The Best Abandoned Cart Coupon Code Ideas for Ecommerce Stores

The Best Abandoned Cart Coupon Code Ideas for Ecommerce Stores

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest challenges that all ecommerce brands face. However, you’re not powerless to stop it. Using abandoned cart coupons to provide a final push to buy now rather than later is a proven method of converting more of those abandoning visitors into customers.

In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of abandoned cart coupons and explore how to make the most out of this vital tool.

Let’s get started!

What’s a normal shopping cart abandonment rate?

Unfortunately, no online business will be able to completely eliminate abandoned carts—some people will always decide not to make a purchase at the last moment. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to limit the percentage of shoppers who leave items behind in their shopping cart.

The average cart abandonment rate across all of ecommerce is 66.5%.

However, what counts as a “normal” cart abandonment rate varies widely between different industries (usually falling between 52% and 78%).

If your cart abandonment rate is above that range, say at 80%, it’s a sign that you’re losing out on more sales than you should be. You definitely don’t want to ignore a red flag like that.

The good news is that you could see massive results from saving those lost sales by using an abandoned cart coupon that entices your potential customers to complete their purchases!

How does an abandoned cart discount work?

Understanding the mechanics behind an abandoned cart discount code strategy is crucial to recovering potentially lost sales in ecommerce.

Here’s a breakdown of how such a strategy functions:

  1. Identification of abandoned carts: You need a cart abandonment popup tool that detects when a shopper adds items to their cart but fails to complete the purchase. This can occur due to reasons like distractions, indecision, or unexpected costs during checkout.
  2. Triggering the discount: Once cart abandonment is identified, the system triggers a discount popup to entice the customer to return and complete the purchase. Your offer can be a coupon code, a percentage off the total purchase, free shipping, or a combination of these incentives.
  3. Personalization: Effective cart abandonment strategies often involve personalized offers tailored to the individual shopper’s browsing and purchasing history.
  4. Encouraging completion of the purchase: The primary goal of a cart abandonment discount is to encourage customers to complete the purchase. The discount serves as a persuasive incentive to overcome any barriers that prevented the initial purchase, such as concerns about price or hesitation.

4 great abandoned cart coupon code ideas

Decided to use a discount offer to help deal with cart abandonment

You’ll still need to figure out which type of discount would be best for your store, and that will depend on the types of products you sell and your budget.

Let’s go over each abandoned cart coupon strategy in detail!

1. Offering a percentage discount

Percentage discounts are one of the most popular ways to offer discounts to online shoppers. They’re easy to understand and persuasive, since people know exactly how much they’re saving off full price.

These discount offers are usually expressed as a simple, round number, like 10% off, 20% off, or 50% off. 

They’re a great idea for generating lots of short-term sales and motivating first-time buyers to give your products a try.

Abandoned cart prevention through offering discounts

You can increase the conversion rate of these offers even further by using a limited-time discount code. This increases the sense of urgency and makes it much less likely that a customer will abandon their cart.

Percentage discounts are ideal for online retailers that have an average cart value of below $100. This is because your percentage discount will feel valuable even if it’s only reducing the price by a few dollars (i.e. 10% on a $30 purchase).

To get started with a percentage discount that looks like the one above, you can try out one of these ready-to-go templates from OptiMonk:

2. Offering a dollar amount discount

Another version of an abandoned cart coupon is the dollar amount discount, which offers customers a flat amount of money off their order (like $20 off).

Dollar amount discounts are excellent for incentivizing customers who have expressed interest in your products to make a purchase. That’s because they can clearly see exactly how much money they’re going to save by taking advantage of the deal.

Abandoned cart prevention through offering discounts

In general, you should use dollar amount discounts if your average sale is over $100, since percentage discount deals can get quite expensive at that level. By using a flat dollar amount discount, you can control exactly how much each customer can save.

3. Offering free shipping

Some online businesses worry about offering too many discounts because it can affect the perceived value of their brand. That’s why businesses on the luxury side of ecommerce often shy away from using percentage discounts, offering free shipping instead.

If you’re worried about this, a free shipping offer is an effective strategy to encourage your customers to make a purchase. 

Since shipping costs are among the top reasons for cart abandonment, it makes sense that getting rid of them can be very persuasive.

In fact, potential customers are 4-5 times more likely to make a purchase when there’s a free shipping offer on the table!

Abandoned cart prevention through offering discounts

If you’d like to offer free shipping for cart abandoners, you can get started with these popup templates:

4. Offering a gift

Offering gifts (rather than coupons that save money directly) is another way of trying to convince cart abandoners to convert.

This strategy works well for brands that don’t have the budget necessary to ship for free or provide hefty percentage discounts. You can opt to offer small gifts that don’t cost you much, but persuade cart abandoners that it’s worth completing their purchase.

