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How to Launch an Abandoned Cart Recovery SMS Strategy in Shopify

Abandoned cart SMS reminders are text messages that send automatically after an online shopper adds products to their cart but leaves without finishing their checkout. These text messages can be triggered and sent only if you have the customer's phone number and marketing consent.

Let's show you the 8 steps to nail your abandoned cart SMS automations for Shopify.
 

Set an abandoned cart SMS reminder sequence

Most of online orders are abandoned by shoppers. The statistics show that around 80% of online purchases are abandoned, which is a significant increase for E-Commerce businesses in the last couple of years.

Online stores are trying to solve their cart abandonment with different marketing tools such as email, Facebook & Instagram retargeting, Display advertising, and more.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to add text messages to your remarketing toolkit and see why they are one of the most powerful retention marketing channels in 2019.
 

“We're getting an ROI of about 1,000%, 10X on what we were spending on SMS!” - Rafael Cintron, Shopify Dropshipping Expert


‚ÄčSMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Automation in Shopify


The most effective way to recover abandoned carts using text message automation in Shopify is to build a sequence of SMS reminders that trigger at a specific time interval you can configure.
 

Breakdown of The Perfect Abandoned Cart SMS Reminder

Let’s take a look at the 8 main building blocks of the perfect text message for recovering abandoned carts in Shopify.

8 Steps for Building an Abandoned Cart SMS Reminder Automation for Shopify

1. Images and GIFs: Increase engagement with visuals in your text message.

2. Brand Name: Get instant brand recognition by starting off with your store’s name.

3. Recipient Name: Make your message more personal by adding your customer’s name.

4. Personal Discount Codes: Add the unique discount codes in your texts for convenience.

5. CTA: Attract attention to your offer by making the call-to-action of your promotion clear.

6. Emotional Triggers: Boost conversion rates using the sense of urgency or scarcity.

7. Branded URLs: Link branding improves brand awareness, link clicks and customer trust.

8. Opt-Out: Always add an unsubscribe option for your marketing text messages.
 

1. Images and GIFs (SMS to MMS)

Customers react better to visuals rather than written content. Seeing an image of the product that was almost purchased instantly brings customers back into the shopping state of mind and helps them understand what your message is about.
 

SMSBump MMS Images and GIFs in Abandoned Cart SMS for Shopify
 

GIPHY and PEXELS

Increase customer engagement rates by using GIFs from the GIPHY integration, or royalty free stock photos from the Pexels integration.

GIPHY Gifs and Pexels Royalty Free Stock Photos for MMS in Shopify

Upload Branded Images

It’s highly recommended to upload your own images so you can create a personalized and branded experience for your SMS subscribers. You can upload PNG, JPG and GIF formats and check how the visuals will look in the preview on the right.

SMSBump Black Friday Abandoned Cart SMS Automation Recovery for Shopify

 

Turn SMS into MMS to enable visual content that engages customers much more than text-only messages so they can instantly decide to take action.

MMS also boosts the character count of messages from 160 to 1600 so you can write more elaborate texts, explain your value proposition better and make your main call-to-action more prominent.
 

Pro Tip: Shorter messages still tend to perform much better, so avoid trying to reach the 1600 character limit!


Shopify brands use images in text messages to feature eye-catching visuals that boost their engagement rates, clicks, and abandoned checkout recovery rates for better ROI.
 

Abandoned Products Image Grid

The best way to approach abandoned cart SMS automations is to send the main product images of the items the customer just left in their cart. This is the most highly utilised feature of the abandoned cart SMS automations for Shopify.
 

Abandoned Products Image Grid


Enable the grid to automatically send text messages with up to 9 product images in a single collage. View Grid Examples to see how your product images will be arranged based on the number of items the customer abandoned in their cart.

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Automation Product Image Grid in Shopify
 

2. Brand Recognition (Store Name)

A text message from an unknown number can be frustrating for recipients. You can solve this using your brand name.

How does this help?

Customers who connect with a brand emotionally have a 3x higher LTV. Don’t skip to add your brand name in all of your marketing channels, including text messages to increase your chances of getting recognized by existing customers faster and easier.

SMSBump Branded Abandoned Cart Recovery SMS Automation for Shopify


Brand recognition is key to increasing your open rates, as well as clicks and orders from text messages.

