If you run an eCommerce store, abandoned shopping carts can be a major source of frustration. Customers who are seemingly so close to making a purchase, only to leave your store with the transaction uncompleted, can leave you wondering what to do to improve the shopping experience. While you might not be aware of your own store’s abandoned cart rate, this study puts the figure at 67.89% on average.
There are many reasons why a shopper might abandon their cart before checking out. They could be called away or distracted before completing the transaction, the total price including shipping might be more than they expected, their method of payment might be declined, or they may not have had their payment details to hand. Whatever the reason, there isn’t much you can do about it with a typical eCommerce setup.
Thankfully there is now a solution available in the form of the WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Pro plugin from Tyche Softwares. This plugin allows you to track and monitor abandoned cart rates for your site, but most importantly it provides a way to increase the chances of the customer coming back to your store to complete the transaction.
Features and Usage
As this plugin has been built for use with the WooCommerce eCommerce toolkit for WordPress, you will need to be using this free plugin for providing the online store functionality for your site. Once you’ve downloaded your copy of the Abandoned Cart plugin, the installation process can be completed like any other plugin, either by uploading it directly through your WordPress admin dashboard or via FTP. Once activated, the plugin must be authorised using a license key.
After installation, the plugin creates a new menu entry entitled ‘Abandoned Carts’ which is added to the WooCommerce sub-menu on the admin dashboard. From here you can access the main features of the plugin and configure the settings.
The main tactics that are deployed by the plugin in order to reduce abandoned cart rates is to entice shoppers back to your store by sending reminder emails. The plugin also gives you the option of offering a financial incentive to complete the order, via a discount coupon code which is displayed in the reminder email. While the new version of the plugin now works with non-registered users, guests must have reached the stage in the checkout where they have entered an email address before abandoning their cart, in order to trigger an email.
From the settings you can determine the time after which a shopping cart is considered abandoned. Once a cart’s status is set to abandoned by the system, the plugin can then begin the job of tempting the shopper back to your store to finish the transaction.
A great feature of this plugin is that the emails are sent out to the abandoners, automatically in the background. Once the amount of time you set has elapsed, indicating that a cart has been abandoned, your specified email template will be sent out to the potential customer.
Before you start making use of the email reminders, you will need to create at least one email template that will be sent to anyone who abandons their cart before checking out. When it comes to creating a template, it’s simply a case of using an editor very similar to the standard WordPress post editor, but with a few extra menu items. With the plugin you can insert custom fields into your template, such as customer name, a link to their cart and the checkout page. This allows you to personalise the emails and also make it as easy as possible for the recipient to resume shopping where they left off. By following a link in the email back to the store, registered customers will be logged into the site.
When creating a template you must set the amount of time to wait after a cart has been abandoned before it gets sent out. This allows you to create multiple email messages that are sent at scheduled intervals after a customer has left your store without checking out. The first message could be sent instantly once an abandonment has been detected, then a follow up email the next day, and so on. As you can create multiple discount coupons with WooCommerce, you can increase the depth of the discount with each email. The editor allows you to copy a template with one click so you can quickly create variations on an existing template.
If a customer abandoned their cart because they became distracted or ran out of time, a simple follow up email should be enough to bring them back to the store in order to finish up where they left off. However, if they pulled out of the transaction due to the final price being too high, after tax or shipping was added, you could entice them back to the store with a discount coupon. As this plugin works with WooCommerce, it uses the coupon functionality of that toolkit.
While you won’t know why a customer abandoned their shopping cart on your eCommerce store, you can still put this approach into practice by first sending a reminder email once the cart has been abandoned, and then following it up a day later with another email that contains a coupon.
