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Comprehensive SMS Abandonment Automation Field Guide
SMS Marketing 101

Comprehensive SMS Abandonment Automation Field Guide

An SMS abandonment automation uses alerts and triggers to remind shoppers of their abandoned sessions and items. These strategic automations lessen the customer abandonment rate when effectively deployed, increasing conversions. 

April 14, 2022

Stop Your Customers From Abandoning Ship with Attention-Grabbing SMS Abandon Browse, Abandon Cart, and Abandon Checkout Automations

Online shopping faces many competitors - from directly competing brands and products, to indirect distractions that take shoppers away from their devices mid-browse and checkout.

For any of the above reasons, customers abandon ship on their purchases throughout the buying funnel - from browsing, to having items added to cart, and even during checkout. 

A study revealed that close to 70% of online shoppers do not complete purchases, leading to a $260 billion loss in the US and the EU. That number goes even higher for mobile shoppers at more than 85%.

Brands must win back customers during each of these points in the funnel by capturing their attention. But what can businesses do to lessen eCommerce abandonment? 

With a 98% open rate and nearly 50% repose rate, SMS automations are the optimal conversion tool to sink abandonment. In this SMS Abandonment Automations Field Guide, we cover:

  • What are SMS Abandonment Automations?
  • Why SMS Marketing Matters to Abandonment Automations?
  • The eCommerce Sales Funnel and Abandonment Strategies
  • Elite SMS Abandonment Automation Strategies
  • How to Get Started with Your SMS Abandonment Automation

What are SMS Abandonment Automations?

An SMS abandonment automation uses alerts and triggers to remind shoppers of their abandoned sessions and items. These strategic automations lessen the customer abandonment rate when effectively deployed, increasing conversions. 

Based on the customer behavior, SMS automations can be triggered by the following events, and set up based on time elapsed after each event type:

  • Abandon Browse: Shopper leaving the website after browsing - events can be based on time on site or browsing depth, depending on your strategy.
  • Abandon Cart: Visitor adds an item or multiple items to their cart but leaves the website. 
  • Abandon Checkout: Customer starts the checkout process but leaves before completing their purchase.

Let’s explore industry benchmarks, metrics for success, and the various SMS abandonment automation strategies to increase conversions.

Why SMS Marketing Matters to Abandonment Automations

Abandonment rates vary across industries - check out the range of cart abandonment rates for the following industries: 

  • 72.8% for the retail industry
  • 68.3% for the fashion industry
  • 81.7% for the travel industry
  • 64.2% for the gaming industry
  • 83.6% for the financial services industry

People use their phones everywhere (Hello 👋  to the nearly 75% of people that take their phones into the bathroom). As the most personalized digital channel, SMS offers a direct line of contact with your customers.

SMS abandonment automations provide a more immediate way to reconnect with shoppers because people are more likely to see and interact with text messages. With retailers focusing on mobile-first experiences, people are also more likely to make a purchase from their phones.

Understanding where your customers are abandoning ship within your shopping funnel will help prioritize which type of abandonment automation will be most effective for your brand.

The eCommerce Sales Funnel and Abandonment Strategies

A successful eCommerce sales funnel follows a simple formula: Right Messages + Right Prospects + Right Time = More Revenue

Map out your customer journey and evaluate what you need to do at each stage of the funnel to convince potential buyers to take the next step. 

Depending on where your brand is seeing the largest drop-off and abandonment on-site, you can develop a tailored strategy to recover customers who abandon throughout your sales funnel. 

There are three SMS abandonment automation types to consider when developing your strategy. Let’s start at the top of your funnel and work our way down.

Browsing Stage

At this stage in the eCommerce sales funnel, a visitor has come to your site and poked around, browsing but then leaving the site before taking an action. This behavior is common as people check out new products or compare products and promotions with competitors. 

SMS abandon browse automations are effective for capturing the attention of your recent visitors and showing the product or category they were recently considering.

Depending on your abandoned browse script, you can configure your abandon browse event script to segment visitors based on product categories and specific product pages - allowing you to target big-ticket items or high inventory products if desired.

Sending website visitors text messages with special offers or reminders that the product is running low on stock can increase the likelihood of them taking the next step and moving further into the sales funnel.

