How to Transform Abandoned Carts into a Steady Revenue Flow


Even if their cart abandonment rates are not inspiring, businesses shouldn’t look at this as a defeat, but rather as an opportunity to reconnect with their customers. This article provides insights into the most common reasons behind cart abandonment and shares valuable advice and best practices for an effective cart recovery email strategy.

What can be more frustrating than watching a customer load up their shopping cart only to end up abandoning it? Don’t get too disappointed. There are more important things for you to do at this point. First, you need to figure out why the cart was abandoned in the first place, and second, you have to start working on a cart abandonment email strategy as soon as possible.

Why your customers give up shopping halfway

According to Statista, in 2019, more than 75% of online orders were abandoned before the purchase was completed. Several reasons behind customers walking out on you include:

  • Your checkout process was too complicated or slow
  • They couldn’t proceed to the purchase process without creating an account
  • Shipping was too expensive 
  • Extra costs were added to the product
  • They wanted to continue shopping later
  • They were just browsing

Although you can’t eliminate cart abandonment completely, you can reduce it by directly addressing the issues your customers face during their shopping experience. This includes developing a solid cart abandonment email strategy.

Cart Recovery Emails – Best Practices

The key factors that will make or break your cart recovery email strategy are customer segmentation, frequency & timing of emails, subject line & email body copy and email design.

  • Segmentation

Customer segmentation helps you to personalize your cart recovery emails and offer more relevant incentives whether it’s a discount or free shipping. Divide your customer list up based on the following properties: new/repeat abandoners, existing customers, order value, product category, browsing time and user behavior.

  • Frequency & Timing

When you’ve done with this segmentation, your next priority is to establish the right frequency & timing for sending the cart recovery emails. Best practices show that three emails sent with pre-determined intervals within a one-week period result in higher conversions. Send the first email 1-2 hours after the cart has been abandoned, follow-up within the next 24 hours and send the third email 3 to 5 days later.

  • Message

The subject line and email body copy are important elements of any successful email marketing campaign as 1/3 of email recipients decide to open an email based on the subject line alone. Try A/B testing subject lines that include the customer’s name and the name of the product. Provoke interest by asking a question or finding a way to create a sense of urgency. Be careful with the tone of your emails, you certainly don’t want them to be too pushy or salesy, but they should show care for the customer. Describe the benefits of the product that your customers would miss out on if they don’t complete the purchase. And finally, include a clear call to action to make the path to completing the purchase easy.

  • Design

With regards to email design, two things matter the most — layout and responsiveness. A well thought out layout will help direct your customers’ focus to the important parts of the email, and a fully-responsive email will ensure that no matter where your customers read your message, they won’t be frustrated by distorted images or improperly aligned copy

Why you need a cart abandonment email strategy

Even though a well-planned cart recovery strategy can generate increased sales, 50% of retailers aren’t using shopping cart recovery solutions.

An automated cart recovery email campaign is a fast and easy way to reclaim lost revenue. Just imagine how effortless it could be to transform lost sales into new opportunities with a tool that collects customer add-to-cart data from your ecommerce platform, triggers the cart recovery email containing the exact product(s) left in the cart and, on top of it all, adds promotions or discounts.

If you decide to go with automation, make sure that the solution you choose can also track the items that were purchased and provide you with statistics on the total revenue recovered from abandoned carts. Based on this data, you’ll be able to figure out which emails perform best to improve and personalize them for future campaigns to obtain better results in the future.

Abandoned carts are bad, but you can use them as an incentive to gain more revenue, cross-sell and up-sell your products. Test timing, frequency, subject lines and email layout until you find the best method that fits perfectly with your business.