Shopping Cart Abandonment: 63 Mind-Blowing Stats & 17 Ways To Crush It Right Now [+INFOGRAPHIC]

Although we’re sure you that you’ll never overcome cart abandonment totally, it may be enough that you keep and lure back just a few percent of your abandoning shoppers – because that will result in a nice rise in revenues.


We’re going to cover the following topics:

  • What is shopping cart abandonment?
  • What is the value of cart abandonment rate in reality?
  • Why do shoppers abandon their carts?
  • Numbers you need to know
    • It’s not because of the price – not that way
    • Cart abandonment and regional aspects
    • Abandoned carts, different industries
  • Information and conversion
    • Show all important information in time
      • Why is it crucial?
    • You communicate inappropriately?
    • Is free shipping that important?
  • Optimize your website
    • Complex navigation
    • Complicated checkout?
    • Do not ask for registration
    • Do care about the words you use (and test them)
    • “I’ve found it elsewhere at a better price”
  • Remarketing & retargeting
    • Follow your potential customer
    • Remarketing in email
      • What to write in the email?
    • Launch a loyalty programme
  • Cart abandonment on mobile
    • Why the smartphone user bounces?
    • The way to keep mobile using shoppers
    • An app can be a good idea
    • Filter strongly who you send push notifications to
    • Make your timing perfect
  • “If only one basket of dirt is missing…”



What is shopping cart abandonment?


Shopping cart abandonment is one of the most serious common problem for online store owners, so it is very likely you face this beast every day too.


The definition is simple: when a visitor of your ecommerce store adds items to his or her basket, but in the end no purchase is made.


Since there is absolutely no negative consequence of abandoning your cart during an online purchase process and then leaving the store, cart abandonment rate is very high.

Many look at this with a wondering face, because if someone has already firmly expressed their purchase intention by adding products to the cart, why don’t they finish the checkout process?


Basically: There can be a lot of reasons, but what most e-merchants do not see is this: shopping cart abandonment is not necessarily a problem, but a huge opportunity.


What is the actual cart abandonment rate?


A look at overall statistics can give us an idea. Luckily, it is a well examined field so there’s no need to make a big effort to find relevant data.

However, there are differences depending on which source you take.

The Baymard Institute has been searching through the relevant sites for years and has gathered figures for cart abandonment from more than 37 reliable sources.



Based on this, the average global cart abandonment rate is 69.23% (January 2017).

Please not that this figure is calculated from different data dating back several years at times.

A more up-to-date figure (but only from three sources) is the average of Listrak’s, Adobe’s and Barilliance’s calculated rates, which is: 74,1% (January 2017).


As this rate is increasing year by year, experts predict this number to go as high as 90% in a few years.

Researches indicate that online shoppers leave products approx. $4 trillion (4 thousand billion) worth a year. According to BI Intelligence, 63% of it could be recovered.

It is important not to regard the abandoned cart as a loss.

We’ll see that one of the main reasons for cart abandonment is that the user just “saves the products for later”, creating a shopping list and later they return and make the purchase.

In other cases they simply buy the same product elsewhere – they don’t cancel the purchase, but they choose a different offer with a different online shop.

So abandonments don’t produce losses, but provide opportunities.

From big brands to tiny online stores, everyone faces the issue of cart abandonment, but only a few do something to convince the hesitating shoppers.


Why do shoppers abandon their carts?


The first answer that seems very logical is that they “changed their mind”. Statistics, however, show a great number of different reasons for shopping cart abandonment (Baymard Institute):

  • 61% ‒ Extra costs too high
  • 35% ‒ Registration required
  • 27% ‒ Too complicated checkout process
  • 24% ‒ No up-front total order cost visible
  • 22% ‒ Website had errors or crashed
  • 18% ‒ Didn’t trust the website with credit card details
  • 16% ‒ Too slow delivery
  • 10% ‒ Returns policy not satisfactory
  • 8% ‒ Not enough payment methods
  • 5% ‒ Credit card was declined


It is clear that you cannot solve all these problems with a single solution, as these issues differ significantly from each other. In the following we’ll take a look at all reasons for not finishing the purchase one by one and suggest solutions accordingly.


Numbers you need to know


It’s not because of the price – not that way


It also seems logical to say that the higher the price the more customers quit the whole thing in the end.

But it’s not true.


The truth is rather the opposite with a little twist. The rate is highest (approx. 85%) for the lowest prices ($1-25), then falls to about 58% at the $80 price level and rises steeply to 77% at the $100-120 range. Then over $120 the chance of cart abandonment falls deeply and between $150-200 it is only around 40%.


So there is a psychological limit or point here at around $100, which is worth keeping in mind.

It can be so because it is easier to rationalize bigger purchases. Comparing expensive products is generally more difficult because these are usually more complex products. E.g. with a piece of clothing it’s enough to examine 2-3 attributes, while with a TV set that costs hundreds of dollars, dozens of features can be compared.

It is also likely that commitment towards a more expensive product can be stronger, a more serious buying intention and a more urgent need may be behind it.

And it is always easier to give up buying a cheaper product: you leave a key ring or mug in the store without any worries, but a vacuum cleaner or fridge that suits your expectations is much harder to forget about.

Who knows when comes another chance to get it? (Buy the way, for this kind of consumer insight you can effectively apply the scarcity sales technique.)

The psychology of pricing is, of course, a much more sophisticated field – the very detailed study by ConversionXL can be an ideal starting point to get familiar with the topic.


Cart abandonment and regional aspects


The global statistics for shopping cart abandonment are rather uniform, but it can also be noted that there can be significant differences in terms of regions.

According to the data of SaleCycle the global map of cart abandonment rates looks like this:

  • 74% in North America
  • 75.3% in Latin America
  • 70.9% in Europe
  • 76.3% in the Asia-Pacific region
  • 76.1% in Africa and the Middle East


There are, of course, other remarkable (e.g. cultural) differences that can be exploited smartly by e-merchants.

For instance, researches suggest that in the Pacific Region more shoppers tend to abandon their carts, but they are less sensitive to shipping costs or payment options.

In North America, free delivery is of very high importance, almost a basic expectation when someone puts an order online. Half of the customers abandon their carts immediately if they see some shipping cost (to be covered later in more detail).

