire them to make a purchase decision. The more you make these connections and help shoppers to choose the right products, the better they’ll feel about buying online.
It's time to stop leaving money on the table. Get started today with email and SMS abandoned cart messages that remove friction from the purchase process and help customers complete their buying journey. The overhead is relatively low, and helping abandoned cart shoppers over the finish line boosts revenue now and builds strong customer relationships for repeat purchases in the future.