How to Create an Effective Abandoned Cart Strategy

It’s a tale as old as ecommerce itself – a shopper enters your website, adds products to their cart, then suddenly disappears without purchasing. This dreaded phenomenon is known as cart abandonment, and it’s a harsh reality for many online brands.


In fact, studies show that a staggering 80% of online shopping sessions end without a purchase being made, resulting in a loss of $18 billion in sales annually. That’s a lot of dough to leave on the table. So, what can you do about it? Investing in a solid abandoned cart recovery strategy is the key.

By re-engaging with customers who abandoned their cart, you can increase conversions and recover lost revenue.

Why Does Cart Abandonment Happen?

Did you know that most businesses, big or small, often see cart abandonment rates ranging from 70% to 80%? Crazy high, right? This means there are likely some bumps in the customer journey that need to be smoothed out. It’s important to locate the pain points and tweak them to improve your business’s success.

Here are some reasons why online shoppers abandon their carts:

Additional (or hidden) costs:

Hidden costs are often the biggest culprit behind cart abandonment. Shipping costs are the most common hidden cost that drives customers away, with 25% of them citing it as the primary reason.

Taxes and necessary add-ons can also be unwelcome surprises that cause customers to second-guess their purchase choices.

Overcomplicated ordering and checkout processes:

Have you ever been frustrated with a tedious and unclear checkout process that asks you to fill out endless forms and fields, taking up precious time and patience? Well, that’s another major reason why customers feel annoyed and abandon their carts.

Unoptimized mobile experience:

Over 50% of online shoppers use their phones, but a clunky checkout process can turn them away. Is your website optimized for different screen sizes, or are your customers struggling to pinch and drag their way through checkout?

Payment processing problems:

When customers are worried about the safety of their payment information, it can really make or break a purchase decision. Some of the biggest red flags include outdated website designs, missing images, and a lack of SSL certificates.

Fortunately, a strong abandoned cart recovery strategy can fix every customer issue.

What Is Abandoned Cart Recovery?

Abandoned cart recovery is a clever sales acquisition strategy where ecommerce companies are using marketing automation and UX design to turn abandoned carts into sales. What this really means is that when customers are shopping online and they leave items in their cart, ecommerce brands are making a concerted effort to get you to come back and purchase.

The approach is twofold, reducing cart abandonment by improving shopping experiences and following up with customers who leave items behind.

By making an effort to recover abandoned carts, ecommerce companies aren’t just improving conversions, they’re also gaining a better understanding of how customers behave.

What are the benefits of Recovering Abandoned Carts?

Have you ever wondered if abandoned cart recovery is worth the effort? The truth is, it’s an essential strategy for any ecommerce merchant.
Ignoring those abandoned carts can mean missing out on potential sales. Think about it – shoppers who take the time to add items to their carts have already shown interest in your products. They’re essentially identifying themselves as strong leads.

Although it’s discouraging to see a high cart abandonment rate, it’s important to remember that these almost-converted shoppers can still be won over. Recovering abandoned carts is a cost-effective way to convert these leads into loyal customers.

7 Steps to Create a Cart Abandonment Strategy

1. Create automated campaigns for abandoned carts

Don’t give up on abandoned shopping carts! You can still win back customers with smart marketing tactics.

Research shows that as many as 74% of customers who leave their carts behind can be convinced to complete their purchase with the right communication approach.

By sending engaging emails or text messages, you can successfully rescue those abandoned carts and boost your sales.

I. Send abandoned cart emails

Emails can be a powerful tool for marketers to win back customers who abandon their shopping carts. When you send personalized emails to these shoppers, they actually open them 46.1% of the time! And guess what? These emails have a conversion rate of 4.64%—that’s a lot higher than the mere 0.17% for regular promotional emails.

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Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices:

1. Personalize the subject line and email copy:

With all the work, personal, and marketing emails occupying your customers’ inboxes, you only get a split second to make an impression.

That’s why personalized subject lines are the answer – they increase the chances of your email being opened by 26%! If you want to make an impact, take a look at what your customers left in their cart and personalize the subject line accordingly.

2. Time it right:

When is the perfect time to send those abandoned cart emails? Well, we’ve got some suggestions that might help you out.

To begin with, we suggest sending the first email within an hour of cart abandonment. That way, you can catch your customer while they’re still interested in the item. If you wait too long, the spark might fizzle out, and they might not feel inclined to complete the purchase.

