The aim of abandoned cart campaigns is to remind your potential customers of the items they left in their carts and encourage them to complete their purchase. With these campaigns you can address your customers' most common concerns behind cart abandonment such as high shipping costs, uncertainty about the shipment or payment methods. You can address these concerns, for instance, by providing free shipment vouchers to your customers or by creation an FAQ section on your website.
To motivate your customers to purchase the products they left in their carts, you may use best practices such as the scarcity marketing strategy (i.e. encouraging your customers to buy a product before someone else does) or you can include customer testimonials in your campaigns.
In these cases, relevance is key. You need to act fast the sooner customers receive your message, the more likely they will convert. Interactions is here to assist you in achieving higher revenue goals.
What is the difference Interactions and Automation Center abandoned cart programs?
With abandoned cart programs built in Interactions, you can react to your customers’ actions much faster and define the length of the session, too. While Automation Center-based abandoned cart programs (triggered by a data field change or an external event) have a delay of 3-5 hours, Interactions processes events in real time. You can specify the delay as you wish: it can be 3 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. You are in charge.
The reason for the delay in the Automation Center is that contact matching is based on cookies. Predict processes session data and identifies contacts, the data only arrives at the contact database after that. The contact data field changes at this moment and it may trigger your Automation Center abandoned cart program.
Interactions processes events in real time, which means that contact matching cannot be performed based on cookies.
Contacts will trigger Interactions programs starting with the Web Extend event trigger in the following cases:
- If the contact is logged in and their customer ID or email address is sent properly by the
- If the contact is not logged in but clicks a link in the respective email and the SC parameters in the store are kept in the URLs on all pages of the web store when the user navigates to your store.
Furthermore, you can also personalize your messages with product attributes in abandoned cart campaigns built with Interactions.
As a result, the target audience reached by Interactions might be smaller but the expected conversion rate will be higher due to sending more relevant messages (as you don’t have to wait for 3-5 hours before sending your campaigns).
To build abandoned cart programs in Interactions, you need the following:
- Interactions' advanced functionalities (i.e. historical decision which is available for Advanced and Max AI packages or as an add-on).
- Web Extend implementation (Interactions consumes raw events coming live from your website and it needs an effective contact identification method. Therefore, it is very important that Web Extend should be implemented without errors because these might prevent Interactions from working correctly).
- A regularly updated product catalog (please check the data quality of your product catalog because the more errors it contains, the more likely it is that Interactions will not work properly). The item IDs in the product catalog have to be identical with the IDs coming from your website because the personalization service retrieves the product IDs from the events but it matches the IDs with the details included in your product catalog.
- A Repeatable Block that can display the abandoned items.
Building an abandoned cart program in Interactions
In the following example, we will build an abandoned cart program that:
- targets contacts who:
- updated their carts (i.e. they either added or removed an item from their carts),
- did not purchase any item in the last 24 hours,
- opted-in for receiving marketing materials.
- ensures that contacts can receive your campaign only once a week,
- sends an abandoned cart email campaign to your contacts.
This abandoned cart program will look like as follows:
To create an abandoned cart program, proceed as follows:
1. Navigate to Automation > Automation, click Create Program and select Behavior-focused journeys (Interactions).
2. Select the Web Extend event trigger and choose the Updated cart trigger event.
This event is triggered when a contact adds or removes an item from their cart. If their cart is empty (the contact removed every item from it), then the message will not be sent to this contact.
3. Add a Wait node to your program and set it to 20 minutes.
4. Add a Decision node to each path and configure it as follows:
a. Choose the Event did not happen type.
b. Select the Web Extend Purchase and Updated cart events.
c. Set the Timeframe to Since the trigger event.
Please consider the following:
- This node ensures that:
- customers abandoned their carts without purchasing anything and
- the Updated cart event that triggered the program is the last cart update that happened, so they will only receive your message once.
- If a contact updates their cart multiple times, then each Updated cart event will trigger the same abandoned cart program (e.g. if a contact adds 5 items to the cart and later abandons it, then it will count as 5 Updated cart events and each one will trigger this program). This node is needed to avoid sending the campaign multiple times to your contacts. For more information on how multiple events that belong to the same contact travel through a program, see this Example.
Please note that removing items from the cart also counts as a cart update action and such events can also trigger the program. It may happen that a visitor empties their cart on your website before they leave. In such cases, they will not receive your campaign because the Repeatable Block will not allow the message to be sent. However, it can still affect your reporting (increased number of cancelled messages on the Email Analysis screen). If you would like to avoid this situation, we recommend inserting a Decision node that checks whether the cart contains at least 1 item right after the No further cart updates/purchase happened node.
5. Add another Decision node to to your program to ensure that contacts did not purchase anything in the last 24 hours.
a. Choose the Event did not happen template.
b. Select the Web Extend Purchased event.
c. Set the Timeframe to In the last 24 hours.
6. Add a Decision node to your program and configure it as follows:
a. Choose the Included in segment template.
b. Select a segment that contains contacts whose opt-in status is true.
Triggered emails ignore the contacts’ opt-in status by default, so this node ensures that only those contacts will receive your campaign whose opt-in status is true.
7. Add a Participation check node to each path and select the If the following time has passed since this contact last proceeded along the Yes path option and set it to 7 days.
To ensure that contacts receive only one abandoned cart, browse or check-out page campaign per week (it may come in handy if you have multiple campaigns), switch the Make this check available in other programs toggle and select an existing Participation check or create a new one.
8. Add a Send email node to each path and select your campaign.
We have built another program which shows you how you can experiment with creating different paths that contain different Wait nodes. In the example below, we added Wait nodes to each path and set them to wait for 20, 60 and 90 minutes.
Personalizing your content with product attributes
With Personalization rules, you can personalize your content by using the attributes of the products customers left in their carts. You can use any field from your product catalog (e.g. title, image URL, link, brand, color, description, etc.).
To personalize your content with product attributes, follow the instructions in Adding the Repeatable Block to campaigns using Product sets and select the Abandoned cart Product set.
What is the cart update event?
The cart update event is triggered by Emarsys when a change in the cart status that we receive with each product view, category view, etc. is detected. Besides the whole content of the cart, this event also contains the changes (i.e. the items that were added to or removed from the cart). You can send cart status data into Emarsys more frequently by adding the cart and go commands to the Add to bag or Add to cart button on your website. If these commands have not been added to the Add to cart or Add to bag button on your website, then Emarsys cannot calculate and trigger the cart update events properly.
I have added many products to the cart but there are fewer products in the abandoned cart email campaign. How could that happen?
- Only events coming from logged-in sessions can trigger abandoned cart messages. Otherwise, contacts should be identified in another way, for example, if contacts navigate to your website by clicking the relevant email (it depends on your implementation).
- If you want to link to your cart (checkout page) directly, then please follow the descriptions in Creating the 'Back to cart' link.
- You need to have a dynamic product block. Currently, the product block can display one item per row. The order of items is the same as their order in the cart (it depends on your website but usually the first item in the campaign is the last product that was added to the cart).
- Currently, you can only test your program by imitating an abandoned cart action with test contacts.