Also, similarly to Europe, here the shopping cart abandonment rate is lower because the users are more focused, they are less likely to forget about finishing their shopping.

South Americans seem to postpone their online transactions more, but they care more about payment options – those who want to conquer this market, will need to offer several payment choices.

As we can see, there are lots of different characteristics, which means that there are no general solutions to cart abandonment. Based on your own research and experience, you can detect several problem areas, but you mustn’t forget that there is still a big pile of reasons for cart abandonment – to be discussed soon.


Abandoned carts, different industries


Cart abandonment rate is different from market to market as well (stats from SaleCycle and Statista):

  • The rate is highest in the travel industry (Statista: 80.4%, SaleCycle: 80.1%).
  • The financial sector has just a little lower rate (Statista: 79.3%).
  • Retail’s figure stays a tiny bit below the overall abandonment rate (Statista: 73.9%, SaleCycle: 74.6%).
  • For e-games it’s even lower (Statista: 70.1%).
  • Finally, fashion seems to be one of the best performers (Statista: 68.3%, SaleCycle: 68.8%).




Information and conversion


Show all important information in time


tips Tip: This may be the most important thing: never surprise your shoppers. They should always be aware of the critical information. You need to make them feel as though they are shopping at the good old small grocery store on the corner where they know the name of the shop assistant.


Why is it so important?

Because the most frequent reason why shoppers abandon their carts is encountering unexpected costs when they about to pay. According to several researches this is why some 50-60% of customers leave the online store without buying anything.

It is the shipping cost that most ecommerce stores “forget” to show in time. But there are a lot of shoppers as well (24-32%) that don’t pay special attention to what they add to their basket and leave when they finally see the total sum.

To avoid giving such unpleasant surprises to your customers, it is wise to show the total of their actual purchase, including EVERY additional cost, on every page they see during the shopping process.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

You communicate inappropriately?


It can also be that you simply don’t tell the important things in the right way.

For example, there can be a number of problems in terms of locations. If you can define the geographic location of a shopper, based on the IP address, then it should be obvious that you show the prices in their currency so as to avoid surprising them in a negative way.


The same applies to shipping: if it is not free, then you should not show this cost at the very end. But it may change depending on where you ship to, so you’ll need to make it dynamic.


Is free shipping that important?


It may sound odd at first, but we definitely suggest offering free shipping with every purchase.

73% of the shoppers say that unconditional free delivery is a very important factor when making an online purchase.

Shipping costs can be included in your prices. You can even communicate this: although you have a little higher prices, all products are delivered free.

This may “catch” those who would leave your store otherwise, but can also help raise average cart value: if you communicate clearly and smartly that shipping is free the chances are greater that the shopper will happily spend more.

Furthermore, according to the stats from Deloitte, for 20% of the shoppers it is a top reason to shop with a particular online store.

You can also provide free shipping if a condition is met, thus urging your target group to do something specific. Many online shops set a minimal total order amount to be reached for free shipping.

We’ve talked about the $100 psychological barrier – if you can find this kind of level for your own store, where the cart abandonment rate peaks, and here, at this price level, you show the message of free shipping, you’ll probably manage to convert a lot more customers.


Optimize your website


There are many who abandon their carts because of a complicated payment or shopping process.


Just imagine …… you are in a huge supermarket where you first don’t find the checkout, then you need to stand in a long queue and then talk to three different customer service assistants to finally get the product you want to buy. Now imagine that every few metres there is an exit to another supermarket where you’ll probably won’t meet all these problems.


Basically this is the situation with an online store that has a complex navigation and it is very easy for the user to switch to another store where he hopes to have a better experience.

Let’s see the most common problems with complexity that can be handled with optimization.


Complex navigation


Complex navigation can be a reason for quitting the shopping process with 25% of the visitors.

Navigation as such is rather intuitive – the next step should always be quite obvious in the process. Don’t expect to create a perfect navigation process right at the beginning. More likely, it will take some lengthy testing before being able to optimize your website to match the exact needs of your shoppers.

Simplicity, here too, can be a great advantage!


Complicated checkout process?


If you take a look at the data of Baymard Institute you’ll soon realize that simplifying the checkout process is one of your most important tasks. They studied this field for 7 years and came to the conclusion that a 35.26% increase in conversion rate can be reached on average through better checkout design.


How to make the checkout process simpler?

  • include as few steps as possible,
  • require as few data as possible,
  • never ever set registration as a condition for shoppers to be able to give their money to you.


Don’t overwhelm your customers with extra tasks. Make it possible for them to be able to get to the payment stage right after providing the required data.

According to Baymard, the ideal checkout flow would consist of 12-14 form elements – yet, an average US online store features about twice as many. (An element is not a page, but a single piece of information the user is required to give, e.g. surname, email etc.)


And here’s an interesting security dilemma: Statista says that cart abandonment can equally take place because of “excessive payment security checks (18%) as well as because of “concerns about payment security” (17%).


Again, simplicity can be the solution: if you can help it, use as few check points as possible at which the user needs to take action.

You can also eliminate security doubts in advance: display certifications of security on your page, show customer feedback and reviews to suggest that your store is regularly visited by tons of satisfied visitors.


Do not ask for registration


Registration is simply a pain in the neck for most shoppers.

If a user account registration is needed for making a purchase, it unnecessarily elongates the shopping process with several additional steps.

If you run your store requiring a registration, you have good chances that you’ll experience an extremely high cart abandonment rate with small-amount purchases. (Who’d want to register, and possibly expose themselves to advertising campaigns, just to have a T-shirt for a few bucks?)

So it’s obvious: registration should ALWAYS be optional and always offer the possibility of shopping as a guest visitor.

Make registration attractive by offering some kind of a premium experience, loyalty programme or something else (to be discussed later).

We don’t just say this. Every research proves that giving up required registration can vastly improve conversion figures. For example, User Interface Engineering measured a 45% rise in sales after making registration optional on their site.


Do care about the words you use (and test them)


First, it does matter what words you use with navigation or when giving information.

A fine example for that is the case study of Insound: they changed the wording of the CTA button in the checkout from “Continue” to “Review Order”. The result?

An 8% increase in the conversion rate from 30.5% to 39.4%.

In this example the reason behind this is probably that the second version is more concrete. If possible, don’t use the word “Continue”, instead, try to refer to what is going on in the process, where the user gets to after clicking the button.

