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Use Photos from Social Media to Combat Abandoned Shopping Carts

Marketing and e-commerce professionals project almost visceral reactions when talking about shopping cart abandonment. They are aware that it’s a big problem yet at the same time a lucrative opportunity. Approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year and about 63% of that revenue is potentially recoverable.

Retailers can reduce the rate of cart abandonment and increase conversions in two ways:

  • By streamlining the checkout process
  • By retargeting shoppers with emails after they’ve left your website

To optimize the checkout process, you’ll find many technologies including SmartCart, Moovweb, and Nexternal that can help online retailers to modify the checkout user interface in order to reduce the number of products abandoned in cart. Yet, even a fully optimized checkout experience may result in some items still being left in online carts.

However, even that doesn’t necessarily translate into lost revenue. Retargeting emails are a powerful means by which marketers can recoup revenue from these shoppers. Nearly half of all cart abandonment emails are opened and nearly a third of clicks lead to a purchase back on site. How can you better optimize your abandoned cart emails with content from social media? While many brands deploy retargeting campaigns that create a second and third touch point for recovering customers, these emails are often relatively lackluster in nature. Furthermore, they often do nothing to modify or enhance the original experience that led the shopper to abandon cart in the first place.

Today, I’m excited to announce that Pixlee has launched a new integration with Oracle Marketing Cloud, through Oracle Responsys. This new integration helps joint Pixlee and Oracle Responsys clients, such as Charlotte Russe and Levi’s Jeans, to improve their triggered email campaign engagement and to recover more revenue from abandoned shopping carts by using photos and videos from real customers.

The brands that use this user-generated content from social media in their emails see a 1-2% increase in click-through resulting in gains of tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Take a look at these back-of-the-envelope numbers on how UGC would improve shopping cart abandonment recovery for a business doing $100M in online sales. The returns are phenomenal.

Pixlee Email Engagement User Generated Content Results

Why does user-generated content from social media improve the success rate of abandoned cart emails so significantly?

Here are the two principal reasons why authentic content from real customers has such a huge impact on email performance.

  1. Real customer content provides context for abandoned products

Using product-specific customer photos and videos in abandoned cart emails helps to contextualize products for shoppers who are still in the early stages of the purchase funnel. It also adds a layer of social proof and peer validation to help shoppers, who may not be able to touch and feel a product as they would in a store, to make a purchase with confidence.

  1. Real customer content goes beyond the product offering

Brick and mortar retail allow retailers to craft a complete brand experience. From the store’s layout to its location, brands are able to better control how products are discovered and introduced to the buyer.  

Using real customer content in triggered emails can help to highlight the greater brand story and lifestyle.

When it comes to recovering abandoned cart revenue there are two, non-exclusive paths to success: optimizing the online checkout experience and improving abandoned cart email campaigns. However, even once your checkout user interface is optimized, items may still be left in cart. Triggered recovery emails are already powerful for recovering this revenue. To improve your recovery email campaign engagement and increase click-through rates, consider your content. Does it contextualize your products in an authentic way? If the answer is no, consider using real customer photos and videos from social media to enhance your email engagement and encourage website revisits.

Kyle Wong
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