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Abandoned shopping carts are a growing problem for online retailers, an Abandoned cart is when a site visitor adds items to their cart but then leave the site without making payment and completing the purchase.

Approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year, and about 63% of that is potentially recoverable by savvy online retailers, according to BI Intelligence estimates. Source.

63% is a huge amount of sales going uncompleted, if you think about it, for every 100 people who visit your site and add at least one item, 63 of them will leave without purchasing - imagine if you could convert those customers who leave ? That's a big boost to your sales.

So why do shoppers leave without completing their purchase ? Take a look at this survey's results conducted by WorldPay:

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As you can see, some of the top reasons are related to pricing - the top result is unexpected costs ( postage too much? ), Found a better price elsewhere and overall price too expensive.

Today we are looking at a plugin called "Abandoned Cart Pro" which is designed to help you convert those shoppers who leave without completing their purchase into paying customers. It has some features designed to entice the customer back, you can use it to email them and remind them about your website and their purchase and you can also use it to offer them incentives to complete their purchase such as a coupon code.

I have been personally testing this out on my eCommerce site with great success, for a customer who was on the brink of purchasing but was put off by postage costs or by finding the product cheaper elsewhere, a friendly email with a discount code could just be enough for them to complete their purchase.

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Plugin Features

The main feature of this plugin is being able to email customers who abandon their shopping carts, to work they either need to be a registered user or have entered their email in the checkout process. It allows you to set up a chain of emails to send to the user when you choose, which you can personalize and also customize the email via the use of templates.

  • Personalise emails with custom variables (name, abandon date, checkout page link)
  • Link in emails to recover a cart in a single click
  • Include custom WooCommerce discount coupons in the emails
  • Visitors who have not yet registered but have entered an email address can still be sent a notification email
  • Send multiple automated custom emails at predefined intervals
  • Include product information in the automated email to help encourage visitors
  • Track emails including open rates and links clicked, for each template
  • Site admin is notified when an abandoned cart is recovered

We covered this plugin in the past on WPLift but it has just been updated with a new version 2.4.2 , here's whats new in this version:

  • The code has been revised to prevent sql injections.
  • There are default settings made when a fresh plugin is installed. There are 3 default email templates which will be active and will allow the abandoned cart notifications to be sent without the user having to add any email templates or create any settings. You can create new email templates, edit/ delete the default email templates.
  • From the 3 default email templates, 2nd and the 3rd email template have in built coupon code for 5% and 10% discount on cart total.
  • Unique coupon code from the reference from WooCommerce coupon can be added to the email template so that unique coupons can be allotted to the potential customers. The coupon codes can be tracked as well.
  • Added a new tab named “Product Report “tab which provides you the information about the products which were abandoned, total number of times the product was abandoned and recovered.
  • Added a new column “Percent Recovery” in the Email Template tab. This will provide the information about which email template recovers the most abandoned orders. The result will be shown in percentage.
  • The plugin now uses Settings API on the Settings tab.
  • The customer’s first name and the products in the abandoned cart can be added in the email subject by adding their merge tags while creating the email template.
  • The plugin is now compatible with WooCommerce Product Bundles plugin.
  • The merge tag {{products.cart}}  has now been replaced with a table. All the fields like the product image thumbnail, product name, quantity, price, etc. has their own merge tags. so you can create the table in the emails sent to provide you with full control over what product information should be sent in the notification emails.

Using The Plugin

So let's take a look at how to install and configure the plugin. To use the plugin, you need to have WooCommerce installed first, you can then activate the Abandoned Cart Pro plugin and it will add a new menu item under "WooCommerce" > "Abandoned Carts" where you can begin to configure it.

The first step is to visit the "Settings" tab where you can enable or disable the emails and choose an abandoned cart cut-off time. By default it is set to 60 minutes where the cart will then be considered as "abandoned". On the settings page you can also choose to email admin on order recoveries, track coupons and disable guest cart emails.

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Once you are happy with your settings there, you should visit the "Email Templates" tab where you will see 3 default emails already configured for you which are sent out 1 hour after abandonment, 1 day after and 2 days after.

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You can click the "Edit" button next to one of the default emails and begin to customize it for your site: at the top you can give the template a name, sender name and from and reply to email addresses.

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Under that you can create the actual email the user will receive: You will see a number of shortcodes you can use to customize the email for the user so you can include their name, abandoned cart date, item and so on in this format :

{{customer.firstname}}

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If you want to include a coupon code with the email, you should first create it using WooCommerce by visiting "WooCommerce" > "Coupons". You could offer a discount off the price to entice the user back.

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After you have set up the email template, underneath you can search for the coupon code you created and include it in the email. You can also generate unique coupon codes for each customer to prevent them being shared around on websites. Finally you can send a test email to make sure everything looks how you intended.

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This plugin includes some reporting features which will show you:

  • Abandoned Orders
  • Recovered Orders
  • Sent Emails
  • Product Reports

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These should prove useful over time as you can see if a specific product is causing abandonment and you can run tests to see the best method for converting people to successful orders.

Support & Pricing

Pricing for a single store is $119, 5 stores for $199 and unlimited costs $249. While this may seem a little higher than the usual cost of a WooCommerce plugin, they mention this on their site :

Seem a little pricey at $119? Some quick math… say your average order value is $40. So, this plugin needs to recover only 3 orders for you to pay for a Single Store License.

Obviously that is gross sales, so it will take a few more sales to generate the profit to cover the cost of the plugin but I would say the plugin will cover its costs easily over the course of the year.

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There is good documentation and support available from the plugin creators "TycheSoftware" , you can view the documentation online here along with a video. Support is provided by their forums located here and you can the read the FAQ here.

Conclusion

This is a very useful plugin which has been well thought-out and coded well, its really easy to install and configure - the difference in this latest version are very useful, giving default templates to edit plus the ability to include any info in the email are a big improvement.

If you run any kind of eCommerce store I highly recommend you test out this plugin as it has the potential to make a big difference to your bottom-line.

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Published:

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Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, An Internet Company based in Manchester, UK. I founded WPLift and ThemeFurnace, find out more on my Personal Blog. Thanks!

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