It’s highly recommended to re-read and double check all wordings from button texts to product descriptions. It has significance how specific or factual the text is or how you can influence the feelings of your customers, i.e. what words you use to convince them to take action now or reinforce a sense of security in them for instance.


tips Let’s see an example! :

How would you tell a customer that he can safely provide his personal data?

You write…

We won’t steal your data!

…or that…

We always handle your data securely.

The first one may seem direct, thus sympathetic, but experience shows that positive messages are always stronger and more convincing.


“I’ve found it elsewhere at a better price”


You can deal with this kind of feedback in two ways.



Continuous competitor monitoring: if you see they start operating at lower prices you take action. It can be effective sometimes, but in the majority of cases such price war is devastating.


Why lower price strategies can ruin your business?

If you keep your prices low all the time, it cuts into your profits and you may also lose those shoppers that were willing to purchase from you at higher prices. “Why have you become cheaper? Your product is not worth that money anymore? You could have sold that cheaper from the beginning?” They might ask.

And if the special offer ends, those may leave you who came just because of the discounts. Or they can choose to step aside and wait for the next cheap deal. But it is likely that such postponed purchases will never take place in reality.



The second method is way more effective. Although it may hold back less visitors to leave you for other sites, still, those who you’ll keep will spend more with you. So you’ll increase average cart value.

This method is about telling them WHY your prices are higher.

You’ll need some strategic and copywriting skills to do that right.


A few examples

There must be a good reason for charging higher prices. For instance, this can be faster and high quality support or free shipping with every purchase.

It can also work that, beyond “plain” shopping, you offer a premium experience: e.g. membership for loyal customers with exclusive deals, membership in a special group, access to extra content or to a dedicated client service.

If you think that shoppers don’t really spend more on the same or very similar product, just think again. How can the popular premium brands make a living? The somewhat higher manufacturing costs do not justify the premium pricing – people pay more for brands and not necessarily for specific products.


Remarketing & retargeting


We have a good reason to touch on this topic multiple times – we’ve already published guides and case studies, because they’re simply among the most effective online marketing tools nowadays.


  • It is a crucial stat that if you target abandoners with remarketing, and if you manage to lure them back to your store, they will spend 55% more on average with each purchase from then on than those who converted right at the first time.
  • The average open rate of simple marketing emails is 21% according to SaleCycle – while remarketing emails are opened by 54% of the users.
  • Besides, the conversion rate of clicked-through remarketing emails is also very high, approx. 30%!


All this correlates with the good old marketing notion: it’s always easier to have someone make a purchase that is already in some “relation” with you than to convince a complete stranger to do so.


You already have some kind of valuable information about the ones who you can reach with remarketing, and statistics show that using different remarketing techniques based on that information can covert shoppers way better.


Follow your potential customer!


Time is your most limited resource. For many years, lots of marketing experts have been talking about this, especially online marketing professionals.

According to MIT, 90% of leads go cold after an hour.

Thus, if you intend to use remarketing, you’d better be fast: you should reach your potential customer with a to-the-point offer to have them return to your store.

You can

  • offer them a one-time discount,
  • free shipping,
  • call their attention that the given offer is valid only for 24 hours,
  • stocks are limited etc.


We’ve already written about what remarketing tools you can use and how to utilize different retargeting techniques.

If you feel that you still need some tutorial in this topic, do read these posts to learn a bunch of useful techniques:

How to apply retargeting and remarketing in your online shop

13 eCommerce Retargeting Methods & Bonus Case Studies to Boost your Conversion


However, if we talk about a returning customer that has abandoned his cart, it’s a different story – you can reach out to him at a later time, because there is already some kind of loyalty towards you, he knows you and it’s likely that you know his contact information.

In such a case it’s worth trying a more personal approach:


Remarketing in email


If you know the email address of your shoppers, you have good chances to lure them back to your store.

When to send out remarketing emails?

Radley London runs an ecommerce store selling different accessories. With the help of SaleCycle they targeted their cart abandoners in email. After running tests, they came to the conclusion that the ideal time for sending emails is half an hour after the abandonment took place. Finally they managed to convert 7.9% of their abandoners.

Configuring such a remarketing process, especially if an expert partner is involved, is relatively easy.

The example of Boot Barn is worth a look as well: they created a series of emails. The first was sent out 20 minutes after the time of the cart abandonment.

After 23 hours, the next email was sent to those who still did not finish their purchase. The last reminder email was sent when a week had passed. This campaign was closed with a result of a 12% growth in revenues.

There’s no need to worry even if you’re not that fast sending out the first email. Listrak’s report says that you can achieve an open rate of 40% and a click-through rate of 20% with emails sent to abandoners within 3 hours, which are great figures too.


What to write in the email?


You should pay a great deal of attention to the text here. First, you need to decide whether you want to use a positive or a negative emotional approach.

You may evoke a negative emotional response with messages that say that the shopper will miss something or will be left out of something if they don’t act in a given time.

This time you apply the scarcity technique in a way that you work with the well-known psychological phenomenon of “Fear of missing out” (FoMO) or fear of regret.


tips Example: You may write that the items added to the shopping cart can be purchased only in X days at a special price, or you can also communicate that only a limited number of the chosen product is available, so the shopper should finish his or her shopping as soon as possible.

Here you can help in the positive decision making by showing comments of satisfied customers or simply telling how many shoppers have bought that same product.

You may doubt, but these basic “tricks” can further raise the likelihood of conversion (the theory of social proof or informational social influence supports this approach.)


Here, a negative emotional reaction is not directed at you, but is generated within the shopper. However, positive messages that trigger positive feelings usually work better.

You can paraphrase your message like this: “We have saved your selected products” or “We still store your chosen items”

I.e. we still have them, we take care of them, you can buy them any time. They are in your cart, they are yours – you only need to finish what you started earlier.

With such messages you should emphasize that they practically own the items they put in the cart (well, yes, they still need to pay for them).

An email subject of “We keep your vacuum cleaner for you” can be powerful. You should achieve that the shopper feels strong that the product is already theirs.


Launch a loyalty programme


To retain your returning customers, it’s a great idea to run a loyalty programme.

Most people like feeling that they’re special and being treated in an exceptional way.

By creating a club, an inner circle to which you offer a kind of premium experience, you can reduce the rate of cart abandonment.

