The curse of discounting in your abandoned cart emails

This weekend I ordered some new headphones from a Shopify store.

At first I wasn't quite ready to order but I added them to my cart so I can take a look at them later and pick which color I wanted.

Couple of hours later, I get an email from the store with a 10% off coupon from their abandoned cart.

Well, if they are just going to give away money... I don't mind if I do.

When I mentioned this to my wife she laughed and told me how she often hears people doing exactly that. It's a while consumer strategy now.

While those coupons "work", I was already going to buy them at the full price. The 10% off is just lost profit for the store.

When many Shopify store's are just tossing out 10% abandoned cart coupons after a couple of hours, it's no wonder customers become discount shoppers.

A better option would have been to offer an add-on incentive.

What goes well with headphones? How about an extension cord for wired ones and a charging cord extension for wireless?

Simple products the store can source in bulk for cheap, while still letting abandoned carts feel like they got something. All without taking such a large bite out of the main product's profit.

The better option would be to use a discount ladder. Start with a reminder, then send a free add-on, then a 5%-off coupon, and finish with the 10%.

Those require a more sophisticated abandoned cart system but once they are setup, they tend to just work.

Mix that with a retention campaign using customer segmenting like from Repeat Customer Insights and you can systematize a lot of customer acquisition and retention. Then you can measure and optimize it.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Abandoned carts Discount Marketing automation Email marketing

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