Cart Size Matters: Top Insights to Increase Ecommerce Engagement, Loyalty & Revenue

By Sharon Shapiro

Cart size matters — a lot.

Data from Bluecore’s 2020 Retail Email Benchmark Report reveals a strong correlation between consumer spend level and email engagement across retail verticals. Specifically, shoppers that spend more (and therefore have a bigger cart size) have higher conversion rates and lower unsubscribe rates than those who spend less.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Differentiating Between Spend Level and Lifetime Value

First, let’s take a look at exactly how spend level gets determined.

It’s important not to confuse spend level with lifetime value. Spend level looks at how much a customer typically spends in a given order. We can break this down into three groups: High spenders, low spenders and average spenders. The exact number breakdown for each group will be different for each retailer and can even fluctuate over time based on the success of efforts to increase cart size.

In contrast, customer lifetime value looks at how much a customer will spend with a brand over time. While there is certainly a relationship between this measure and spend level, the two do not equal one another. Consider the case of two customers: One high spender who typically has a cart size around $150 but only purchases twice a year and one low spender who typically has a cart size around $25 but purchases every month. At the end of the year, each customer will have spent the same $300.

Evaluating the Impact of Increased Cart Sizes

The more customers spend per order, the greater their cart size. And the greater their cart size, the more likely they are to continue engaging over digital channels like email.

Most notably, data finds that the more shoppers spend, the more likely they are to convert via email and the less likely they are to unsubscribe from these communications. For example, high spenders in apparel convert at a 26% higher rate than average spenders and a 48% higher rate than low spenders.

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This pattern of engagement also reveals an interesting trend when evaluating click-to-open and click-to-conversion rates. Low spenders tend to deliver similar or higher click-to-open rates than average and high spenders, but this trend mostly reverses itself when looking at click-to-conversion rates. This analysis reveals that low spenders tend to do more research upfront before making a purchase, which leads to higher click and open rates, whereas high spenders are more likely to engage with emails when they are ready to buy.

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Finally, previous studies on spend level further underscore the value of increasing cart size: A deep analysis on second purchase rates reveals that the more customers spend on their first purchase and the more items within that purchase, the more likely they are to make that all-important second purchase.

Altogether, these findings lead to the understanding that the more shoppers spend with a brand, the stronger the connection they are likely to feel, which creates loyalty to buy time and again.

Top Tips to Increase Cart Size

Given the fact that increasing cart size can help grow loyalty and revenue, achieving this goal should be a top priority for retail marketing teams. So what exactly does it take? Here are three tips to get you started:

Dig Into the Data with Bluecore’s 2020 Retail Email Benchmark Report

Bluecore’s 2020 Retail Email Benchmark Report explores the extent to which retailers have embraced email for different types of communications, the level of personalization used across email and the effectiveness of those messages. To review more trends and see how your email performance compares to Bluecore’s benchmarks, click here to download the full report.

Sharon Shapiro

Sharon leads Bluecore's content marketing program, collaborating with top retailers and strategists to highlight the latest trends in retail marketing, spotlight industry leaders and share advice on how marketers can stay ahead of the curve. An experienced story teller, she has spent her career building content marketing programs for B2B SaaS companies. Sharon has had works featured in MarketingProfs and Content Science Review..