Using free gifts as an anti-cart abandonment strategy has a number of unique benefits as well. There’s always the possibility that one of your free gifts for first-time buyers convinces them to become long-term customers!

Here’s a great example of getting a shopper’s attention with a gift:

Abandoned cart prevention through offering discounts

4 tips to improve the effectiveness of abandoned cart coupons

Now let’s take a look at some best practices that can help you make the most of your abandoned cart coupon code.

1. Add a real deadline 

As mentioned above, deadlines help increase the urgency of your offers and push shoppers to buy now rather than later. When there’s a real deadline to contend with, the fear of missing out (FOMO) on a great deal kicks in, making it more likely that your coupon code actually gets used to make a purchase.

The shorter the window for using the coupon code, the more conversions you’re likely to get. 

Adding a fifteen-minute countdown timer, like in the example below, can motivate shoppers by making them aware of the deadline in a more “exciting” way than by simply using words.

Kiss My Keto popup example to save abandoned carts

Obvi, a DTC ecommerce brand, once ran a test where they compared two different variants of a cart abandonment coupon campaign. One version had a countdown timer and the other one did not.

Their marketing team expected that the countdown timer would result in higher conversion and coupon redemption rates. 

And that turned out to be true! The popup that had a countdown timer converted 7.97% better than the one without.

Obvi test: offering coupons with or without a countdown timer

2. Use unique coupon codes 

Today’s customers are extremely accustomed to seeing fixed coupon codes like “10OFF.” That’s because basically every ecommerce store has used some variation of “XOFF” coupons.

The fact that your customer base is so used to seeing fixed codes makes it seem like they’ll still be able to take advantage of the discount in a few months.

Of course, this idea undercuts any sense of urgency that you may have wanted to create!

The solution to this problem is generating a unique coupon code for each individual customer. Since each person’s code will be a random string of numbers and letters (like “AX6S7,” for example) the coupon feels more temporary and easier to lose.

Automated coupons generate unique coupon codes with HubSpot workflow. Just set rules, and configure workflow triggers and you’re good to roll out unique coupon codes anytime.

Christopher Cloos popup example to save abandoned carts

You can use OptiMonk to automatically generate unique coupon codes for each individual visitor. Check out this article to learn how.

Unique coupon codes are more likely to increase the sense of urgency

3. Use automatic coupon redeem

Although it makes sense to show your customers unique coupons, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should force them to remember them!

Instead, you can automatically apply your visitors’ coupons at checkout, which leads to a smoother, more pleasant user experience. It also helps increase the effectiveness and redemption rate of your abandoned cart coupons.

After all, your customers will be delighted and motivated to check out when they see the lower final price appear automatically.

Automatic coupon redemption is as easy as clicking a button in OptiMonk:

Automatic coupon redemption leads to higher sales

4. Remind customers about their coupon codes

Even if you use automatic coupon redeem, you still don’t want your customers to forget about their coupons while they’re browsing through your products.

To solve this problem, you can use a sticky bar to remind your visitors that there’s a discount waiting for them at the checkout.

Coupon code reminders lead to higher sales

If you’re not convinced that a campaign like this could make a real difference, let’s check out an example from Kiss My Keto (see above). 

The brand compared a simple discount code popup campaign vs. the same popup campaign followed by a discount code sticky bar.

They found that using a follow-up campaign boosted their conversion rate by a stunning 19.32%!


What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart email campaigns are automated messages sent to customers who have added items to their online shopping cart but have not completed the purchase. Abandoned cart emails are triggered when a customer abandons their cart and typically contain reminders of the items left behind, along with incentives such as discounts or promotional offers to encourage the customer to return and complete their purchase.

Why should ecommerce stores offer discounts for cart abandonment?

Ecommerce stores should offer discounts for cart abandonment to recover potentially lost sales, reduce cart abandonment rates, and improve overall revenue and profitability. By providing incentives such as discounts or free shipping, you can entice customers to complete their purchases.

Are there any drawbacks to offering coupons?

While offering coupons can be an effective strategy for driving sales and customer engagement, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. For example, it can reduce profit margins, especially if the discounts are too steep or if they are frequently used by customers. Besides that, constantly offering discounts may train customers to expect discounts before making a purchase, potentially devaluing the brand and eroding profitability in the long run.

Wrapping up

Every abandoned cart that you don’t try to save is a missed opportunity to improve your profit margins. You’re so close to making a conversion, often all you need to do is send a final discount offer to make the sale!

As we’ve seen in this article, there are a number of different types of campaigns that you can use to stop shopping carts from being abandoned. Whether you decide to use a percentage discount or a free gift, follow the best practices above to ensure your campaigns perform to their full potential.

If you’re interested in using coupon codes to stop cart abandonment, you can implement any of the campaigns above with a free OptiMonk account. Get started today!

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