Your customers need to know the source of a text message instantly, so they can recognize whether they wanted to receive it in the first place. Starting off with your brand helps recipients notice your store name right away so they know what to expect.
 

3. Message Personalization (Customer Name)

Generic marketing messages don’t create a positive customer experience for online customers. That’s why we suggest starting off your text marketing messages by at least mentioning your customer’s first name.

How does this help?

80% of online shoppers are inclined to purchase from a brand if it delivers personalized marketing experiences.

SMSBump Personalized Abandoned Cart SMS Automation for Shopify

Starting the conversation with the person’s name attracts much more attention by the recipient as they recognize this message is designed just for them.

Your customers will be much more likely to open your message and notice your abandoned checkout offer especially designed for them, and it’s more than just another generic, automated marketing message like any other brand would send.
 

4. Personal Discounts (Embedded in URLs)

The top reason behind cart abandonment in the first place is unexpected costs and delivery fees when customers reach the final checkout steps. We recommend you approach abandoned cart recovery with a free shipping offer in your first text message.

How does this help?

You’re solving the top reason for customers who abandon carts due to checkout costs they didn’t expect when they started shopping.

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Automation Personal Discounts for Shopify

This means the majority of lost sales has a high chance to get converted with the first text message less than half an hour after the cart is abandoned.
 

Personal Free Shipping Discounts in Abandoned Cart Recovery SMS Automations for Shopify
 

5. Clear and Visible Offer (Strong CTA)

It’s important to make your main value proposition as clear and actionable as possible so recipients can see your exact offer and what they need to do to take advantage of it right away.

How does this help?

A strong call-to-action is a word or phrase that guides customers to take the required action that leads to the main benefit of your promotion. This is the heart of your text message reminder for customers who abandon their carts and helps you get more clicks on your abandoned checkout URLs.

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Recovery CTA in Shopify

After customers view your value proposition and click your link, they are taken straight to the cart they just abandoned.

Once there, they see the free shipping offer and the only thing they need to do is confirm their order. It’s that simple!
 

6. Emotional Incentives (Sense of Urgency & Scarcity)

These well-known psychological triggers that promote action can significantly boost the conversion rates of your abandoned cart SMS reminders. We’re talking about the scarcity principle and the sense of urgency.

How does this help?

SMS is all about delivering a message as fast as possible, and the sense of urgency helps boost the need for quick decision making.

This makes the entire process of receiving, reading, and taking action from the text message become a single flow that’s finished in a matter of seconds. Literally.

  • Urgency Examples: “Your cart is expiring!”, “Offer ends today!”

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Reminders Urgency and Scarcity in Shopify

 

Product scarcity is another great choice for increasing the power of your text message.

This helps drive more clicks and orders by suggesting that the product your customer just added to the cart will soon be out of stock and if they want it - they need to order it now.

  • Scarcity Examples: “Stock running out!”, “Your items are going fast!”
     

7. Branded Short URLs (Brand Recognition & Link Trust)

Adding your brand name to the shortened SMS URLs gives you another huge boost in brand recognition and link clicks. This doesn’t mean you can skip adding your store name in the beginning, it just helps strengthen your brand presence.

How does this help?

Customers can better recognize your brand by seeing a branded URL coming from your Shopify website.

SMSBump Branded Shortened URLs for Abandoned Cart Recovery SMS Automations in Shopify

This greatly boosts your chances of getting more link clicks because customers will know this is not fraud or a fake link, but it’s coming from a website they know.

You can enable branded short URLs and configure the exact name you want your links to be sent with by configuring your SMSBump settings in Shopify.
 

8. Unsubscribe Options (Let Subscribers Opt-Out)

As perfect your SMS reminders can be, you can’t please everyone. You will always have subscribers who don’t want to receive your text messages, and you need to give them an easy option to do it.

Just as in email marketing campaigns, you need to have an unsubscribe link or a STOP keyword that they can reply so you unsubscribe them from your Text Marketing lists in Shopify.

SMSBump Unsubscribe Options and STOP Keywords for Abandoned Cart SMS Automations in Shopify

How does this help?

The unsubscribe options don’t raise your sales, but they help you avoid lawsuits from frustrated customers.