According to Forrester Research, participants of a loyalty programme spend 13% more on average than regular shoppers and you can also raise the number of visits by 20% with exclusive offers only for members.

Of course, with loyalty programmes a registration is needed, which is an extra step that is required ‒ not really preferred by 40-50% of users. (Here it’s worth mentioning the research of BI Intelligence, where 39.1% of the shoppers abandon their carts because of the lengthy checkout process that also includes creating an account.)

That’s why you should introduce your loyalty programme as an option and never as a mandatory step.

A loyalty programme is also an opportunity to communicate more actively with your loyal customers, and thus you can more easily get customer feedback and reviews.

In return, you can give reward points to your shoppers to be redeemed for certain discounts in order to make them even more committed towards you.

You can use these reviews to encourage hesitating customers to make a purchase decision.


Cart abandonment on mobile


In a separate post we covered the growth trends in mobile commerce (mCommerce). There is a number of reasons why it takes more time than expected for mobile ecommerce to expand in a faster rate compared to desktop use.

Probably it is mostly the “fault” of e-merchants rather than of users who usually adapt to new technologies very quickly.

Statistics show a steady rise – 2016’s Black Friday in the US saw a 40% mCommerce share of all sales. This is a truly relevant figure since this is the most significant period for retailers in the whole year.

Stats also show that the cart abandonment rate is even higher for mobile phones than for desktop or tablet, now it is approx. 78%.

This resonates well with other statistics that suggest that 40% of users go over to a competitor to make a purchase if they encounter a bad mobile user experience.

Note: 84% of users have already had a bad experience when they tried to make a mobile transaction of some kind.


Why smartphone users bounce?


The most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment on mobile do not significantly differ from that of desktop. We’ve already mentioned these reasons earlier in this post (see the Baymard Institute stats at “Why do shoppers abandon their carts?” above).

Baymard Institute lists the following reasons for abandonments during checkout taking into account both mobile and desktop computers:

When looking at abandonment rates measured in the Black Friday period, there is a considerable difference between the devices. On desktops the cart abandonment rate was 63.8% while on mobile it was 78.1%.  (We’ve mentioned earlier that conversion is also better on desktop (20.8%) than on mobile (14.1%) in this same festive period.)

Ventureburn, too, mentions reasons that are mainly in connection with page use, user interface and complex processes, like poor design, slow page speed, badly displayed forms, lengthy checkout etc.

It is clear that all of us want convenience, so it is not surprising that on a small screen we wish to see the simplest and easiest interface possible.

If an ecommerce store cannot provide that, we immediately leave the site for another one that gives us exactly what we desire.


The way to keep mobile using shoppers


Now we present a couple of methods that can help to convert more shoppers that use smartphones when visiting your online shop.

Before trying to elaborate some complex strategies, start by checking how user friendly your store’s mobile platform is.

We’re not talking just about optimization here. Yes, you need to take care of layout features and design, if they work smoothly on all devices etc.

But it’s truly worth thinking over how you could make navigation simpler and the checkout and payment process shorter than on desktop.


An app can be a good idea


If you can run an appropriate awareness campaign for your own ecommerce app, then you may give it a serious thought to have one created. It shouldn’t just be a selling platform, but a great marketing tool as well.


You can

  • send push notifications reaching the user any time you’d like,
  • promote your pieces of content,
  • create a kind of a loyalty programme, based on a shopping game with rewards at different shopping stages for example.


It may well worth the effort to create your app or selling your products or services through an existing one because according to recent stats 54% of mobile users make their purchases with an app.


Filter strongly who you send push notifications to


You can send push notifications via your web page as well, you do not need to use an app for that. It can be a good way to reach out to your cart abandoners, since they show a significant level of commitment if they approve push notifications from you.

But you should not target everybody.

It’s worth segmenting carefully because if you send messages to the user’s mobile, may this be very effective in reaching the user, it is a very direct and personal way of communication that can, in fact, alienate many people.

Therefore push notifications may work well with those that have already shown proof of a strong purchase intent:

  • they already viewed a dozen products before adding one to the cart,
  • they spent a considerable amount of time browsing on a specific product or category page,
  • they search for something for a long time,
  • they stopped the process of purchasing something of large value,
  • they added more than one product to the cart.


In such cases, sending a notification is justifiable because you may well assume that the purchase process was interrupted because of some external factor.

It is very likely in the case of mCommerce, as basically anything can draw the user’s attention away from their smartphone, e.g. they started a purchase on the train, but arrived in the meantime to their destination and just forgot about closing the transaction.


Make your timing perfect


We use our desktop and mobile devices in different ways for consuming content and shopping.

When reaching out to your shopper, in the case of desktop, being fast can be a good idea (mentioned in the section about remarketing), but with mobile devices you may hold your action a little.

If we examine Google’s Micro-Moments concept, we see that users generally take separate, smaller actions on their mobile, many times just driven by their instinct.

They usually don’t go all the way along the shopping process, at times they don’t even remember how they got to a certain point, and they also tend to start something purely in a random manner.

Just the same, they can stop doing something randomly, probably because in the meantime they get interrupted by something that seems more important to pay attention to. These can be very simple things like arriving at somewhere, lunchtime is over, the kids started to play with the car or you need to check in for your flight.

In such cases it is needless to send a push notification right away telling them they suspended their purchase process and the products are still there in the cart.

So it’s a good idea to wait for approx. 24-48 hours before calling gently their attention to the fact that their selected products are still there in the cart.

How to find the most suitable time to do that?

Try to collect as much data as possible on your shoppers: their daily routine, what they do for a living, what hobbies they have etc. Using A/B testing, define the best times for sending out push notifications.

Leanplum suggests that only by fine tuning the timing of push notifications, revenue can rise by 15% per user.

You can find further information on this topic in our article about segmentation.


“If only one basket of dirt is missing…”

…construction will fail.” says a Chinese proverb.

Luckily it is not so with ecommerce : )

One single abandoned cart doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. On the contrary, it may give you a good opportunity.

Every single e-merchant has issues with shopping cart abandonment. You can beat your competitors by fighting and beating cart abandonment.

Experts say that by 2020 only 1 out of 10 online purchase attempts will be closed with an actual purchase. Of course, along with that, overall ecommerce turnover, the number of purchases and average cart value will increase as well.

