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How to improve shopping cart emails conversion rates

The story


Captain Cook Cruises is one of Sydney Harbour’s iconic sightseeing cruise operators.  According to Jeff Ellison, SeaLink Travel Group CEO and Managing Director, a recent refurbishing of the Captain Cook Cruises website resulted in a 140% growth in the site’s online bookings.  How is this possible and how were they able to achieve such stellar growth in such a short time?  Their Google Analytics revealed a telling statistic: the conversion rate of customers who clicked on cart abandonment emails was 678% greater than the site’s average conversion rate.

Sealink GA_last


The Challenge

We asked Hamish Cameron, Sealink’s  IT manager what did it take to achieve those unbelievable conversion rates.“My team and I were asked to refurbish the  website”, Hamish recalls.  “During the development of the new website, we reviewed techniques that other leading ecommerce businesses were using to increase conversion rates. Like most ecommerce businesses we knew cart abandonment was an opportunity being missed and wanted to do something about it.   We reviewed a number of different solutions.  But the challenge we were facing was that most of the cart abandonment solution suppliers didn’t have an easily deployable solution that could leverage the ESP we were already using. We also found that some of the vendors we looked at couldn’t provide the one to one real-time personalized recommendations we wanted to incorporate at a price point that made commercial sense.


The SolutionCaptian Cook Email

That all changed when we came across the Barilliance solution. The Barilliance solution is very flexible and we were impressed and pleasantly surprised at how quick and simple the implementation was. Within 36 hours Barilliance was integrated into our site.

We created an automatic two stage cart abandonment retrieval campaign to retarget visitors who had abandoned our site before making a purchase. After a series of A/B testing, we set the rules so that the first email is sent 45 minutes after the abandonment and the second 24 hours later. Both emails included images of the products chosen by the visitor that link directly to the shopping cart.


Capturing visitors EmailsCheckout   Captain Cook Cruises

In the case where a visitor does not insert their email during their visit we offer them a – send my cart option- as a means to capture the potential buyer’s email address.




The results

Within a few weeks we started noticing the growth in our sales volume. On average the first email open rate was 53% and the second, 42%. In a matter of just 6 months, we were able to increase by 678% the conversion rate compared to the site’s average and achieve an ROI of 7500%.


Cart abandonment email campaign open rate

open rate chart

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