Many of us have probably been beaten over the head a bit with the famous statistic on cart abandonment from Baymard Institute: 68.81% of all shopping carts are abandoned, meaning over 2 out of every 3 customers who have placed items in a shopping cart have left your online store.
While many merchants may be familiar with this metric, knowing what to do about it is an entirely different battle — can you do anything about cart abandonment? Can you reduce this percentage? What about saving any of those abandoned sales — is that possible?
You can indeed affect change on your abandonment rate by improving checkout flows, ensuring all costs or fees (like shipping charges) are presented up-front, and offering guest checkout. However, there’s only so much you can do to make these improvements, especially if you don’t already work with a developer who can help you properly customize your checkout.
With the holiday season coming up, it’s also not the best time to make changes to your site’s purchasing flow, as you want to be sure you’re not encountering bugs in the middle of a Black Friday sale. You can, however, work on saving those lost sales and recovering the lost revenue from abandoned carts very easily. Now is a great time to recover abandoned carts to bump your holiday sales revenue.
If you want to work on recovering orders after they’ve already been abandoned, you can send recovery emails to your customers to encourage them to complete the purchase on your site, and even work to address some of the common reasons they may have left the purchase in the first place. Today we’ll take a look at using Jilt, an Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce abandoned cart app, to help merchants save these sales.
Jilt has long been available for Shopify stores to recover abandoned carts, and has already helped merchants recover almost $14 million USD in abandoned revenue.
Rather than providing a plugin to install on your site, Jilt is a hosted app that tracks abandonment and sends recovery emails. You’ll install a plugin to connect your store to the Jilt app, and then Jilt will handle all order tracking and recovery emails via the app. This provides you several benefits over using a plugin alone on your store:
Think of the number of orders you have on your site right now — now triple that amount. That’s how much data you’d have if you tracked every cart, including those that were abandoned, as only 1 in 3 people who add items to the cart place an order. If you stored all of that data on your site, you’d have a lot of tracking data being written to your site’s database, potentially slowing down your site or requiring you to upgrade your hosting to store this data.
Jilt takes this massive amount of data off your hands and stores it for you; the connector plugin sends data on abandonment to the app, and it will track these shopping sessions in its own database. This means that you can store data without worrying about memory limits from your hosting company, and gain insights into this data over time (since you don’t have to worry about deleting it every so often to save space). Your Jilt reporting dashboard will let you analyze your abandonment and recoveries based on this data.
Sending emails via your site is also a huge pain to deal with, and something we don’t recommend. In fact, we’ve recommended using a transactional email service for your order emails before. When you send emails directly from your site, they’re at a higher risk of being spammed, especially if you use shared hosting. Email services can validate your emails with service providers to improve deliverability rates and reduce spam rates for emails.
As the Jilt app sends your recovery emails, this means that they’re validated and sent from the app, not your site, so that deliverability is as high as possible, and scheduled send times are more accurate.
- When you use an app, you can also connect multiple stores to your account, which tends to cost more with a plugin. Jilt lets you connect as many stores as you want to your account, so you can connect staging sites, wholesale versions of your store, or other store sites to your account:
Jilt costs start at $29.99 per month, and this lets you create as many campaigns as you’d like, send as many emails as you want, and connect any amount of stores to your account.
Let’s take a look at how you connect a store and get started with recovery emails to save your lost sales.
To connect your store, to Jilt, you need the following steps:
- Sign up for a Jilt free trial (which runs for 14 days or more, depending on when you recover your first order)
Enter the Jilt secret key from your Jilt app account into the plugin settings.
For WooCommerce stores, you’ll find the settings under WooCommerce > Settings > Integrations > Jilt:
Once you save your secret key, you’ll see that your store is connected, and you have quick links to your Jilt account to get set up.
For Easy Digital Downloads stores, the plugin settings are located under Downloads > Extensions > Jilt Settings:
After saving your settings, you’ll see a “connected” notice here as well to indicate that Jilt is ready to track abandoned carts.
That’s it! Now Jilt is tracking cart abandonment for your site, and you can set up your recovery emails to save these abandoned sales.
If at any time you want to add a new store, you can do so by clicking your store name to open the store selector, then clicking “Add store”. You’ll follow the same process on every store to connect it to Jilt.
Now that your store is connected, you can get your recovery emails set up. There are two components to sending recovery emails: campaigns and emails.
