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Don’t Abandon Your Window Shoppers: Create Opportunity with these 3 Browse Abandonment Emails


We’ve all been the recipient of a cart abandonment email: those persistent reminders that let you know that you did not, in fact, complete your purchase of that sweater or new sneakers you had in your cart recently.

While their effectiveness is the proven push people need to finish their online shopping, there is a whole world of upper-funnel shoppers with potential you may not be accessing as effectively as you could (and should). These casual browsers may come to your site with no intention more than online window shopping, but that doesn’t negate their purchasing power when addressed appropriately. That’s where browse abandonment emails come into play.

Keeping reading for more on browse abandonment emails, including:

How browse abandonment emails lead to completed purchases

Sending a browse abandonment email to shoppers who looked around and couldn’t quite commit to… well anything, can account for over 15% of all revenue generated by email. For those you can identify and contact, sending a browse abandonment email shows you see them and know them (based on site behavior) and in an online world where everyone expects personalized content, this small gesture could lead to big results.

Like cart abandonment emails, the objective for browse abandonment emails is clear: entice a visitor back to your site to make a purchase. But what does that look like when the data you’ve been able to collect on their preferences is minimal?

Website visitors are likely at different stages of their purchase journey, but one thing is clear: They haven’t given any indication that they are quite ready to spend. Regardless of the reason, any details from their online browsing is a good starting point and one you should explore by carefully contacting them with curated emails. It could just be the nudge they need to jump back on to your site and make a purchase.

According to SaleCycle, browse abandonment emails as a benchmark can achieve a 35% open rate, a 6% conversion rate, and a 2% uplift in sales. That’s an ample sales opportunity, but often overlooked by many online retailers.  However as privacy regulations continue to evolve, these shoppers that want to hear from you are gold for your business and should be treated as such.

3 types of browse abandonment emails

When it comes to browse abandonment, there are three main areas to focus your efforts.

Product abandonment emails

Product abandonment emails address shoppers who spent time on a product page but failed to add anything to their cart. However, since these visitors engaged with more specific content, showing increased interest, you have more insight on how best to recapture their attention for maximum effectiveness.

With knowledge about this shopper creates opportunity. This is a chance to make your emails shine with personalization, demonstrating you know your customer hasn’t found an exact match for their search, but you can help. If available, leverage past purchase behavior combined with most recent shopping behavior to highlight just the right products from your shopping feed that resonate with their specific preferences.

It’s also helpful to expand your offerings with eye-catching messages. You know the shopper didn’t feel compelled to add anything to their cart, so highlight new or best sellers in this category.

Another tactic to encourage action is to create urgency (not to be confused with panic) with your email copy. This could include incorporating the number of other shoppers who have each item in their cart, messaging that implies the item is selling fast, or other language that clearly lets the shopper know they may want to act quickly.

Category abandonment emails

Category abandonment emails address customers who viewed a specific category page on your site but didn’t take action. When emailing these customers, it’s important to use minimal copy and maximize product images to capture those short attention spans and drive engagement. This could include showing additional products in the category they viewed, personalized products based on shopping history, complementary categories to the page viewed, latest products from that category, or even best sellers.

The key understanding for this audience is to focus on nurturing their interest with more direction. This not only creates a more tailored experience, but also helps uncover more details about preferences, enabling you to send even more specific suggestions, pushing shoppers closer to purchase.

Site search abandonment emails address the most indecisive of shoppers. There could be a myriad of reasons why their time on site didn’t lead in a specific direction. However with creative messaging (and lots of great images) combined with calculated timing, these shoppers have potential to convert.

Helping these shoppers is a delicate balance of acknowledging that they virtually walked past your online storefront while trying to help them narrow down their search with carefully curated inventory in your email. With limited information, this is no easy task and may take more nurturing than one email.

In your copy, touch on the fact that maybe the shopper didn’t get time to complete their search. Or perhaps, they used a very broad search term in which case you can offer items that will help them narrow down their selection. This offers a more personalized experience for the shopper while helping you learn more about them to  personalize your next communication.

These emails should be sent within a short time frame of viewing so as not to lose interest to other brands or product selections. Continue your messaging by leveraging automated, dynamic content with subtle messaging and your best product images. Let shoppers’ eyes lead their wallets, creating a pleasant customer experience that has them coming to you again in the future.

Abandoned searchers create personalization opportunity

Online window shoppers may need longer to give shopping signals that lead to purchase, but with careful communication, it can lead to loyal customers. Taking the time to acknowledge and guide these audiences not only allows you to beef up your customer profile database, but also creates a customer journey where each shopper feels valued and understood. If a visitor leaves your site without action, all hope is not lost! These shoppers could just be waiting for your email to help them point them in the right direction.

Maria Coleman

Maria Coleman

Maria Coleman was a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Litmus