With WooCommerce, coupons can be created using a number of settings to ensure you aren’t limited to just offering a percentage discount on the final cart total. The options for creating a coupon include:
- Discount type: discount as a percentage or set amount, applied to cart total or applied to specific products only, and/or free shipping
- Value of the coupon
- Apply before or after tax
- Exclude sale items
- Minimum cart amount to qualify
- Products which need to be in the cart to enable the coupon
- Products which must not be in the cart to enable the coupon
- Products from a certain category which need to be in the cart
- Products from a certain category which must not be in the cart
- Restrict certain email address holders to use the coupon
- Set a usage limit after which the coupon will expire
- Set an expiry date
As you can see, with WooCommerce you can create some pretty specific coupons to ensure you aren’t simply discounting your whole inventory on an unlimited basis. Setting a usage limit is a good way to prevent coupons being shared amongst customers or used for multiple orders.
Under the Sent Emails tab, you can view emails that have been sent due to an abandoned cart. Emails can be viewed using pre-defined date periods or you can enter a custom range. The tracking data includes the number of emails sent, emails opened and links clicked. This can give you some idea as to how effective your email templates are at enticing a user back to your store. If you are failing to prompt a return visit then you might need to improve your sales copy and perhaps begin offering more tempting discount codes.
Another tab on the plugin menu page displays information about orders that have been recovered using the plugin. Again these orders can be searched for using the date pre-sets or a custom date range. The data is summarised by listing the total number of carts that were abandoned, along with their total value, as well as the number that were recovered and the extra amount in sales that was generated. By using this feature, you can quickly see if the plugin is paying for itself.
Real World Uses
Although this plugin is relatively new, it has already been put to use by eCommerce stores that want to reduce their cart abandonment rates. To give you an idea of the type of site that could make use of this plugin and its features, here are some links to sites using this plugin:
The pro version of this plugin is available on three different price plans which are as follows:
- Single store: $79
- Five stores: $199
- Unlimited stores: $229
As this plugin is directly related to generating lost revenue, it shouldn’t be long before the costs are recouped on an active eCommerce store.
Support and Documentation
As with the other WooCommerce addons from Tyche Softwares, this plugin is well documented and supported. Throughout the settings for the plugin, there are hover activated tooltips which explain most of the settings, so you are always sure of what the options are referring to.
If you have a support issue with the plugin, you can raise a ticket using the support system that is in place. Queries we have had in the past have been dealt with satisfactorily and in a prompt manner. If you have any questions prior to purchasing the plugin, you can leave a comment on the product page for a quick response from the developers.
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
Close to 70% of shopping carts on average are abandoned before checkout. Around 50% of shoppers who walk away state the cost of shipping as the reason for doing so. Using this plugin to automatically send an email to anyone who abandons their cart and offering them a free shipping discount coupon, is an ideal way to remove this barrier standing in the way of them making a purchase. In fact, the benefits of being able to add this functionality to an eCommerce store was recently covered by Chris Lema in a recent blog post, who gave a nod to the developers of this particular plugin, as well as some great tips on implementing an approach such as this.
Putting this plugin to work on your site is a quick and easy way to start increasing your revenue. The plugin sales page claims that 30% of lost sales can be recovered automatically by using this plugin. Although it’s not clear where that data comes from.
However, even if you don’t want to go down the route of offering discount coupons, you can still make use of this plugin by simply reminding those who failed to checkout to return to your store to complete their shopping.
Like other WooCommerce plugins from Tyche Softwares, the Abandon Cart Pro plugin adds a very useful feature to your eCommerce store, in a way that is easy to setup and begin using, while also having plenty of settings and options to configure it.
It would’ve been nice if the plugin had come with some email templates to use as this would’ve made the setup process even easier and faster. Being able to duplicate coupons as easily as email template can be copied would’ve also increased efficiency, allowing store managers to quickly setup multiple coupons for specific occasions.
The high likelihood that this functionality will increase revenue makes this an essential feature to add to any online store. Thanks to its relatively low price tag and ease of use, the WooCommerce Abandon Cart Pro plugin is an ideal choice for solving some of the issues surrounding abandoned shopping carts.
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