Add-to-Cart Stage

The next stage in the eCommerce sales funnel is when your visitors have taken the next action and added an item or more to their cart. By adding an item to their cart, these visitors are showing higher buying intent and therefore deserve thoughtful engagement.

Many visitors abandon their cart while they are considering purchases, or simply abandon their items out of distraction. Some savvy sailors have caught on to the common marketing practice of offering promos for abandoned carts.

Effective abandoned cart SMS automations drive conversions by engaging with higher-intent visitors through thoughtfully timed reminders. 

To find the sweet spot for increasing conversion rates with your abandoned cart audience, test your tactics by segmenting groups based on AOV (average order value) or cart size, and testing varied levels of promotions. Understanding what drives your conversions for this stage of abandonment will help you craft higher converting SMS automations. 

Checkout Stage

The final stage of the eCommerce sales funnel is checkout which has the highest-intent visitors. Although a distraction might have pulled them away from completing their purchase, checkout abandonment is also commonly caused by unexpected shipping costs, lack of customer support, additional transaction fees, or price reconsiderations. 

Consumers who reach this stage want to purchase the products, making them the easiest to convert. SMS abandoned checkout automations are a highly effective tool to complete the customer journey, especially when you focus on eliminating the common hurdles for this stage. 

Timing is everything with this audience - sending the right messages to remind them they are just one step away from enjoying their products can make all the difference. High-converting SMS abandon checkout automations also focus on providing value to this engaged segment. For larger ticket items or higher AOV checkouts, consider offering free shipping or another incentive if your reminders aren’t driving conversions as expected.

Elite SMS Abandonment Automation Strategies

With a solid understanding of your eCommerce sales funnel and your customer journey, you can begin crafting your SMS abandonment automations. 

We’ve compiled a list of elite SMS abandonment automation strategies to help build out your abandonment automation fleet over time with custom events:

Abandon Browse SMS Automations

🚤 Don’t spook your browsers like Ol’ Nessy 🦕 - keep the creep level to a minimum by deploying well-timed, non-invasive automation to gently remind visitors of what they were eyeing.

🛥️ Once you get your abandoned browse bearings, set up product-specific segments to target high inventory products or big-ticket items.

🚢 Elite fleets frequently deploy cross-channel remarketing with paid advertising campaigns on social and search channels to grab attention to recently browsed items.

Abandon Cart SMS Automations

🚤 Capture people considering a purchase and help increase revenue by converting subscribers along their purchase journey with one-time SMS reminders triggered shortly after abandoning their cart.

🛥️ Level-up your abandoned cart SMS automation with automated multi-touch text drips that include a link directly to checkout with Click-to-Buy, helping to reduce conversion friction.

🚢 Master abandon cart automations include segment variations – like offering incentives based on AOV, loyalty membership, and cart size segments – for the most personalized multi-message abandoned cart text workflows.

Abandon Checkout SMS Automations

🚤 Those that abandon at checkout often hesitate to buy because of a few simple questions. Start by providing the best customer experience at the bottom of the funnel with a one-time SMS reminder triggered upon abandoned checkout

🛥️ Build your abandon checkout SMS automation strategy by including segmentation based on new or returning customer workflow variations. 

🚢 Delight your abandoned checkout customers by incorporating live agents to answer common questions that are hindering their purchase (like shipping time, sizing, and more).  

How to Get Started with Your SMS Abandonment Automations

Implementing an SMS abandonment automation requires taking only three steps.

1. Identify Goals and Benchmarks

A good Captain never sets sail without charting their course. Determine your current conversion and abandonment rates, and assess industry benchmarks to chart your trajectory. Set up your goals based on these baselines and benchmarks, and align your goals with the timing of automation.

2. Evaluate Your Strategy

Don’t put all your fish in one basket. Never make assumptions - utilize A/B testing when starting your SMS abandonment automation. Test your segmentation, timing, content, and incentives to develop the most engaging automations for your audience.

3. Start Slow

Get your SMS abandonment sealegs. Depending on your eCommerce sales funnel conversion rates, start the automation focusing on customers who are most likely to convert—those in the checkout stage. Based on your specific customer journey needs, build out your program over time.

Need help mapping your abandonment Voyage? 

From SMS strategy development to a more hands on deck for creating and executing automations, all the way to steering your messaging and imagery, driving revenue, and cultivating customer delight for your brand through smarter, optimized SMS with Voyage Compass.

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