We’ve all been there - asking ourselves if we just wasted precious budget? Did the campaign work? How effective was the promotion? And most feared - would the customer have bought regardless?

Thankfully for customers, we always have a defined process to find out the answer. In this instance our customers would ask “are we using our budget effectively?” and their focus is normally on our cart recovery solutions - where we recover consumers who abandoned a purchase.

Firstly, it's worth reminding you that we work on a fixed fee basis, so there is no additional benefit to us to claim any results that are not attributable to our solution.

We call this type of test a “hold out”, where for a pre-described time - typically a month - a percentage of the abandoned carts - around 10% - are excluded from our campaigns, creating a control group. The remaining 90% would receive the standard cart recovery campaign, these are known as the exposed group.

We are grateful to EE who have allowed us to share the results of one of their recent “hold out” tests that was conducted over a month, to answer the question “would the customers have bought anyway?”

Now let's let the numbers do the talking. Obviously there are many reasons why consumers abandon their purchases, from still being in the research phase to having to go and do something else at that moment. However, the simple answer is, yes! more customers bought, in fact over 30% more ‘recovered’ customers purchased a product from EE.

In the exposed group, those exposed to our campaign were 31.47% more likely to complete a purchase than the consumers in the control group.

Not content to stop there, we often dig deeper and on this occasion, we explored the average order value in both the control and exposed groups. The returning customers in the exposed group that had been reminded to come back to purchase went on to spend more money per transaction than the control group. So not only were we able to answer the question, ‘would they have bought anyway?’, but also add insight into the type of lost purchases.

When value and volume are combined, this test shows that by running our campaign on all of the abandoned transactions, they potentially could have recovered 34% more in terms of revenue vs doing nothing.

There’s more behind a cart recovery campaign than you might think and it’s important to note it’s not all a numbers game. It is important to remember your customers and how they want to purchase your product. The engagement statistics are useful for understanding the customer journey and being able to predict the expected success of any such campaign:

• 12.18% of customers opening the cart recovery email came back to buy
• 23.03% of customers that clicked through completed their purchase
• Taking the purchase rate from those returning naturally as a base, we can demonstrate that customers engaging with the campaign email are 1.9 times more likely to convert and those who then click through are 3.6 times more likely to complete their purchase.

So, there you have it: It is fair to say some customers would have purchased without a cart recovery solution in place, but with one, you get more completed carts and higher than average order values too.

If you’d like any help running a similar test to validate the impact of your cart recovery, feel free to get in touch and we'd be happy to discuss how we can help you make sure your campaign is working effectively.