If you reach out to your cart abandoners in the right time and the right way, you can grow your income and if you pay special attention to mCommerce as well, your chances for success are even higher.

It’s not only the trends that you have to keep an eye on – you should learn the ins and outs of online marketing to face this challenge, but it will well worth the effort.

Save this article or print it out, follow the steps we’ve described, browse this blog further and make yourself an outstanding e-merchant.



Instagram Marketing Strategy: How to Make More Sales in 5 Steps?

The days when Instagram was the home of selfies and food photos only, are long gone now.

You can’t imagine how you could be efficiently present on such an interface as an online store operator?

No problem, that’s exactly why we prepared this article.

Here you can learn everything about how you should start building your Instagram profile, how to make guides to the posts, how to organize your activities, even what at all (and when) you should post.

We’ll show you a set of valuable tools that will make you an expert at using Instagram, with analytics and with thinking ahead.


In the following we’ll talk about the below topics:

  • How effective is Instagram in selling?
  • 1) Build and optimize your profile
    • Have a good profile photo
    • Write a good introduction
    • Link one of your relevant pages
  • 2) Post pieces of content!
    • First step: analyze your competitors
    • Second step: choose the visuals
    • Third step: post regularly
    • Use the hashtags
    • When to post?
    • Combine your feed and email
  • 3) Run advertisements
  • 4) Find content ideas. A little help:
    • Storytelling
    • Be creative
    • User generated content
    • Behind the scenes…
    • Live streams
    • Introduce influencers
    • Organize prize competitions
  • 5) Automate what you can, organize everything else
  • Never use stock photos
  • You can do this


How effective is Instagram in selling?


According to the data of L2, among all of the social media sites, the proportion of the browsing visitors converting into customers is the highest on Instagram.

In addition, the potential clients are also more willing to deal with the brands than on other platforms.

90% of the biggest brands of the world operate an Instagram profile. They don’t need to grab every tool they can, they use it simply because it’s really efficient.


It’s no wonder: 60% of the platform’s users learn about new products, new offers from here, and 75% of them are even encouraged to take some actions because of those (even if not necessarily to purchase but to share or to browse further).


According to Statista, as of September 2017, the number of monthly active Instagram users is 800 million globally. And it seems this number will grow further on at a rapid pace.

You can see now that you simply can’t leave Instagram out of your social media marketing strategy.

Or if you do so, your competitors will take advantage of all the opportunities you’ve left untouched.


1 ‒ Build and optimize your profile


The first step is that you make your potential customers follow you at all.

In order to direct them to your profile from other interfaces, you have to be a brand that’s most probably worth following on this interface in the first place.

However, most brands don’t put enough energy into the maintenance of their profiles.

This is what you should pay attention to:


Have a good profile photo


Your logo for example should work fine, most companies choose that.

Message match is excellent, it’s easily recognizable – if you don’t choose your logo, it still should be some kind of an image that can be easily linked to your brand.

You will also make your visitors become more committed like this – the average users come across a brand seven times before converting. And seeing the logo, the brand more frequently, will help them on that path.


Write a good introduction


Fill in the bio part as well: it should be clear from the text who you are exactly, what you’re dealing with, and the style should match the style of your brand’s overall communication.

You may as well include some major values in your introduction, moreover, you can even use emojis if you see fit. These are especially capable of capturing attention.

When choosing the name, you should make sure to select something that can be found easily: the user name should preferably match the brand’s name, or it should be similar to it as much as possible.

If it’s long or complicated, you can make it shorter, of course.


Link one of your relevant pages


You have the chance to redirect your followers to a given page from your profile.

In order to decide which one you should redirect them to, you have to ask yourself the following question: what would I like the visitors of my profile to do?

Obviously, it would be best if they purchased something from you right away, but that’s unlikely to happen.

On the other hand, if you have a blog posting interesting pieces of content, or a video channel for that matter, feel free to direct them to those.

For example, here you can see the links inserted in La Sportiva’s bio:


instagram marketing strategy bio


2 ‒ Post pieces of content!


You continuously have to pay attention to the content that you publish – they should preferably transmit the same visual elements, the same message.

But this is too important a question than to leave it just like that, so let’s see in detail what you have to do.


First step: Analyze your competitors


At first you should examine who, among your competitors, are active on Instagram, and what kind of content they post.

Analyze who the most successful are among them, and which of their pieces of content resonate most with the audience.

It’s also worth finding out how they direct the audience to their Instagram profile.

From a webpage, from Facebook, or from a newsletter for instance? Do they manage to recruit the appropriate audience with their technique?

In case you don’t have any competitors, monitor similar companies that operate on similar markets.

Follow them as well. They don’t necessarily have to be your direct competitors in order to learn a couple of useful practices from them.

By now, you may already have a set of ideas, however, your content has to be unique.

You want to stand out from the crowd.

In order to achieve this, you should follow a different path that also fits in the communication of your company.


Second step: choose the visuals


It’s aesthetics that’s most important on Instagram.

If people get to your profile and see that you upload confusing and chaotic images that don’t have much in common, they differ in style, in message, in meaning, there’s a great chance that they won’t follow you.

You have to maintain a stable standard, and you need to find your own style to be able to do that.

Choose the colours (color theory can help you with that, which we have already written about in detail earlier), the filters, decide what kind of photos you’ll upload, what kind of content you’ll share.

Whoever opens your profile, should experience this style in the very first moment.


instagram marketing strategy colors visuals


If your brand has an already established image, you shouldn’t have major difficulties creating this.

You should elaborate a branding guide that will help you in your work (or the work of the social media manager responsible for Instagram for that matter) in the future.

This should include the following:

  • What type of photos should you post? What should figure on them and what shouldn’t?
  • What kind of visual appearance do you want, what kind of filters do you use?
  • What colours do you work with?
  • Images of what sizes do you upload? (1080 x 1080 pixels is the recommended size.)
  • What kind of fonts do you use in the images?


Third step: post regularly


In your Instagram marketing, just like in case of all of your communication channels, you’ll have to find the frequency that’s not yet annoying but which ensures continuous presence for you.

The biggest brands post on average 1 or 2 times a day.


tips What to post? : The sports brands for example usually work with some inspirational content, for other users quotations, posts about entertaining everyday life, or even educational content may work. Begin with the types of your posts that are the most successful on other social interfaces, and visually transfer the spirit of those to Instagram.


