Alex Krylov says, “Globalization affects retailers in a number of ways. Complying with commercial laws wherever they have brick-and-mortar stores is one such impact. Navigating through privacy rules that impact e-commerce efforts is another. There is one blind spot in particular that deserves attention  — sending shopping cart abandonment emails. I am often asked, “How are abandonment emails treated under the CAN-SPAM Act? Canada’s stringent Anti-Spam Law (CASL)?” “Can I even send abandonment emails to my Canadian customers?”

But let’s back up… What is an ‘abandonment’ email anyway? In the email space shopping cart abandonment refers to a particular type of automated mailing used to re-engage an online customer. The most common example is one where a retailer notices that a customer has left an item sitting in their shopping cart, and proceeds to send a reminder with a coupon to complete the order.

To fully understand privacy compliance pitfalls with this technique, in the U.S. and beyond, we need to unpack what happens before the abandonment email is sent.

Email marketing perspective:

Abandonment messages are almost always ‘commercial’, particularly if they incentivize a shopper to complete their purchase. In compliance parlance, we call this encouraging the continuation of a commercial activity. In contrast, an order confirmation typically provides factual information about a commercial activity“.

Tricky Triggers: Understanding shopping cart abandonment compliance

‘Experian Marketing Forward’ Blog

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