More and more shoppers are showrooming—that is, discovering products in-store and buying them online afterward. But once the shopper leaves their store, merchants have no way to remarket that shopper and convert the store visit into a sale.
Abandoned cart emails have long been a go-to tactic direct-to-consumer merchants lean on to increase online conversion rates, and it’s no secret why: cart recovery emails are a remarkably effective customer-retention tactic.
So if abandoned cart emails are so effective, why doesn’t an equivalent tactic exist for physical stores?
That’s a problem Shopify’s email carts help solve.
With email carts, you can send indecisive shoppers the equivalent of an abandoned cart email from the POS system that includes products they were interested in while shopping in-store. If the shopper completes the purchase online via the email, the retail store (and the associate who sends the email cart) gets credited with the sale.
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What is an email cart?
An email cart is the equivalent of an abandoned cart email for in-person shopping, exclusive to Shopify POS. They make it easy for you to follow up with shoppers who were interested in certain products when they visited your store but didn’t buy anything.
Email carts help convert shoppers who visit your store without purchasing anything into paying customers.
For store associates, email carts are a simple way to get credit for the in-person shoppers they helped convert into buyers—even if the transaction happens online. They can add items to a customer’s cart and send them a follow-up email in a few clicks. If the shopper buys any products via that email, the store associate who served them is credited with the sale.
How email carts can help your business
A report from Klaviyo found that businesses using cart recovery emails earn back 3% to 14% of lost sales, with an average revenue per recipient of $5.81. Multiply that by the thousands of abandoned carts over a year and it’s clear that this tactic earns you more revenue.
We built the email cart feature to bring the functionality of abandoned cart emails to in-person selling for the first time.
Email carts help you better serve shoppers who prefer discovering products in-store and buying online.
This helps you increase store conversions, attribute revenue to the right sales channels, and reward store staff for in-person interactions that eventually lead to a sale.
Increase store conversions
Shoppers who leave a store without buying typically do one of several things: they either explore their options and purchase from your store at a later date, visit your online store and purchase the items they were interested in, or buy from another merchant altogether. In either scenario, you have virtually no way to proactively capture the sale once the shopper leaves your store.
But using email carts, you can recover lost store sales just like you would online with abandoned cart emails. Rather than leaving the sale up to chance, use email carts to gently remind shoppers of the products they were interested in to make the sale.
Keep selling even when you’re out of stock
If you run out of products in-store but have inventory at your warehouse, you can use email carts to capture the sale and ship the order to customers. The Sheet Society, for example, has increased in-store conversion rates to 50% using tools like Shopify’s email carts.
When a shopper is considering which duvet covers will complement their linens, The Sheet Society’s store staff pre-load the shopper’s cart with the options they were considering and send them an email cart. Shoppers can compare colors to the bedding they have at home before making a purchase online.
Attribute revenue to the right sales channels
A Harvard Business Review survey found that 73% of shoppers use more than one channel to shop. A sale can happen anywhere, at any time—but tracking which online and offline channels contribute to a sale has historically been a challenge for merchants who sell online and in-person.
For example, let’s say a customer visits your store and leaves without buying anything. A few days later, they visit your website and buy the products they discovered in store. In this instance, your online store is likely given 100% of the credit for making the sale since it was the last touchpoint that converted the traffic into a customer. This is known as last-click attribution.
To give retail stores credit for sales that eventually happen online, merchants need an accessible way to use first-touch attribution—where the first time the customer interacts with your brand is deemed to be the most important reason they bought your product.
That’s where email carts come in handy. Think of them as a way of digitally tracking interactions customers have with store associates and attributing the store as the point of purchase.
Reward store staff for online sales they assist
If you use a commission wage structure for your store staff, they may feel less inclined to help showroomers. After all, why help if they’re not financially incentivized to do so?
That doesn’t feel very customer-focused, and it’s a mindset email carts help fix. If an online transaction is completed via the email cart the store staff sends the customer, they get credit for making the sale, just like they would if the transaction occurred in-store.
Email carts help reward store staff for customer interactions that eventually lead to a sale.
This also gives you a more complete picture of store staff’s sales performance. Your staff reports count the sales they recover using email carts toward performance metrics like their average order value, items per order, and gross sales.
Improve your sales reporting
Each sale made with email carts counts toward the store’s revenue in sales reports. This solves a blind spot merchants that sell online and in-person have been vocal about for a long time.
With email carts, sales reports show how much revenue your store really makes—even for transactions that eventually happen online.
Shopify’s back office unifies your in-person and online sales data, which helps you get a complete view of your business’ performance from the same back office. Now, the revenue each of your stores generate will also count the online sales they help convert.
Get clear and accurate insights into what percentage of total revenue comes from online sales, from store sales, and from store-assisted sales.
💡 PRO TIP: Want to know what percentage of your business’ sales happen online versus in-store? View the Sales by channel report in Shopify admin to get started.
Serve showroomers better
More and more customers plan on showrooming. In fact, according to a commissioned Forrester Consulting study conducted on behalf of Shopify, 54% of consumers plan to discover products in physical stores before buying them online over the next year.
Consequently, when we asked retailers which areas of their in-person shopping experience they want to improve, the most popular answer was showrooming. Email carts help merchants create a shopping journey to support showroomers and guide them to purchase. Shoppers can discover products in-store, transact when it’s convenient for them, and have their order shipped directly to them.
Accelerate your store’s checkout
Long queues at the checkout may discourage shoppers from making a purchase. With email carts, customers are free to discover products in-store, buy their order online, and have it shipped to them.
This makes for a more convenient checkout experience while helping you retain sales you may have otherwise lost altogether. That’s what motivated Endy, Canada’s leading online mattress brand, to start using email carts at its pop-ups and showrooms.
“As our online presence continues to grow, pop-ups and showrooms have become an integral part of our omnichannel strategy,” explains Aashish Nathwani, Marketing Director for Endy. “The challenge for us has been implementing the same kind of seamless, data-driven approach to our in-store checkout that customers have come to expect from us online.
We are excited to add email carts to our omnichannel toolkit and make it easier than ever to sleep better with Endy.
📌 GET STARTED: Ready to start using email carts in your store? Follow these steps in Shopify POS to start recovering lost store sales and grow store revenue.
Recover lost store sales with email carts on Shopify
Letting customers choose how they shop is one of the biggest opportunities—and challenges—retailers face today. Whether they shop in-person, online, on Instagram, or anywhere else, Shopify comes with tools to help you build a seamless customer experience and convert more opportunities into revenue.
With email carts, you finally have a tool to recover lost in-store sales. Use them to simplify the in-store–to–online customer journey and gently nudge shoppers to complete their purchase.
Sell where your customers are
Only Shopify POS unifies online and in-store sales and makes checkout seamless. Get all the tools you need to sell wherever your customers are, without worrying about your tech stack, integrations, or fragmented sales reports.