It’s also important that you don’t forget the analytics. Iconosquare is a great tool for the analysis of Instagram. With the use of this, you’ll get a better insight of whether you’re going in the right direction.


You’ll have to monitor the following aspects in the first place:

  • Which are the most successful posts
  • Which trigger the most interactions
  • How many followers do you gain or lose within a given time period


You should get the useful data in an easily understandable way on the interface, then you can fine-tune posting based on those.

You can prepare monthly reports and you can analyze the individual posts.

You’ll receive data on how you can optimize (for example what kind of filters are worthwhile for you to use), and you can gain quite useful data on your followers as well.

After a couple of months of posting, when your follower basis is big enough, these data will be very useful.

You can automate your posting with the help of different tools, see section 5 to see them.


Use hashtags


The best way to increase your visibility on Instagram is with the use of hashtags (besides entangling users with larger follower basis, but we’ll discuss that later).


instagram marketing strategy hashtags


No matter how good content you publish, your audience will not find those by themselves, unless you use the appropriate tags, because the users search for preferred pieces of content and profiles based on those.


Why do they work so well? Because Instagram’s search engine is used extensively. Obviously, you should analyze which hashtags are worth using in a given field – there are free online tools for that, which work similarly to as if you were using keyword research. You enter a keyword and the service offers you a set of relevant hashtags that will bring you higher visibility.


Don’t use only the popular hashtags. Use the names of your brands as well, and create new hashtags that your audience will be able to use later.

When you organize some kind of a game or an event, in other words, if there are some topicalities that can be tied to you, try to spread these and that will also increase your visibility and the commitment of your audience.

Iconosquare is a great tool for that, especially that it can be used with free registration as well.


When to post?


Iconosquare’s data will precisely show that to you, still, we can present you some findings based on the general statistics that you can start working with.

The most active period is the weekend, from Friday until Sunday. And the most active period within the day is at around 5 p.m. This shows that Instagram is most busy after working hours.


But you’ll have to test your own audience yourself: if you target young people specifically, or members of a given profession, you may as well get completely different data than these.


Combine your feed and email


If you combine email marketing with your live Instagram feed, you can boost your overall conversion.

There are a couple of ways to do that.


Feature the latest content of your followers in your newsletter or email offer.

Hyatt did this in one of its email campaigns with the line “See how others make the most @Hyatt”.

At the bottom part of the email message you could see the latest images uploaded by the guests of Hyatt.

This is a perfect example for social proof where user generated content helps drive engagement and conversions.





Build your email list via Instagram

Start sending out email newsletters. Don’t let your potential customers, i.e. your followers, pass by your offers. Reach out to them via email as well.

If you already have a follower base, it’s worth building your email list by setting up an email sign up page. Insert the sign up link into your Instagram bio so that your form is easily accessible for users.

Now you can send out your newsletters and special offers. Don’t underestimate the power of email marketing. It’s still the best converting online marketing tool out there.


3 ‒ Instagram Advertising


Fortunately, owners of the platform realized early on how great a tool they had created for online merchants.

For this very reason, they introduced Instagram advertisements, which have ever since been quite efficient in increasing visibility, generating traffic and collecting leads.

It’s also an important fact that while the users of Facebook and of other social networking sites become immune to advertisements with time (which is why native pieces of content are increasingly popular on Facebook currently), no major signs of this are seen on Instagram.

The reason for this is that the emphasis here is still on creativity, on aesthetics, yet on interfaces where photos are posted, those who post (and advertise) relevant and good pieces of content can be identified at the very first moment.


instagram marketing strategy advertising


In order to achieve success, your Instagram advertising and Instagram promotion goals have to be clearly defined.


These may typically be the following:

  • Directing traffic to the webpage
  • Having mobile applications downloaded and installed
  • Having videos viewed
  • Increase of a post’s reach
  • Conversion on the webpage (in case of product advertisement)
  • Increasing visibility


You can see that Instagram, and advertising on it, is suitable not only for simple brand building but for direct selling as well.


By the way, there are three types of these advertisements:

  • Photo
  • Video
  • Carousel


The last is less recommended, because the message intended to reach the user when using a carousel is typically not focused enough, however, it’s still more efficient on Instagram than if you placed one on your webpage.

(We’ve already written a thorough analysis of that, we strongly recommend reading it.)


tips It’s best to have a completely focused message:  You present a single product (even if you use a carousel, you present the same product, only in different ways), you use a single, very specific call-to-action, and the link takes those who are interested directly to the product page.


The first step of optimization in ecommerce is always to get rid of the annoying factors that may discourage customers from converting.

If you advertise several products at the same time, or if the CTA is either too general or not clear enough, any of those can quite significantly reduce the conversion rate, especially on an interface as simple as Instagram by default.

Speaking of simplicity: make purchasing from you as easy as possible.

If the purpose of a given piece of content is in fact to make people get to your product page and buy the product, you should make sure to eliminate all unnecessary steps.

In case you have a specific offer, the link (simple, preferably shortened and customized) mentioned in the bio (introduction) should lead to a very simple landing page with a specific message, where the users will find the same message as they did in the advertisement, and of course the same visual elements as well. (In this case, message match is of vital importance in terms of visual elements as well.)


4 ‒ Find content ideas. Here’s a little help.


We are sharing some general advice with you right away, before giving you any hints.Don’t try to sell immediately on Instagram: don’t post images, photos with your product in them simply in front of a plain white background.

Place it in some kind of a real-life situation, present how it makes the life of the customers easier, how it’s made, how it’s used, what problems can be solved by using it, and so on. Selling can come after that.




Introduce an evangelist, a loyal customer who succeeded in solving one of his problems with your help. Or introduce someone who works for you.

Present the important (and interesting) milestones of the company’s history.

It’s the story that’s important: storytelling is one of the most powerful weapons in your hand.


instagram marketing strategy story telling


Let the users feel that they have something to do with the story, that they could even be its star, because that’s what you can create subconscious connection, sympathy with.

You can also mention and tag influencers and celebrities in your stories.

You can also use Instagram Stories. They’re a great way to draw your followers’ attention to some of your actions, as they are always at the top of the news feeds.

