Earning Incremental Tour Revenue with Abandoned Cart Remarketing

Earning Incremental Tour Revenue with Abandoned Cart Remarketing

In June of 2019 TRYTN released a beta version of abandoned cart remarketing. In this test a few tour operators opted-in to use a new remarketing campaign where the system would detect that someone had added something to their cart but had left (abandoned) the cart. In most cases this would be a situation where someone intended to buy but for some reason didn’t and didn’t come back to buy later. With the abandoned cart remarketing turned on the system would automatically send an email to these users asking them to come back and complete their purchase. 

We trialed this feature with some tour operators in order to get real data to determine if the feature was worthwhile and we wrote about the results of the test. The test was successful so we turned the feature on for all of our tour operators and default it to “on” for any new operator that onboards with us. Of course any operator can opt-out of using this feature if they wish. Since it’s been over a year since the feature was first released we compiled some metrics and data on how the feature has been performing.

Abandoned Cart Booking and Revenue Metrics


Percentage of total bookings and orders that came from abandoned cart remarketing

Of all booking and orders that were placed through online channels in the past 12 months about one in every 100 bookings or orders that is completed comes from an abandoned cart email. Note that this does not include offline orders, orders placed internally, nor does it include OTA or API bookings or orders.

This shows that most bookings are still completed within the same booking session. This is important because if this were a large number it could indicate an issue with the booking funnel or flow.


Percentage of total revenue that came from abandoned cart remarketing

In the last 12 months 1.65% of all revenue generated from online channels came from the abandoned cart remarketing efforts. If you don’t currently utilize TRYTN for online booking (you should be) look at your total online revenue numbers. Take anything that is a direct customer booking. Exclude any walk-up ticket orders, phone orders, OTA orders, and API orders. What is 1.65% of that and that’s what (on average) you could be regaining as otherwise lost revenue with TRYTN. 

This number is reflective of all tour operators using TRYTN and not individual businesses or verticals. Some businesses will have lower and some higher depending on consumer behavior. 


Increase in Average Order Value (AOV) compared to standard booking

Getting some additional revenue or bookings from an abandoned cart that is eventually recovered is great but what’s significant about our abandoned cart remarketing feature is we’ve seen nearly a third higher average order value (AOV) for orders placed from the campaign versus a standard online booking.

This means that of those potential customers to leave and come back through an abandoned cart email have a much higher value compared to a standard online booking completed within the same purchase session by about 30 cents per dollar more. 

As a summary of the above numbers we’re seeing one booking per 100 coming from abandoned carts. Likewise we’re also seeing about 1 cent per dollar through online channels coming from abandoned carts. Lastly, we’re seeing a significant increase in average order value (AOV) for purchases made from an abandoned cart email.

Open and Click Rates for Abandoned Cart Emails

Knowing how often a recipient opens and clicks on an email helps determine the success of the campaign as well as how optimized the campaign is. We at TRYTN look at this data continually to help better optimize all features and this is no exception. It’s important to note that these numbers are as accurate as our email provider can provide. Since tracking email opens and clicks require tracking pixels and other methods that may be turned off we are unable to track 100% of all emails. 


Abandoned cart email open rate

Around seven in ten recipients of the abandoned cart remarketing email end up opening the email. This means that the subject line and initial preview text that receive the abandoned cart email like what they see. They don’t believe it to be spam or an unwanted email. 

While we could change the subject line to get 100% opens we’re really more interested in getting people to open, click, and complete purchases.


Abandoned cart email click rate

Over one in ten people who end up opening an abandoned cart email end up clicking on the link within to go back to their cart to continue their abandoned purchase. Therefore of the seven of every ten who receive the abandoned cart email, around one on average clicks on the link to continue where they left off.

We want this number to be as high as possible. This could be representative of customers of certain tour types not being receptive to abandoned carts or could represent additional email content optimization being required. 

To summarize the above findings, around seven in ten people who receive an abandoned cart remarketing email will open that email. Of those seven who open, one will click to continue with their purchase. 

Abandoned Cart Conversion Rates

Now that we know how many people will open and click to continue their purchase, how many of those actually complete a purchase? The following numbers help represent the importance of the conversion funnel in this email campaign. We’ve broken down the conversion rate for those who receive an abandoned cart email, those who receive and subsequently open the email, and lastly those who receive, open, and click on the email to continue their purchase.


Conversion rate for all sent abandoned cart emails

We’re seeing that around five out of every 1,000 abandoned cart emails that gets sent ends up converting into a purchase. Given the previous numbers about opens and clicks this makes sense. If only seven in ten people who receive actually open (noting that we can’t track every email) that means some emails that are sent are never opened.

Since this is the first step of a large conversion funnel it’s not surprising this number is low.


Conversion rate for all opened abandoned cart emails

Likewise we’re seeing that about seven of every 1,000 abandoned cart emails that are sent and opened results in a purchase. Using the above numbers we again can see why this number is low as some sent emails are never opened and of the opened emails some never click through to continue the process.


Conversion rate for all clicked abandoned cart emails

Lastly we’re seeing over three in 100 (36 in 1,000 for the same scale as the previous metrics) who receive, open, and click on the link within the email results in a purchase. It’s vitally important to get people to open and click on the abandoned cart emails in order to convert. 

This shows us that if we can get someone to open an abandoned cart email they are more likely to convert. 

The above metrics show the send, open, and click conversion rates as tracked for abandoned cart emails. We’re seeing less than 1% conversion rate for those who simply receive the abandoned cart email or those that open it, but a 3.62% conversion rate for those who actually open and click on the link to continue their purchase.

A Note about COVID-19

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COVID-19 has significantly impacted the tour and travel sectors. We’ve seen in our data significant dips in recent months in terms of tour bookings and revenue. As such, it’s to be expected that people looking at tours in the current situation may not respond positively to an abandoned cart email and may skew results. 

In Q2 of 2020 we saw an average 90% decline in the number of abandoned cart bookings/orders made through the system. Likewise we saw an average 91% decrease in revenue from abandoned cart emails and a 26% decrease in average order value (AOV) for abandoned cart revenue.

Comparing to non abandoned cart bookings and revenue for the same Q2 2020 time period non abandoned cart bookings/orders we only saw an average 78% decrease in bookings/orders, an average 79% decrease in non abandoned cart revenue, and only a 4% decline in average order value (AOV). Overall that shows that abandoned cart remarketing was 15% worse during COVID-19 for bookings/orders, 15% worse for revenue, and had a 94% decrease in average order value during that time period when compared to a standard online booking. 

With the dramatic drop in numbers during the beginning of COVID-19 and the continued slowdown caused by the pandemic we expect higher abandoned cart numbers overall in the future without a pandemic causing massive reductions in travel and tourism across the globe.

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