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Abandoned Shopify Checkouts: How to Recover Revenue With SMS
SMS Marketing Best Practices

Abandoned Shopify Checkouts: How to Recover Revenue With SMS

Abandoned checkout campaigns help brands gain back lost revenue, win over customers, and set you up to see recurring revenue from customers — aka increase customer lifetime value (CLTV).

May 13, 2022

As an eCommerce marketer, you are probably very familiar with checkout abandonment. It's when you have put in the work to target and gain the interest of consumers, to have them get all the way to check out … then lose them. This is where a perfected abandoned checkout campaign can save all the hard marketing work that you put in and regain lost revenue. 

Why Are Abandoned Checkout Campaigns So Important? 

According to Bolt, the average checkout abandonment over the past ten years has fluctuated between 60 – 80%. And as more consumers shop from their mobile devices, abandoned checkouts can go even higher as increased distractions (or poor mobile-friendly site design) cause shoppers to move away from checkout. 

You may be asking, if checkout abandonment rates are high for everyone, why should I put effort into fixing this problem? The answer is it's possible to recover a substantial amount of revenue. (Brands recovering 30% of abandoned checkouts with SMS we are looking at you 👀) 

With effective abandoned checkout campaigns, you are not only setting yourself up to gain immediate revenue but also earn revenue over the foreseeable future by acquiring loyal customers.

Overall, effective, customer-centered abandoned checkout campaigns help brands gain back lost revenue, win over customers, and set you up to see recurring revenue from customers — aka increase customer lifetime value (CLTV).

Why Use SMS to Recover Abandoned Shopify Checkouts?

We’ll start with abandoned checkout SMS campaigns. Short Message Service (SMS) is an incredible marketing tool because it is one of the most personal marketing channels. When brands use text messaging, your marketing messages are alongside chats and one-to-one convos with loved ones. So it is no surprise that SMS has an open rate of 98%, which means your marketing messages are getting into the literal hands of your customers. 

SMS abandonment campaigns provide a more immediate way to reconnect with shoppers because people are more likely to see and interact with text messages than other marketing channels. 

While Shopify provides email checkout abandonment capabilities for their merchants, there is not a Shopify-provided solution for SMS. But don’t sweat. There are a few amazing Shopify SMS partners that make it easy to create SMS abandoned checkout campaigns. 

There are two approaches to using SMS to recover your abandoned Shopify checkouts: live agents and automation. 

SMS Checkout Recovery With Live Agents 

“What we’ve seen with the dramatic shift in customer behavior is consumers spending time on their mobile devices. This includes browsing and shopping. What we’ve seen success with is a lot of these automations and the scalable technology that allows a brand to reach out to these customers through SMS. What’s been lacking though is this human element,” Rev Reddy, CEO of Voyage SMS.

The human element, when it comes to abandoned checkout recovery, is the secret sauce to hitting 30% recovery rates. Many consumers don’t want to receive messages from automated bots, which is why SMS platforms that use live agents have seen amazing results. When you use live agents, they can have a nuanced conversation with customers to understand why they didn’t purchase, answer any questions, or even offer a small discount or free shipping to help finalize the sale. 

Let’s take a look at how Thinx recovered $450,000 worth of abandoned checkouts using Shopify partner LiveRecover to reach out to customers with live agents. 

LiveRecover's SMS platform provided Thinx with the following capabilities:

  • Abandoned checkouts and customers’ contact details automatically sync to LiveRecover, meaning no admin time or input is required by Thinx.
  • Tailored, personalized texts are sent to customers 30 minutes after every checkout is abandoned to understand why they didn’t buy.
  • Knowledgeable Liverecover agents were at the end of every text. They have the training and resources to answer all the common questions that make customers hesitate—such as shipping, fit or measurement, and other product-specific queries.
  • Agents offer a small discount, typically in the form of free shipping, to seal the deal.

In only eight months after Thinx implemented live agent follow-up campaigns, they recovered more than $450k of revenue with a 27% recovery rate. That’s a huge chunk of previously lost income that’s now in their bank account. 

💡 You can read more details about Thinx’s success here. 

Using live agents can help your brands reach a level of nuance and trust with customers that are just not possible with automation. While live agents may not be the best choice for every situation, recovering customers that are at the bottom of the funnel is the perfect place to implement this level of personalization and care. 

SMS Shopping Checkout Recovery With Automation 

The other method for using SMS to recover abandoned checkouts is to use automated messages. The key to creating a successful automated recovery campaign is to use segmentation and data to create personalized, non-spammy messages. As we mentioned, Shopify doesn’t have a Shopify-specific SMS platform but has many great SMS partners that make it easy to utilize your Shopify data to craft the perfect texts. 

Best practices for automated checkout recovery include: 

  • Personalize - Use the customer’s first name in the text to grab their attention 
  • Incentives - Free shipping and promotional discounts are great to incentivize the customer to complete their purchase
  • Urgency - Use time-sensitive wording, for example: "your cart will expire soon" 
  • Creative - Try a variation of images or GIFs 
  • Frictionless - Provide a link that will take your customers back to their checkout page

Another important factor in automation is segmentation. Segmenting your SMS list will help make sure the content is tailored to the right audience and control costs by targeting audiences most likely to convert. 

Depending on your product and brand, you can segment your list for abandoned checkout campaigns to be more effective by testing: 

  • Only texting cart sizes above or below a certain amount 
  • Only sending discounts to cart sizes above or below a certain amount 
  • If they are returning customers or have never purchased before 

By testing and analyzing your results, you will be able to maximize your recovered revenue and minimize costs. 

How to Use Email to Recover Abandoned Shopify Checkouts

Even though email has a lower open rate and is often a more saturated marketing channel than SMS, it remains a valuable and relevant marketing channel for eCommerce brands. Shopify provides automated email services for merchants making it easy to set up. 

To set up automated abandoned checkout follow up emails: 

  1. Go to your Shopify Settings > Checkout. 
  2. Find the Abandoned checkout section and check Automatically send abandoned checkout emails. 
  3. Then you’ll be able to edit who you want to receive emails and how long to delay the automated email.
  4. Lastly, click Save. 

Like SMS abandonment campaigns, you will want to test what works best for your brand with language, discounts, and other variables. Shopify provides an Abandoned checkouts emails report that will tell you how many sessions and completed orders have resulted from the reminder emails. 

💡 Click here to read more about Shopify’s email abandoned checkout options and set up 

Learning What Serves Your Customers 

Following up with your customers through abandon checkout campaigns provides you with extremely valuable information that you can use to optimize your website and checkout experience. The more you know about what your customers want, like, dislike, or the questions they have, the better you can serve them.

The Best of Both Worlds – Live Agents & Automation

Leading eCommerce brands including Dragun Beauty, Homecourt, Lokai, MoonPod, and Birthdate Co. use Voyage SMS to drive revenue growth and cultivate deeper customer loyalty through hyper-personalized SMS automation. Voyage recently acquired LiveRecover, which brings us the expertise of a brand that powers conversions by sending messages from live agents: real conversations from real people. 

Together, we offer brands the best of both SMS worlds, allowing you to build long-term, valuable customer relationships through frictionless buying experiences and seamless two-way conversations. The best part, both Voyage, and Liverecover seamlessly integrate with Shopify. 

Request a demo today to see the most powerful SMS marketing and message commerce platform in the world and how we work for Shopify brands.
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