Instagram Stories let you post creatively, using text and drawing tools. But beware that they will disappear after 24 hours and won’t show in your feed.


Set free your creativity


Think about how creative solutions can be realized with the help of your products.

How can they be used “unintended”, how can that be made interesting?

If you can’t invent something like that yourself, ask your audience. Or you can organize a game for that purpose (more about that later).

Ask them to send in creative photos and display those on your interface together with their stories.

And that brings us to another type…


User generated content


Social media content, created by your users, for free.

It plays a major role, as the audience loves when you provide them the opportunity to play, to appear, to show off.

And it brings you free content and very high reach, since everyone is happy to share such posts.

Of course, the posts have to have something to do with you.

The brand, your products should be included in them somehow, so that those who come across them know that they are related to you, as this is how you’ll benefit from it even more (in addition to it facilitating the commitment of your already existing audience).


Behind the scenes…


How is the daily work going on at your company?

Yes, you’ll have to tell a story about that as well, but you may as well do something interesting in addition: you can provide insight into workflow processes and events, which your audience could not see otherwise.

You allow exclusive experience like that, and make your brand closer and more informal to them, as you reveal your “secrets”.

That’s a great tool for trust building.


instagram marketing strategy behind scenes


Live streams


You organized an event? Or you’re simply participating in one?

Introducing your brand new product?

That’s a perfect opportunity to turn your audience on.

The reason why live streams are so popular is that because a lot of people who don’t go in person to such an event, would like to be present in mind and spirit, or at least learn about the most interesting happenings.

Use Instagram Live and share your live video content with your followers.

Obviously, you should make sure it’s a relevant event, which has the most chance of capturing their attention. It’s also recommended spreading the word of your live event way before it takes place.


Involve influencers


Influencers can help you immensely to boost your brand awareness, sales, website traffic, or promotional campaigns.

Since they already have a huge audience, partnering with them can be extremely profitable, especially if they truly like what you’re doing.

It’s not by chance that influencer marketing is so efficient on Instagram: followers of the various celebrities can get incredibly enthusiastic when they see their heroes somewhere.

Here are some ways to work with influencers including some inspiring examples.


Introducing influencers

This is practically the same category as interviews on blogs.

Take an influencer with a lot of followers, who is also interesting for you, and present him/her in your feed in a way that the piece of content is connected to you as well.

They will also be happy to share these, and your audience will be enthusiastic about them.


Involving a popular photographer

Quality content is guarenteed when you ask a professional photographer to help you. And if he/she is popular as well, you can extend your audience remarkably.

Bonobos, a fashion brand, asked Foster Huntington to promote their summer collection. One of the platforms they used was Instagram, of course.

Foster was already very popular posting his own photos and videos. He took lifestyle shots for Bobobos and posted these in his feed, achieving a ton of views, shares, and likes.

The whole social media campaign proved to be big success increasing Bonobos’ average engagement rate by 300%.


instagram campaign bonobo



Organize contests


Instagram is an excellent platform for organizing different prize competitions.


There are multiple reasons for that:

  • You can perfectly promote it with influencer marketing.
  • Reach of user generated content is huge.
  • You can present the prizes straight away.


instagram marketing strategy contests


Of course, before starting organizing, you should set your specific goals, and formulate your call accordingly, in a very precise way.


What would you like to achieve?

  • To direct users to your product page or landing page?
  • To have more followers?
  • To reach more people?
  • To make one of your hashtags spread all over?


It’s also important what you offer in return.

The present should be valuable enough to make the users start posting or sending in pieces of content that can be associated with your brand, you’ll have to reward their efforts.


tips Tips: Exclusive products of limited edition, last pieces, prizes that relate to celebrities and influencers will work well for example.


Don’t forget to reward the participants either: at least you should republish the best posts, introduce and celebrate the winner, ask questions from him, post as he receives the prize – use the power of storytelling.

A great tool, Wishpond can make organizing the competition for you a lot easier.

By using hashtags, you can follow the potential winners, the winner among the posted images may be the one that receives the most likes on your Facebook page or even your webpage. (Like this, you can easily promote the game for higher reach on other interfaces as well.)


5 ‒ Automate what you can, organize everything else


Since you have to continuously provide high quality content, posting daily can become quite exhausting.

Sometimes you forget it, sometimes you don’t have anything to publish, or you run out of ideas…

So it’s a good thing to always make enough pieces of content in order to set up a reserve for such cases.


tips Tip: Open Canva and start creating pieces of content based on the predefined hashtags.

Take the photos made by a professional photographer or those among the product photos and other snapshots that are good enough to use them on Instagram, then change them to match the profile’s spirit.


You can even preschedule your posts you prepared in advance, and thus you can automate your posting activity.

Applications like Later or Buffer will make your life easier.

As we have already mentioned, regularity is quite important. For this reason, a content calendar is never a bad idea.

Adjust posting frequency to your capacity. E.g. if you can create only 8 posts a month, spread them out evenly, like two posts a week.

It’s worth varying the content types described above: ten product photos should not come one after the other, the different categories should vary at an enjoyable pace, so that you serve the needs of every member of your audience.

Interactions are also important: Instagram is a social networking platform after all.

You’ll have to answer the messages and comments here, too, just like you have to do so on Facebook.

Of course, not 24 hours a day – you should rather organize this activity, choose 30 minutes within the day when you deal only with responding to the reactions and answers that came in.

Thus you’ll “move” your brand closer to the audience, you’ll show your human face and will make them more committed.

The Letsell.It application represents a sort of bypass.

Even though Instagram API doesn’t support automated posting, you can still advertise your products through this application.

In exchange for a small fee, you can reach an audience through them, who you were unable to get to earlier.

It’s also a useful function for chatting with your customers, which will lead to higher conversion as it improves user experience.


Never use stock photos


If you want to be successful with your Instagram marketing strategy, you should forget about using photos from stock image sites.

It’s the unique and relevant pieces of content that are successful on Instagram.


tips Tip: Just like in case of the photos displayed on the product pages, here I also advise you to hire a professional photographer if necessary.

It will be more expensive, but the results will justify that the unique and high quality images perform better and make more profit for you.

(By the way, hiring a professional photographer is not at all as expensive as you would think so. By calculating with 1 or 2 posts a day, you can have content of even several months created relatively cheaply, provided you prepare everything right for the shooting in advance.


