Black Friday 2022: Prevent Cart Abandonment With These 7 Steps

Black Friday example of sending text message to prevent cart abandonment

It’s hard to predict how successful this year’s Black Friday will be. In the before (pandemic) times, retailers could count on Black Friday and Cyber Monday driving the biggest revenue of the year, but with Americans grappling with high inflation, an ongoing supply chain issue, and global political upheaval, nobody knows what will happen this year. And although Prime Day 2022 in July was Amazon’s biggest yet, consumers filled up their carts with discounted grocery items, like Frito Lays, over higher-ticket consumer electronics, reports eMarketer.

There are some bright spots though. The supply chain issue may be easing with more workers now available in key areas to move goods along. Meanwhile, key manufacturers such as Mattel, moved manufacturing facilities closer to consumers.


“Sorry, This Item Is Out of Stock”

All that should reduce the number of out-of-stock messages that retailers have to send consumers. Last November, retailers increased the rate of those messages by 258%, compared to November 2019, according to eMarketer. That partly led consumers to abandon their online carts at an increased rate of 3.64% over the 2020 holiday shopping season, according to eMarketer. 

At the height of the pandemic, consumers picked up the habit of using online carts for virtual window shopping – a place to save items – which could account for the higher abandon rate. Other reasons why consumers abandoned carts are unexpected shipping costs (36%), ineligible promo codes (26%), or that they were simply doing research (25%), according to Comscore’s survey of 2,939 shoppers in February 2022.  Some 22% of gift-buying shoppers said they’ve ordered from a different retailer if items were out of stock or required longer shipping times by their preferred retailer, according to Comscore.


7 Ways to Prevent Cart Abandonment

At Blueshift, we keep a glass half-full outlook. Despite issues like supply chain woes that you may have little control over, there are activities that you can do to prevent cart abandonment and ultimately grow customer loyalty. It all lies in using AI to build and leverage relevant customer data pulled from across your tech stack to help you build better relationships with your customers. By knowing your customers better, you can target them with highly personalized recommendations across all touchpoints. This level of 1:1 personalization is especially useful if items do go out of stock and you want to lead customers to other similar products in your catalog.


1. Unify Your Customer Data

Hyper personalization begins with giving your digital marketers immediate access to responsive and relevant data (no data scientist required). That’s achieved with an automated intelligent customer engagement platform that coordinates the full customer journey in real time based on relevant data pulled from across your tech stack.


2. Use Intelligent Insights to Deliver Targeted Recommendations

You’ve worked hard to ensure that you have enough of the must-have items this holiday season, but sometimes things do go out of stock. Prevent cart abandonment and customer churn by segmenting these customers and attracting them back with super-targeted recommendations for alternative products, attractive offers for similar products that are in stock, and more attractive pricing and payment options.


3. Be Super-Granular With Targeting

You can be very granular with how you segment customers. With adaptive audience segmentation, you can, for example, categorize customers according to those who added items to their carts at least 10 times in the last 14 days, but did not purchase. You can also select customers who purchased items but didn’t download your app. You can even segment customers with a particular affinity who recently engaged with push notifications. 

You can send these customers highly personalized content based on a user’s real-time activity across all channels – and send those messages to where your customers are mostly likely to interact with you, such as on social media, SMS, display ads, and email. 

When we analyzed the 10 billion messages sent by Blueshift customers between Jan. 1, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2021, we found that messages with cross-channel campaigns resulted in a 68% higher click-through rate than a single channel approach. (Get more data in The Blueshift Cross-Channel Marketing 2022 Benchmark Report.) 

Mattress and bedding brand, Tuft & Needle, for example, increased email revenue by 181% and increased web traffic by 578% year over year by activating its first-party data across systems with predictive intelligence, advanced segmentation, and 1:1 personalized customer experiences. Read more about Tuft & Needle’s success story.  


4. Be Super-Targeted With Content

As granular as you’ve created your customer segments, you can also be very targeted with the kinds of content you message them with. This content could be based on activities like abandoned cart, abandoned browse, and abandoned wishlist. You can immediately notify customers – across all your channels – when items come back in stock, when there is a price drop, if similar items are available for immediate shipping, or tempt them back with a brand new promo code. 

You could also offer special deals for customers who take advantage of alternative payment options, like buy now, pay later (BNPL), as an extra incentive to accelerate purchasing. 

In our 2022 benchmark report, we found that messages with personalized recommendations yielded a 58% higher click-through rate than generic messages. 


5. Let Customers Know What Others Also Purchased

Many consumers are motivated by what other like-minded shoppers have purchased, and you can create content based on those recommendations. You could start gently with a “people who saw this, also saw that,” set of recommendations, or be more direct with a “people who bought this, also bought that,” alert. 

A really cool activity is to create content or recommendations based on AI-driven models that match user affinities to categories, such as best sellers from a customer’s recent browsed categories, favorite brands, and other custom catalog attributes. Predictive content can take a customer’s persistent and transient behavior to build recommendations. 

You can also make recommendations based on real-time data, such as items that are trending across the site, or most-purchased, to give customers an extra incentive to make final purchases. 


6. Be In The Moment With Recommendations

Another powerful way to turn cart abandonment into purchases is to use live content recommendations. This involves building personalized experiences for customers when they visit your website or mobile app.

For example, you can dynamically insert recommended content from offsite messaging, such as SMS, email, and push notifications to onsite, such as website, mobile web, and mobile apps. The live content is based on real-time user behavior according to customer attributes, clickstream and campaign engagement data, as well as with AI-powered content recommendations. This content can be displayed in dedicated spots on your website or app screen. (Learn how Blueshift empowers marketers with predictive intelligence.)


7. Test, Optimize, Test. Repeat.

Keep an eye on the performance of these abandon cart campaigns so you can finetune them on the fly. An intelligent customer engagement platform should allow you to set custom campaign goals for granular performance measurements. For example, you could track the number of customers you placed in an abandoned cart campaign who successfully placed an item in their wishlist and eventually made a purchase. This level of granularity enables you to optimize specific campaigns on the fly to increase your chance of successful sales.

Even if consumers have less to spend less this Black Friday than in years past, you win more share of wallet by building a unified view of your customers and learn their likes, dislikes, and other behaviors. That way, you’ll have a richer profile of all your customers so that you can engage them with more personalized messages. Talk to our retail and ecommerce experts about how you can use an intelligent customer engagement platform to build customer loyalty at scale.

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