How to reduce cart abandonment using a Customer Data Platform

8 minute read

Team BlueVenn

Cart abandonment has long been a challenge for online retailers, with 84.27% of consumers guilty of filling up their carts and not following through with their purchase. With more and more retailers relying on e-commerce as a result of Covid-19, the issue of cart abandonment has never been more critical. Additionally, consumer behavior is changing. Our research shows that over last year, the percentage of consumers planning to do over half of their shopping online increased from 22% in 2019 to 49% in 2020. This suggests the issue of cart abandonment will be sticking around long after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

According to research from Forrester, the abandonment of online shopping carts cost retailers up to $18 billion a year, proving the need for businesses to identify the source of their cart abandonment issues and address their cart abandonment strategy accordingly. To achieve this, first they need to collate their customer data and then use this data to gain a deeper understanding of who their audience is and how their customers interact with their brand.

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) unifies all your customer data from online and offline touchpoints, making it easier than ever for you to build customer profiles and analyze each customer’s journey. The data is instantly available to all members of your marketing team, allowing them to act in real-time by delivering personalized, contextually appropriate content when, and where, your customers want it – maintaining their customer journey, and sustaining engagement.

Identify the cause of cart abandonment

The good news for marketers is that the majority of carts are recoverable. According to our Digital Divide Research Report, 65% of both UK and US consumers said that when they add a product to cart but don’t purchase it, their intention to buy is either very strong or quite strong. This proves the need for brands to improve their cart abandonment strategy to secure a slice of these sales.

Before you can address and improve your cart abandonment strategy, you first need to understand what’s causing the problem in the first place. Online shoppers abandon their carts for a variety of reasons, with a report from the Baymard Institute listing ‘not ready to buy’, ‘additional costs were too high’, and the ‘need to create an account’ as the top three reasons why customers chose to abandon their shopping.

With a CDP, insights from different data systems and customer touchpoints are cleansed and unified to create a trustworthy Single Customer View (SCV). This SCV includes every website interaction, email opened, ad clicked on, and physical store visited, and gives you access to a full view of each customer’s journey. In turn, this enables you to recognize where in the customer journey your customers are dropping off and make a data-driven decision based on your insights.

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For example, if your customer adds multiple products to their cart but exits once they view their full basket, it’s likely that the additional costs (i.e., shipping or taxes) may have been too high or there were insufficient shipping options. In this instance, a triggered email offering them free next-day or premium delivery may be all it takes to recover their cart.

Or, if your customer goes through the full checkout process but doesn’t enter their payment details to complete the transaction, it might be something as simple as that they didn’t have their debit card on hand or that they got distracted. If so, sending a gentle nudge at the time they are most active reminding them to complete their purchase while the items are in stock could seal the deal.

A global, luxury shoe brand used Upland BlueVenn and our real-time marketing and personalization module, Blue Relevance, to capitalize on the benefits of first-party data. By analyzing their first-party data, the brand was able to dramatically improve their ability to deliver personalized customer experiences and reduce their cart abandonment rate. Using Upland BlueVenn, the brand attributed $1.4m in additional revenue to converted cart abandoners and an additional $54m in additional pipeline based on first-party cookie data.

Take your cart abandonment strategy to the next level

So, you’ve identified where along the journey your customer is dropping off, now what? Your cart recovery strategy shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. In the same way each customer drops off for their own reason, your approach to recover their cart should be tailored to them.

Upland Localytics found that 15% of customers said that being contacted on their unpreferred channel was their biggest complaint about brand communications. So, if your cart abandonment communications are being delivered via the wrong channel, it’s likely you won’t just fail to convert the abandoned shopper, you risk losing them altogether. With a CDP, you can track which method of communication is most effective for each customer and use this information to determine how best to implement your cart abandonment strategy.

For example, if you know that the customer who abandoned their cart has never opened or engaged with an email from your brand, why would you send them a cart abandonment email? Whereas if you know this customer is an avid mobile app customer, triggering a push notification would be a better option.

Furthermore, using a CDP as a central system for your marketing department can link your other marketing software. This enables you to create and deliver a more wholistic cart abandonment strategy.

When combined with our CDP, marketing and email softwares are highly effective tools to reduce cart abandonment.

A mobile app marketing and analytics software, such as Upland Localytics, delivers personalized mobile app campaigns that boost engagement and allows you to connect with your customers on a deeper level. When combined with a CDP, your mobile app software can use the insights gathered from the customer’s SCV and use this to trigger a personalized cart abandonment message, via app and web push, in-app messages, or app inbox, at the optimal time for engagement.

Similarly, email automation software, such as Upland Adestra, can improve your customer’s experience with personalized emails. The combination of BlueVenn and Upland Adestra enables the seamless transfer of customer data into Upland Adestra’s email platform. This unlocks a marketer’s ability to deliver personalized emails and optimize results. Upland Adestra can reduce cart abandonment rates by triggering a series of personalized abandonment emails to a customer and include features such as the ability to display the contents of their cart within the email.

Don’t forget about the process

In addition to identifying the right channel to trigger cart abandonment communications, brands are under increasing pressure to deliver an omnichannel shopping experience, as failure to achieve this could lead to a disjointed customer experience. You can’t just think about the method of communication; you must also think about the process.

If you’re aim is to send your customers back to your website to complete their purchase, you need to ensure you have rebuilt their cart in the process. If you don’t, then your recovery strategy is relying on your customer going to the effort of re-adding it all again, which they are unlikely to do.

For example, your customer adds a pair of jeans to their cart via their app, goes to the effort of creating an account, and then drops off. With an omnichannel customer experience, this customer would see an ad for these jeans on social media before receiving a personalized email, showing an image of the jeans, prompting them to finish their transaction. When the customer clicks on the email via their web browser to return to their cart, the jeans are still in the cart, and they can pick up where they left off.

However, if the channels are considered in isolation, the story could be vastly different. The customer may add the same pair of jeans to their cart via their app, create an account, and then exit the customer journey. Next, the social ad that they see will be promoting an unrelated product. Later that day, they open the triggered email via their web browser and click to return to their purchase, but the cart is empty. They’ll then have to make the effort to re-add the product to their basket and complete their purchase, which they might not decide to do.

A Customer Data Platform ensures a consistent customer journey is delivered across channels to improve customer engagement and lifetime value. With a CDP, responses from one channel can influence and adjust another, making sure that conversations and actions can be maintained as customers move from one touchpoint to another. When you remove the obstacles in the way of completing a purchase, you will reduce your cart abandonment rate

For more information on how BlueVenn’s Customer Data Platform and Omnichannel Marketing Hub can reduce your cart abandonment rate, why not book a personalized demo and see it for yourself?

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