A Full-Funnel Approach to Customer Recovery

Is your customer recovery strategy neglecting your customers?

Abandoned cart strategies are hugely effective at recovering customers, decreasing cost per acquisition (CPA), and increasing overall profit.

But what if we told you your abandoned cart campaign is only part of your customer recovery strategy, and you could multiply these results by simply expanding your reach?

As shoppers work their way through your website, this is typically an indication of where they’re at in the buyer journey. Most basic abandoned cart strategies focus on one stage in the journey: the consideration phase.

And while this is hugely effective at recovering lost sales from customers who added products to their cart and made it to the checkout page, it neglects customers who didn’t make it that far.

Don’t get us wrong; customers who make it to the consideration phase are your hottest leads and ripe for retargeting. But when you spend significant time, money, and resources attracting visitors to your website, your cold and warm leads are worth a punt, too.

To convert the maximum number of website visitors into customers, you must cast your net wider than the consideration phase of the buyer journey and start fishing in the busiest and most critical stage: the awareness stage.

We call this the full-funnel approach to customer recovery…and we’re here to show you how to do it.

Cart Abandonment and the Customer Journey

For us to explain the importance of a full-funnel approach to customer recovery, let’s take a moment to look at the three main phases of the customer funnel on your ecommerce website. 

1. The Awareness Phase

The awareness phase spans from a customer landing on your website until they add a product into their shopping cart.

Cart abandonment can’t happen in the awareness phase because customers haven’t added anything to their cart. However, website abandonment can occur, which you may have heard called “browse abandonment” or “discovery failure”.

2. The Consideration Phase

The consideration phase spans from a customer adding a product to their cart until they reach the “buy” button on the checkout page.

Cart abandonment can happen at any point during this phase.

3. The Conversion Phase

The conversion phase is when someone clicks the buy button on the checkout page and places an order. Cart abandonment can no longer happen here. However, that’s not to say the customer won’t return and abandon their cart during the awareness or consideration phase in the future.

A basic cart abandonment campaign targets customers at the end of the consideration phase—customers who add a product to their cart and save their email address during the checkout. However, this means it also neglects shoppers who leave:

  • During the awareness phase, before adding a product to their basket.  
  • At the beginning of the consideration phase, before making it to the checkout.
  • During the awareness or early consideration phase of a subsequent visit to your website.

And, since the customer funnel is top-heavy, your basic cart abandonment campaign is neglecting the majority of your website visitors. But, it doesn’t have to.

How to Re-engage and Recover Customers In the Awareness Phase

To re-engage and recover customers during the awareness phase, you have three great strategies at your fingertips:

1. Disrupt a Potential Exit

First, it’s important to disrupt a customer’s attempt to exit your website by re-engaging their attention and bringing it back to your store.

You can achieve this through:

  • Exit-intent offers: providing customers with an enticing discount code or product offer, in exchange for their email address, when their mouse cursor heads towards the back or exit button. The great thing about exit-intent offers is they recapture a distracted customer’s attention while recording the email address of someone leaving regardless, providing you with more leads to follow up with. 
  • Abandoned tab alerts: sounding an audible chime and changing the tab favicon of your website when a customer opens a new browser tab. These are perfect for bringing attention back to your website while also increasing average session length, which is excellent for SEO

2. Provide an Alternative to Abandonment

Next, you want to provide customers with an alternative to abandonment that gets them closer to your checkout page.

Ways to do this include:

  • Timed offers: presenting customers with relevant offers after a certain period of browsing time on your website, such as a discount code or new customer offer.
  • Conversion nudges: providing customers with relevant information that nudges them into the consideration phase – such as information on free shipping or alternative payment options.
  • Back In Stock Notifications: allowing customers to subscribe to Back In Stock Notifications for products sold out or on backorder.

These tactics have the added potential of increasing average basket size and order value, especially when tying discounts and free shipping into minimum spend requirements.

3. Contact Customers Leaving Before the Checkout

Finally, when a customer abandons your website during the awareness phase, re-target them with communications that remind, re-engage, return, and recover them.

Tools to help include:

  • Real-time lead capture: a tool that records data typed on your website (for example, on your live chat widget or contact page)in real-time, capturing the customer’s email address early in their journey.
  • Browse abandonment emails/push/SMS: browse abandonment emails, push notifications, and SMS messages are similar to your cart abandonment email templates but more relevant and personalized to customers leaving during the awareness phase.
  • Manual outreach (through real-time notifications): real-time abandonment notifications allow you to receive immediate emails containing the contact details of known abandoners. If you have sales staff, this can be a great tool for reaching out manually to high-value customers via phone or email.

And, since these customers haven’t yet committed to a product in their basket, you can use these communications to upsell a variety of products relevant to their browsing history.

Taking a Full-Funnel Approach 

The key message behind a full-funnel approach to customer recovery is that instead of focusing on just one portion of the buyer journey, you can focus on the whole funnel to recover and convert as many customers as possible.

And, even better, the above tactics can help reduce overall abandonment, increase average basket size, and improve the relationship you have with customers, too.

Contributed by the Editorial Team of Miva Partner CartStack. 

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