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How to Fight Lazy Cart Syndrome With SMS

When a shopper adds items to their cart but leaves the site before making a purchase, they fall victim to lazy cart syndrome.

Also known as “cart abandonment,” lazy cart syndrome is a common phenomenon in e-commerce. To that end, brands must understand how to create marketing strategies that convert cart-filling tire kickers into loyal customers. 

One way e-commerce brands and other businesses selling online can confront lazy cart syndrome is via text message marketing. In this guide, we’re breaking down abandoned cart SMS strategies for e-commerce businesses looking to end lazy cart syndrome and recover lost sales.

Understanding Lazy Cart Syndrome 

To adequately address lazy cart syndrome via marketing, brand leaders must first understand it. Essentially, lazy cart syndrome defines the following occurrence: 

  • A prospective customer browses an e-commerce site.
  • They add one or more items to their cart.
  • They navigate away from the site without making a purchase.

While the process is simple, the motivations behind cart abandonment can be complex. Some common reasons why customers abandon their carts include:

  • Sticker shock – If a customer is surprised by a higher total price than expected, they may abandon their cart in frustration or search for a better deal elsewhere.
  • Comparison – If a customer adds multiple, similar products to their cart, they may be comparing them side-by-side. These comparison sessions don’t always end in a purchase.
  • Forgetfulness – If a shopper adds an item to their cart in a store’s mobile app while doing something else, like waiting at a bus stop or a doctor’s office, they may simply forget about it once they continue going about their day. 

Effective abandoned cart SMS strategies find a way to conquer all three of these common motivations with:

  • Value-focused messaging (like a text containing a coupon code)
  • A prompt to view similar products in the store’s inventory
  • Reminders to finish checking out

Targeting lazy cart syndrome is an excellent way to boost revenue because the targeted shoppers in question have already shown high intent to buy. They were interested enough in the product to add it to their cart, so a few well-executed nudges can often tip the scales for conversion.

The Power of Abandoned Cart SMS 

Abandoned cart SMS strategies target lazy cart syndrome customers with highly personalized and persuasive text message marketing content.  

But why is SMS such a useful marketing channel for cart abandonment conversions?

  • Texts offer high engagement60% of consumers open and read text messages between one and five minutes of receipt, and SMS marketing features an average 10% higher open rate than other channels (like email marketing). 
  • Texts can be highly personalized – Including personalization elements (like the customer’s name, past purchases or size/color preferences, for example) can help recipients feel more connected to the brand and the item they abandoned.
  • Texts offer a sense of urgency – SMS messages seem more urgent than emails or social media ads. That sense of urgency can compel customers to purchase quickly—especially when combined with a limited-time offer or scarcity messaging.

Implementing an Effective Abandoned Cart SMS Strategy 

So, what does it take to implement a highly effective abandoned cart SMS approach? Let’s break down the key steps in building a lazy cart syndrome cure via text message marketing.

Build an SMS Subscriber List 

According to the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), businesses need a recipient’s consent before sending an SMS message. 

Luckily, getting customers’ consent for SMS is relatively simple. All they need to do is:

  1. Provide their mobile number
  2. Agree to offer Express Written Consent to reach them via their mobile number

Businesses take a variety of approaches to build their SMS subscriber lists:

  • Asking existing subscribers to sign up for SMS alerts – Many brands will send an email or post a social media ad prompting existing subscribers/followers to sign up for text alerts. While this will likely only work for a brand’s most loyal customers, it’s an easy way to start building your SMS subscriber base.
  • Incentivizing sign-ups – Offering a reward for signing up (like a coupon code or a free item) can motivate first-time shoppers and repeat customers alike to sign up for your SMS list—even if they don’t redeem their reward right away.
  • Leveraging pop-ups – Pop-up prompts on desktop browser sites are a tried-and-true method for collecting email addresses and phone numbers for a subscriber list. Combined with an incentive, the pop-up method can entice a wide audience of website visitors to sign up.

Craft Compelling SMS Messages

Once you’ve developed a robust recipient list, you can start connecting with your subscribers via SMS. But what should you say to your recipients? 

Effective, persuasive SMS messages are:

  • Short, clear and engaging – Text messages are inherently short-form, and you should stick to this format to ensure that recipients will read your entire message. Since you have limited real estate, use language that’s as concise as possible. To increase your chances of engagement, consider including multimedia elements (like photos), links and personalized elements (like the customer’s name). 
  • Calls to action – Practically speaking, an abandoned cart SMS is a directive. Include an actionable statement in your message to give your recipient clear instructions.
  • Well-timed – While the FCC’s TCPA stipulates that brands can only text recipients during business hours, do your best to time your messages to align with your customers’ shopping habits. If a customer added an item to their cart at lunchtime, a message received right before their next lunch could be most impactful.

Use Personalization and Segmentation 

We’ve mentioned personalization a few times above, but let’s break down two personalization opportunities for converting lazy cart syndrome customers:

  • Personalized items – For customers who added multiple, similar items to their cart, consider suggesting other items in that category for further comparison. By recommending similar products, brands can show that they care about their customers’ thought processes and purchasing logic.
  • Coupon codes – Offering a personalized coupon code (containing a part of their name or their abandoned item, for instance) could make your offer seem bespoke. If a shopper named Lisa abandoned a wool sweater, their personalized code for 20% off could be “LISA20” or “WOOL20.” 

For SMS messages sent in bulk (like requests for feedback), you can scale up your personalization efforts by leveraging segmentation and targeting:

  1. To segment your recipients, sort them by demographic data, purchase history, shopping habits and other metrics to identify similar groups.
  2. To target these segments, write messages tailored to their common characteristics. For instance, a segment of Gen X shoppers might resonate with 90s pop culture references. 

Best Practices and Tips 

As you develop your abandoned cart SMS strategy, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Respect customer preferences and privacy – Follow the FCC’s TCPA laws to the letter to remain compliant. If you collect any other preference information from customers (like times of day they don’t want to receive messages), honor these as well to show respect for your recipients. 
  • Implement SMS customer support – While SMS offers exceptional marketing opportunities for brands, it’s also growing in popularity as a customer service channel. Incorporating SMS-based customer support into your business model is an excellent way to maximize your investment in the channel.
  • Integrate SMS into other marketing channels – We touched on posting a social media ad prompting followers to sign up for your SMS list. This approach is just one way to integrate your text messaging strategy across your channels to cross-promote each one, build awareness and bolster your subscriber base.

Convert Lazy Cart Shoppers with SMS Marketing from Texting Base

If your e-commerce business is seeing an influx of lazy cart syndrome cases, it’s time to test out SMS messaging to connect with your shoppers and boost sales. Fortunately, Texting Base offers one of the most streamlined, user-friendly and tech-forward SMS marketing platforms on the market today. From sophisticated drip campaigns to automated customer service functions, our platform can help business leaders like you leverage SMS to its full potential. 

Start sending texts today with a free trial from Texting Base.