Despite the rise of mobile and social marketing strategies, email has remained a powerful tool for retailers to educate consumers on their brand, recommend items and most importantly, recover lost sales. Due to consumers’ growing focus on finding the best deals across digital and physical channels, shopping cart abandonment continues to be a threat to retailers’ online success. In fact, 89% of consumers have indicated that they have abandoned at least one shopping cart, according to Forrester Research.
To win the eyes and dollars of its shoppers, South Moon Under — a luxury retailer for men and women — partnered with Listrak, an email solution provider, to adopt a strategy to tackle cart abandonment. As of July 2012, the retailer has achieved a 23.52% conversion rate through the abandonment campaign.
“Our shoppers like to stay up-to-date on the newest, hottest trends,” Earnest Gould, Creative Director for South Moon Under, told Retail TouchPoints. “The email campaigns help us alert customers on what’s hot in fashion and encourage them to buy before inventory gets low. Our customers also love a sale. With our emails, we let them know when great deals and sales events start and end.”
During the shopping cart abandonment series, shoppers receive three messages. The first message, sent three hours following abandonment, contains a personalized subject line, encouraging shoppers to revisit their digital carts. If shoppers don’t complete transactions, a second message is sent two days later. A third, final message is sent five days following with a “last chance” message, which is used to help increasing urgency to complete purchases.
Avoiding The Discount
Rather than offering large discounts to drive click-throughs and transactions, South Moon Under features detailed product images, descriptions and prices of cart items within all abandonment messages.
This is a significant change from the retailer’s previous abandonment strategy, according to Gould. Prior to partnering with Listrak, the retailer had a 74% online cart abandonment rate, and offered a discount with each re-targeting email message.
“In our previous abandonment emails, we included a 10% discount if consumers completed a purchase within 48 hours,” Gould explained. Despite this incentive, the company only saw a 10% conversion rate, and $1,403 in average sales-per-week. Now, no discount offers or incentives are included, he added, and the retailer’s abandonment campaign accounts for 9.7% of all email revenue.
South Moon Under also has grown its email subscription list 3% by leveraging Listrak’s Model Acquisition solution, Gould reported. The pop-up message, which is integrated into the e-Commerce site, encourages shoppers to sign up for the retailer’s email program to receive news updates on new inventory and sale events.
Once opted in, shoppers receive a welcome email series, complete with a free shipping coupon to use towards their first online purchase. A reminder of the incentive is sent five days after the initial message. Overall, the retailer experienced a 3.28% conversion rate and $1,625 profit from April to July 2012.
Maximizing The Power Of Personalization
To optimize the success of its welcome emails, South Moon Under is linking customer data to its preference center, which allows subscribers to share more information about themselves, and their preferences. As a result, the retailer can now segment emails by gender, birthday and other personal information. In the near future, South Moon Under will roll out a birthday campaign, in which the retailer will send an email message complete with a coupon, tailored to customer information.
The preference center also will allow South Moon Under “to better filter out subscribers based on their store location,” Gould said. “Then, we’ll be able to share news about events within consumers’ areas,” he added, creating more relevant brand experiences.
Although the preference center currently focuses on consumers’ gender, birthday and location, the retailer plans to update the feature to include more data points, Gould reported. This in-depth personalization allows retailers, such as South Moon Under, to re-create the brick-and-mortar luxury experience on the web, according to Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak.
“Personalization is a key factor to successful shopping cart abandonment campaigns, as well as other automated email campaigns,” Kramer said. “Personalization is so much more than a customer’s name — it’s about providing relevant product images and key messaging, sending messages at the right time, and careful use of incentives and discounts.”