Better cart abandonment emails for online furniture stores

By Ramy Khuffash

If you’re anything like me, you shop around for hours when looking to buy something important like a piece of furniture.

I'm sure you've also experienced the following: After spending ages researching your options and seeing what's available, you end up buying one of the first items you looked at.

This behavior pattern is why cart abandonment emails are so important, especially with big ticket items. A gentle reminder of something you almost bought earlier might just be what you need to put an end to your search.

I researched some of the big names in furniture to see what they were doing with cart abandonment emails. Here’s what I found:

The stats

I abandoned the carts of 15 furniture stores:

  • 2 (13%) didn't email us at all
  • 4 (27%) added us to their newsletter, but sent no cart abandonment emails
  • 4 (27%) sent 1 cart abandonment email
  • 3 (20%) sent 2
  • 1 (7%) sent three
  • 2 (13%) included a discount in their abandonment emails

What was in the emails?

As you can see from stats above, most companies that did sent cart abandonment emails only sent one. They generally looked something like this:

This is a pretty standard approach and is simple to implement on most e-commerce platforms. It's the minimum you should have in place.

Going a step further

Houzz sent two email, and the second included a fairly large discount.

The second email was sent a few days after the first, so it might have been too late. If I was looking for a new rug and hadn't decided on one yet, the 21% discount sure would be tempting.

A more timely approach

My favorite sequence came from Wallshoppe:

The second email in the sequence arrives only eight hours after the first, so it could still catch the shopper during their research phase. The final email includes a discount. Just as with the Houzz example, it could be enough to tempt the shopper if they didn't end up buying anything in the end.

Conclusion

Based on what I learned in this experiment, here are a few takeaways:

  • Send at least one cart abandonment email
  • Consider sending two, three, or even four reminders. As long as it's easy for the shopper to unsubscribe, the reminders aren't super annoying and could help them make the decision.
  • When sending more than two cart abandonment emails, consider offering incentives.
  • Give customers a way to let you know they’re no longer interested in the product that's in their cart without having to unsubscribe from all of your emails
  • Prioritize cart abandonment emails: Many of the companies we tested sent cart abandonment emails as well as regular marketing campaigns. Cart abandonment emails should be prioritized over regular campaigns to avoid sending the potential customer too many emails.

If you're interested in learning email best practices from popular e-commerce brands you can browse through thousands of email screenshots here.


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