A campaign is a collection of emails that are sent after an order has been abandoned. Jilt lets you add as many campaigns as you want, but typically you’d only want to leave one campaign enabled at a time.
This lets you use specific campaigns for sales periods (such as your holiday sales), storewide sales, holidays, or just to create a generic campaign that’s used by default. This means that you can have different content and email images sent out at different times of the year, ensuring your emails are always relevant to the season and what’s going on with your store.
Each campaign can have as many recovery emails as you’d like. When a campaign is active, its recovery emails are sent in order to the customer based on the sending delay you’ve set. Sending delays are based on when the cart is considered abandoned, not when the customer leaves it:
- A customer adds an item to the cart, and begins filling out the checkout form. As soon as an email has been entered, Jilt begins tracking the email (or for a registered customer, tracking starts when an item is added to the cart).
- As soon as its been 15 minutes since the customer’s last activity on the site, Jilt notes this cart as “abandoned”. This is the time at which your email delays start.
- If you have an email sent at 1 hour after cart abandonment, it will be sent 1h 15m after the cart was left, as the abandonment threshold + sending delay is used.
Once you’ve determined when you want to send your emails, you may also want to customize other settings and the email content.
By default, when you add a new campaign, Jilt will use some industry best practices to help you get set up: a new campaign has 3 recovery emails set up at recommended send times with some starter content.
However, you can modify the email settings or content as desired for your store. This lets you ensure emails reflect your brand, and you can personalize email content as well to include the customer name, email, cart contents, or other details. Personalization is a huge win for abandoned cart emails, as personalized emails can increase open rates and recovered revenue:
…personalized abandoned cart emails that show the actual customer cart had 25 percent higher transaction rates than abandoned cart emails that just linked back to the brand’s Website. Further, personalized subject lines had 12 percent higher unique open rates than mailings without personalization.
– Experian Marketing Services
If you’re editing your email content, you should probably take into consideration why carts are abandoned as well, and adjust your messaging to reflect this.
- 61% of abandonment is due to unexpected or high shipping costs (this is the leading cause for abandonment). You could consider including a free shipping coupon in one of your recovery emails to combat this — I recommend creating a free shipping coupon limited to one use per customer, then adding its code to the second or third recovery email.
27% of abandonment is due to a long or complicated checkout process. You can ask the customer if s/he had issues in completing checkout with your recovery email, as this presents a customer service opportunity for you to save the sale.
Customers also cite the following as sources for abandonment: not enough payment options, refund policy wasn’t clear, the customer couldn’t see an order total up front. You can link to your site policies on shipping times and refunds within your recovery emails to clarify this information.
When you’re happy with an email’s content, you can adjust the email settings (such as the “sent from” details), and adjust the email template, or preview your changes. You can also send a test email to yourself to confirm you like the email design.
After you’ve finished with an email’s settings and content, you can change it to “Send automatically” to begin using it for customers who’ve abandoned a cart.
Now that you’ve got your recovery emails edited and configured to send automatically, ensure the campaign you want to use is enabled, and you’ll begin sending recovery emails directly to customers.
Only the active campaign’s emails are sent, so be sure you’ve activated the campaign you’d like to use.
Once Jilt has a campaign active with its recovery emails being sent automatically, it will begin recovery attempts for your store. Emails are sent on your schedule to guest and registered customers, asking them to complete their purchase.
These emails can include your personalization details, and will give customers a link to complete the purchase. This link is important for a few reasons:
- This link will use cart regeneration to refill the cart and shipping method selections that the customer had prior to abandoning the cart
- Customers are immediately directed to the checkout page so they can complete the purchase in one or two clicks
- If your customer has an account with this email address, clicking the link will log them in so that purchasing is dead-simple — they’re logged in and ready to click place order. (This won’t work for your admin account for security reasons, so you’d need to test it as a customer or guest.)
Cart regeneration is an important tool, as half of abandonment emails are opened on a different device than the one on which the cart was originally created — regenerating the cart can therefore lead to a 34% increase in recoveries by cutting down the number of steps required to purchase.
Jilt removes as many barriers as possible to helping your customers complete purchase.
Jilt will store all data on abandoned orders for you, letting you see lost and recovered orders from the “Orders” list.
While the order is abandoned, it will have a temporary order number in Jilt, such as
JILT-#122. Once it has been recovered, Jilt will use the order number from WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads instead so you can correlate your store records with Jilt’s data.
