Under the Hood: Top Fashion & Apparel Abandoned Cart Series

shoes, shirt, purse and other fashion items to denote Fashion abandoned cart discount

Running a successful ecommerce store in the fashion and apparel industry can take some serious hussle and a whole lot of strategy. With seemingly endless options for shoppers, turning browsers into buyers is not an easy task.

If you’ve moved beyond the basics of sending campaigns and into autoresponders (or as we call them flows), the first one you probably launched was an abandoned cart email.

And for good reason, as we recently outlined in our latest benchmark report, abandoned cart flows are the top performing flow in regards to open rate, click rate, and revenue per recipient.

Simply put, abandoned carts make you money.

Although our report dug into the success and overall performance of abandoned carts, we realize that non-industry specific advice can only help a marketer get so far.

While open and click-rate are interesting stats to analyze when thinking about the success of an abandoned cart series, conversion rate is often the most telling metric of true success.

Converting is where dollars are earned.

After digging through our industry dataset, I found that the average conversion rate for abandoned carts for US fashion & apparel business is 2.7%.

Yikes. 2.7% is not a number to write home about by any means.

That’s why I decided to dive into abandoned carts that were having great success in the fashion & apparel industry to see what they were specifically doing to find success and provide a few example series that you can learn from.

Experiment with A/B testing and seasonality

Shark Tank famous, Rags, a clothing company that sells one-piece outfits for kids, is having phenomenal success with their abandoned cart series seeing almost double the average conversion rate for an abandoned cart in their industry.

What they’re sending
Rags has set up an abandoned cart email to trigger four hours after a cart has been abandoned.

The email is setup to A/B test two different subject lines.

  • The items in your shopping cart are almost sold out!
  • All of these styles are limited edition!

But Rags doesn’t stop their testing with just an A/B test of subject lines.

During Cyber weekend they used a special holiday-themed abandoned cart email.

Given how quickly items tend to sell out around the holidays, this non-product specific email sent the right message to shoppers who expressed interest in placing an order.

Level up with multivariate A/B testing and building out a series

Austin based company, Allens Boots, is another fashion and apparel retailer that is crushing their abandoned cart series. They’re seeing 4x the average conversion rate with their abandoned cart series.

The secret to their success? It’s a one-two punch of multivariate testing paired with a well timed series of emails.

What they are sending

The first email they send goes out to cart abandoners an hour after abandoning a cart, followed by a second email sent 24 hours later.

Timing is often a big question marketers have regarding flows. Interestingly, for Allens Boots the two emails perform about the same with comparable revenue, placed order rate, and open rates well above 50%.

As for testing, Allens Boots runs multivariate testing on the subject line and design for the first email.

The four emails are set up like this:

Email 1 Tests Subject Line Email Design
Email A TRUTH: Nothing haunts you like the boots you didn’t buy. Design 1
Email B It looks like you left something behind Design 1
Email C Last Chance! These boots are made for walkin’… Design 2
Email D Last Chance! These boots are made for walkin’… Design 2

Allens Boots Design 1Design 1

Allens Boots Design 2Design 2

The second email that follows 24 hours later tests content.

Subject Line Email Design
Email A Last Chance! These boots are made for walkin’… Design 1
Email B Last Chance! These boots are made for walkin’… Design 2

Allens Boots Design 3

Design 1

Design 2

Improve your abandoned cart emails

No matter if you already have an abandoned cart or the idea is a new one, here are a few tips to get your flow to the next level and make more money.

Test, test again, keep testing

Whether you run an A/B test or a multivariate test (like Allen’s Boots), an effective way to improve the performance of your abandoned cart emails is by testing.

What to Test

  • Subject Lines: When testing subject lines, it makes the most sense to determine the winning campaign by open rate. Testing several different types of subject lines — witty or straightforward or somewhere in between — can be a great way to gauge the tone your audience is most receptive to.
  • Readable Label: Like subject lines, the most logical way to determine the winner of these tests is by open rate. You may choose to test a full name versus a first name and your company’s name, like in the example above, to see which yields a higher open rate.
  • Content: If you’re testing the content of a campaign, we advise you to determine the winner by unique clicks. Link placement is great to test, since it gives you insight into where your audience is most likely to click and what they are most likely to read. This, in turn, can help you determine the best length and layout for your emails.

Interested in learning more about creating and optimizing abandoned cart automations? Check out these shopping cart abandonment resources.

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