SMSBump Unsubscribe SMS Abandoned Cart Recovery Automation in Shopify
 

How to Setup the SMS Automation: Trigger, Timing, and Content

The initial text message your Shopify store will send should be between 5 and 15 minutes after the checkout is abandoned. Let’s take you through the step-by-step process of configuring the automation settings so your customers receive a powerful SMS reminder to complete their checkout.
 

Automation Name & Trigger

Name your abandoned cart automation. We recommend to add the timing (15 minutes), so it’s easier to track analytics and reports for the different steps of the cart recovery sequences.
 

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Setup - Automation Name in Shopify


Select the Abandoned Cart Reminder in the dropdown, so your messages are sent based on customers leaving your Shopify store without completing their checkout.
 

SMSBump Abandoned Cart Reminder SMS Automation Trigger in Shopify
 

Select Recipients (Customers or Store Admins)

You have two options for setting the recipients of your abandoned cart SMS notifications - your store customers, or an administrator (staff member or store owner). Select who you want to notify with the automation you’re currently setting up.

Pro Tip: Remember if you want to have both, you need to setup two different SMS automations with the Abandoned Cart Reminder trigger.
 

  • Customers (Recommended): Set the recipients to Customer to configure the automation to send messages to the shoppers who leave your Shopify store without purchasing.
     

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Automation for Customers in Shopify
 

  • Admins (Store Owners): Set the Admins option if you as a store owner want to be notified via text message whenever a customer abandons a checkout in your Shopify store.
     

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Automations for Store Owners in Shopify

Set the Automation Timing (Delay)

The Delay section is where you setup how long it will take for your abandoned cart SMS automation to be triggered after the customer leaves their checkout. Remember, if you leave the Delay at Disabled, the automation will be predefined by default to send messages 10 minutes after the abandoned checkout is triggered.
 

  • Send the first text after 15 - 30 minutes.


Shopify stores are seeing a dramatic increase in abandoned checkout recovery with a delay of 15 to 30 minutes for their SMS reminders.

Customers often get distracted and a fast text message reminder gets them back into the shopping cart with time to reconsider purchasing and renews their buying state of mind. Often, the most gentle push can be enough to give customers confidence to complete a checkout.

SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Automation Timing Delay Trigger in Shopify
 

Enable MMS (Attach Image or GIF)

By selecting the Attach Image or GIF checkbox, you enable the MMS feature that turns your normal SMS text messages into more engaging and effective 1600 character multimedia messages.

We’ve noticed high click-through rates when Shopify merchants use the GIPHY or Pexels integrations to select GIFs or high quality stock photos to send out together with abandoned cart SMS reminders. Make sure to select a relevant visual that will help convey your message faster and better.

SMSBump Abandoned Cart MMS Automation Images & GIFs in Shopify


The Grid of Product Images was designed specifically for abandoned cart SMS reminders. Enabling that will set the automation take the product images of the abandoned cart contents of your customers and send them into a single collage in the text message.

The reason why this is powerful is that the customer sees all the products they just skipped on purchasing in the form of images. This helps shoppers make an instant connection to items they expressed desire in buying, which dramatically increases their chances to reconsider their order.
 

Customize the Text Message Content (CTA, Discount, Opt-Out)

The text message field gives you all the tools you need to craft the most powerful SMS that will help you recover abandoned carts. Let’s go over the breakdown of the perfect SMS again: 
 

  • Personalize your message by adding your brand name and customer name using the {SiteName} and {FirstName} short codes.

  • Add the link leading straight back to the customer’s cart by using the {AbandonedCheckoutUrl} short code. Enable branded URLs to increase awareness and link trust.

  • Give customers an incentive to complete their order by adding a discount. The first SMS should send a Free Shipping offer since the main reason for high cart abandonment rates are unexpected delivery costs at checkout.

  • Add the unsubscribe option at the end of the message by enabling the STOP to opt out checkbox.


SMSBump Abandoned Cart SMS Automation for Shopify

Summary

Text messages are a highly effective way to turn simple abandoned cart recovery SMS reminders into a bigger retention marketing strategy. Let us know how you're doing with your SMS automations and check out some of the top Shopify dropshipping experts who are crushing their abandoned carts with SMSBump. Get started today!


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Mihail Savov is the content marketing manager at SMSBump. He aims to help you make the most of the SMS marketing strategy for your E-Commerce store with detailed guides, tutorials, and text message marketing tips.

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