Stock photos represent one thing to your audience: that you weren’t willing to invest any energy into showing the best visual content you can on an interface where that’s all that matters in the first place. Why would they follow you then?


You can do this

If you use all these tips, you won’t have difficulties in creating a great Instagram profile, and building not only your brand but increasing your income as well.

The key, like many times, is simplicity:

Once you’ve laid down some ground rules, the rest will almost take care of itself.

Follow our pieces of advice and tips, use the tools mentioned here, exploit the various content types, and I guarantee you’ll become a more successful e-merchant.



eDM Marketing: Definition, Mistakes to Avoid and 3 Indicators You Need to Watch

First, we define eDM, then give useful advice regarding legal requirements. We give a step by step introduction to each important stage of an email’s journey: from clicking “send” to its final destination, a conversion. We will also discuss some important statistics of KPIs using’s research.


Let’s begin! What are we going to talk about?


  • What is eDM?
  • What to pay attention to when sending an eDM and how to avoid being blacklisted?
  • How an eDM gets to the user?
  • Delivering the email
  • Opening the email
  • Clicking on a CTA button and/or link
  • Unsubscribing from the email
  • Conclusion


In today’s digital age, there’s nothing extraordinary in receiving daily promotional emails.

You must be familiar with this situation so you know exactly what it’s like to be on the receiver’s end.



What is eDM?


Electronic Direct Marketing: is basically sending marketing, advertising or business information materials to a group of people using email.

In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.

In legal terms, generally the following applies:

An advertisement could be anything containing the company’s name, logo, or activity that incites people to buy their products or services, or aims to gain more popularity. Emails, e-brochures, presentation materials, images, information about promotions, sales, sweepstakes, games, gifts, discounts, coupons, new products or services all qualify as eDM.


eDM materials can only be sent if the receiver has voluntarily agreed in advance.


It is important to note that in case there’s no identifiable person behind the email address (e.g. [email protected]) it is allowed to send promotional messages without prior consent.


What to pay attention to when sending an eDM and how to avoid being blacklisted?


Now that we know what eDM means, we can talk about sending it correctly.

There are conditions you must take into account carefully.


tips First and foremost: always ask for permission before sending an eDM (e.g. from newsletter subscribers). If you skip this step, you can be fined or even be sentenced to jail.


Let’s take a look at a few situations where we (as senders) don’t play by the rules:

  • the checkbox for consent is automatically ticked in
  • no comprehensive terms and conditions provided for the user
  • unsubscribing is too difficult and circumstantial (e.g. requires personal attendance)
  • subscribing is a requirement for using an application or a game


How an eDM gets to the user?


Let’s think of an email as if it is a train. If, for any reason, it fails to get to the next station, reaching the remaining stages will be impossible. Let’s consider this in the case of emails:

  • if the problem occurs with the delivery, the user won’t be able to open it
  • if they can’t open it, they won’t see its content and won’t be able to click on the CTA button and/or link
  • in the absence of a click, the desired interaction won’t take place either so the user won’t see the content intended for them


The next section will look into these stages in detail.

We present the statistics of each station (with the help of KPIs) and based our statements on’s findings, who sent more than a billion emails during their research. This is a big enough number to draw relevant conclusions from with regards to emails.


Delivering the email


Not every email reaches its destination.

According to the research, 98.26% get to the addressee’s mailbox, the rest miss it for some reason. There can be different reasons in the background:

  • not the correct email address
  • the user has unsubscribed
  • the recipient’s mailbox is full
  • the sender’s IP address shows up as spam

In these cases, we get an error message from our email sending software so that we can identify the reason the email was rejected. We call these phenomena bounces. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Recipient Bounce: the email address is wrong, misspelled, or doesn’t exist
  • Content Bounce: the receiving email client (Mailbox, Gmail) deems it undesirable
  • Reputation Bounce: the email system or the internet provider labels you as an untrustworthy source so you can’t send your message / it ends up in the spam folder
  • Temporary Bounce: for some reason you cannot send your email for a certain amount of time


Opening the email


According to the research, only 24.88% of the addressees open the email.

KPI in this case: open rate.


What to pay attention to?

  • the email should have the recipient’s name in it
  • the email should be personalized in nature


According to the research, personalized emails achieve better results.


Two things to underline this:

  • in the case of general, standard, non-personalized emails, open rate is only 15.03% and only 1.13% clicked on the link inside
  • in the case of personalized emails, with content relevant to the user, open rate is 56.43% and the rate for opening the link is 31.13%


You’ve noticed a significant difference, right?


In order to remain competitive, you have to forget non-personalized emails!

You should pay attention to sending emails with different content to people on different levels of the sales funnel (depending on the extent of their interest/commitment).


tips Example: A bulk email is enough for those who subscribed for blog post notifications (low level of commitment). However, for those who are about to make purchases, personalized messages are more effective.


Clicking on a CTA button and/or link


Each email sent during the survey contained a link. Clicking on it took users to landing pages. Let’s look at the data!


Of the more than a billion recipients, 3.42% clicked on the link.

The KPI in this case was the click through rate.

The dropout rate is huge here too. Of the users who opened the email, 10.88% clicked on the link. Here, the KPI is the unique click through rate.


At this stage, the user gets a step closer to making a conversion. How can we formulate these steps to make as many users proceed on the sales funnel as possible?


Unsubscribing from the email


Our KPI here is the unsubscribe rate.

During the survey, the unsubscribe rate was the following: of all the people receiving the email, 0.52% unsubscribed. Of the people opening the email, 2.72% ended up unsubscribing.

Change is constant.

So the preference system of subscribed users also changes.

It can happen that something really grabs the user’s attention but it can also become completely irrelevant soon. If you detect an unsubscription, try to find the reason behind it and it can help improving the content and the structure of the newsletter. It might be worth looking at when the users subscribed or when they last received an email from you.

To succeed, it is crucial to have a responsive landing page, optimized for different mobile devices ‒ e.g. tablet, smartphone. It should be noted that in 2011, 27% of people opened emails on a mobile device. Now that number is 54.59% and further increase is predicted, so it’s time to prepare.

You’ve already made the necessary steps, right?



We hope that we managed to reach our goals set in the beginning of the article: introduce electronic direct marketing to you, define it, and draw attention to potential sources of problems as well as KPIs in connection with it.