You’ll see the status of the order as well, which lets you know where in the lifecycle this order rests:
- If the order is “abandoned”, Jilt will actively try to recover it.
- If an order is “placed”, this means the customer came back to complete the purchase before a recovery email was sent.
- For an order that’s been “skipped”, this means the customer created a new order after leaving the initial one, or the customer returned and cleared the cart, so no emails are sent.
- Orders marked “recovered” have successfully completed the sale due to a sent recovery email.
If you want to view the specifics for a particular order, you can click on the order number to view the record in Jilt, letting you see customer details and line items:
This gives you some insight into abandoned vs recovered emails, and you can get more details from the Jilt dashboard.
Since Jilt is tracking both abandoned and recovered orders, it can give you some basic reporting data on abandonment vs recovery. You’ll see how much revenue you’ve recovered, the order count recovered, abandoned count, and recovery rate. Jilt will also show you how this compares to the previous period in the report.
You can also get some insights into campaign and recovery email performance to evaluate revenue driven, open rates, and recovery rates.
Jilt will also let you view outbound emails from the app and whether they’ve been opened or not from the Outbound Emails list. You can see which emails are scheduled to send, which have been sent, and which have been aborted (in case the order was already recovered, as you don’t want to continue sending emails).
You’ll also be able to see the associated customer and whether or not they’ve opened the recovery email, along with the associated order.
Jilt tracks abandoned carts for both guest and registered customers on your site, so you can see a complete list of customers based on this tracking. Guest customers will only show an email address, while registered customers will show other details, such as the customer name.
You can view more details for a customer to see how many orders have been abandoned or recovered for the customer.
The email editing experience is the weakest part of the app at present, so a guide to personalization is helpful. While editing the email content is possible, editing the design is difficult without the help of a developer. This means that you could use your own HTML templates for emails, which is a big bonus, but that you’d need some HTML or CSS skills at present to make larger design changes. Jilt’s support team is available to make these changes for you during onboarding (e.g., color or design changes), so it’s possible to adjust email styles if you don’t feel comfortable making the changes yourself.
One of the major concerns with cart abandonment recovery emails is customer perception — some merchants are concerned that sending emails to customers is intrusive. While more than half of customers state that they find abandonment emails helpful, a portion of customers (up to a third) find them annoying depending on context (and whether they include discounts or not).
The response to abandonment emails is largely based on demographic, so you can check out Marketing Sherpa’s research to learn more about whether your target customers enjoy receiving these emails.
If you want to see abandoned cart emails for your self, you can go to the SkyVerge demo site and add an item to your cart. Go to checkout and enter an email address, then toggle away from the email field. You can now close the browser and you’ll receive your first recovery email 30 minutes later.
Jilt provides an Easy Digital Downloads or WooCommerce abandoned cart app solution to help merchants track abandonment and recover lost sales. This can help you drive additional revenue by converting abandoned carts, and also gives you insight into why customers leave purchases, helping you to improve your store overall.
There are a some downsides to using Jilt:
- Jilt is a hosted app, not a plugin, so it incurs a monthly fee rather than an annual purchase (starting at $29.99 per month)
- Editing email design is difficult for non-developers (this is an area of the app actively being improved, though)
- Dashboard reporting is available, but basic (another area actively being built)
- Depending on your target customer, abandonment emails may not be as effective or welcome
Along with several upsides as well:
- Abandoned carts can be tracked for both guest and registered users
- Capturing email addresses is extremely reliable and quick, as it happens as soon as the email field is completed at checkout
- The large amounts of data generated by tracking abandonment is stored off of your site
- Email deliverability and reliability is improved by using a hosted app vs sending them directly via your site’s server
- Multiple stores can be connected to a Jilt account
- You can use several campaigns to accurately reflect holidays, store sales, or other events
- Email content can be personalized for improved open rates and recovery
- Cart regeneration is used to improve recovery and reduce purchasing barriers
- Easy Digital Downloads stores can use Jilt with Software Licensing to recover abandoned renewals
- WooCommerce stores can use Jilt with custom order number plugins, as Jilt recognizes custom order numbers
- You can view historical data on abandoned orders and analyze it in the dashboard, along with seeing individual records for more detail
WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads stores can try Jilt for free for at least 14 days (trial starts when you recover your first order) to recover abandoned carts and revenue.