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eMail and post combination doubles abandoned basket reactivation

Go Inspire Group have just launched a revealing new report providing evidence that the combination of email and postal mail can double reactivation of abandoned baskets compared to email reactivation activity alone. In an age where e-commerce has become a critical channel to market, the statistic that seven in ten online shopping baskets are actually abandoned by shoppers[1], means that retailers are collectively leaving billions of pounds in revenue on the table.

While email reactivation techniques are well-established ammunition for the marketer, traditional mail reactivation is rarer. Media-neutral Go Inspire Group conducted a control test to compare email and postal mail response and conversion rates when aiming to re-activate abandoned baskets and the results were alarming. The Go Inspire control test collaborated with a major retailer over three months and a customer base of over 200,000. The retailer already had a highly successful re-activation triggered email system in place which was achieving a conversion rate in the typical 5-7% range.This control was then compared with a test cell of recipients where re-activation emails were followed with a triggered postal hybrid-mail follow-up to non-responders to the email activity.

Using an automated daily digital print send out, a visual reminder was sent of the abandoned products; through using online behavioural data the send-out also included personalised ‘most browsed’ product categories and a cross-department push which featured relevant imagery. 

The results:

  • Average order value for reactivated abandoned baskets from postal mail respondents was nearly the same as the initial reactivation emails (£100+);
  • Conversion rates from the postal mail activity was 113.5% of the email activity conversion rate;
  • Respondents to the postal mail were not responsive to the initial email activity thus the results of both reactivation activities in combination amounted to more than double the commercial result (measured as additional sales from retrieved baskets) of reactivation emails alone.
  • Go Inspire Group created a model which was applied to a range of online retail market categories to estimate the additional value retrievable from triggered postal mail reactivation follow-up (see table).
Abandoned Baskets – Additional Value Retrievable through use of hybrid mail
SectorIncremental Value (hybrid mail) - £ million
Clothes850.19
Shoes226.42
Bags & Accessories183.57
Consumer Electronics657.97
Books/Films/Music/Games177.28
Toys & Babywear217.08
Sports & Outdoor214.48
Hobby & Stationery156.87
DIY, Gardening & Pets241.76
Furniture & Homewares419.33
Household Appliances204.16
Food & Beverage450.82
Personal Care267.08

Patrick Headley, CEO at Go Inspire Group, comments: “This control test made it clear that hybrid mail, used in combination with regular email reactivation activities is critical to recovering abandoned baskets and distancing the competition.

“In today’s world where email is regarded as cheap compared to postal mail, it is important to provide marketers with hard objective data on postal mail and email incremental value delivery rates to help guide their decision-making process. This control test clearly shows that that marketers need to wake up to the need to optimise multiple channels to garner the best commercial result”. 

[1] Sources: Smart Insights, Abandonment Rates by Sector, 2017-18; Salescycle, Client data, FY 2018

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