After that, it’s all about finding a balance between being persistent and not coming across as overly pushy. We recommend sending the second email 12 hours later, followed by the third email 24 hours later.

3. Clear Calls to Action:

To supercharge your cart recovery emails, master the art of effective calls to action. The secret lies in making it crystal clear what action you want your users to take. Here are some user-friendly tips to make your CTAs shine:

  • Place your call to action as close to the top of the email as possible
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat your call to action throughout the email
  • Reinforce the message and give your users multiple opportunities to take action
  • Make your CTAs large and easily noticeable – consider using contrasting colors to make them stand out from the rest of the email.
4. Keep following up:

If the first email doesn’t do the trick, the second one might catch their attention. Remember to give some breathing room between emails so you don’t seem spammy.

II. Send Abandoned Carts Reminders on WhatsApp

Even though abandoned cart recovery messages on WhatsApp are proven to work, lots of brands haven’t started using them yet. These messages catch people’s attention right away because they’re easily visible, and they respond faster compared to regular text messages. In fact, they have an impressive 60% open rate!

Keep it conversational:

Remember, people appreciate a personal touch, so it’s crucial to design a chatbot that lets customers speak freely. When customers can express themselves clearly, it’s easier for them to provide feedback. To create a comfortable experience, aim for a conversational tone in both the chatbot’s responses and the customer interactions.

Avoid being too pushy:

Your ultimate aim is to ensure that customers complete their purchases, but it’s crucial not to come across as overly forceful. Nobody likes feeling pressured into buying something they’re not ready for. Instead, provide them with options: allow them to cancel their purchase if they wish or offer a reminder for later.

2. Provide Multiple Payment Methods To Make Checkout Easier

Sometimes, just having one payment option isn’t enough to persuade customers who left their shopping carts behind to go through with the purchase. Believe it or not, about 9% of users will abandon their carts if they can’t find their favorite payment method when they reach the checkout page.

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Making it easy for your customers to complete their purchases is crucial. One way to do that is by giving them multiple payment options.
This means they can choose how they want to pay, whether it’s using a credit card, Paypal, Stripe, Cash on delivery (COD), or any other online payment service they prefer.

To help them make your customer a choice, it’s helpful to provide a little explanation for each payment method.

For instance, if you offer PayPal, you can let them know that it’s super convenient because they can make payments in just a few clicks without having to share their credit card details.

Remember, the more flexible and transparent you are with payment options, the more likely your customers will follow through with their purchases.

3. Establish an Extensive Return Policy and link to it from multiple places

Thanks to Amazon and other big retailers, returning items online has become super easy. In the past, if you wanted to return something, you might have had to exchange it or settle for store credit. But now, customers expect nothing less than a full refund, and companies are making it hassle-free and without any questions asked.

Oracle found that 42% of consumers believe that a poor omnichannel shopping experience is characterized by an exchange or return policy that is too restrictive.

Nowadays, as more people take the time to research a retailer’s return policy before making online purchases, it has been revealed that strict return policies account for a significant 11% of all abandoned shopping carts in the e-commerce industry.

Here are some helpful tips on where to highlight your return policy:

  1. 1. Set up a dedicated page on your website that contains frequently asked questions (FAQs) and detailed information about your return policy
  2. 2. Make sure to include a direct link to this page in the footer of your website
  3. 3. Don’t forget to mention your return policy on your product pages and within the product descriptions
  4. 4. Take advantage of your email communication by incorporating details about your return policy. For example, you can include information in your welcome emails or messages sent when someone abandons their cart
  5. 5. Place your return policy near the add-to-cart button or the checkout button
  6. 6. If your offer includes fantastic perks such as free shipping and returns, make sure to highlight this with an attention-grabbing banner

Simply put, if a customer doesn’t trust that a brand can handle returns promptly and smoothly, they’re likely to abandon their shopping cart. To address this issue establish a flexible and all-inclusive return policy.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have any guidelines for returns. It’s important to clearly outline return timeframes, conditions for returned items, and how customers can reach out to a representative.

4. Use Exit Intent Pop-ups

Exit intent pop-ups may be the missing puzzle piece in your abandoned cart strategy.

They work by capturing the attention of customers who have already expressed interest in your product but haven’t quite made the leap to purchase. As they move their cursor towards the top of the screen to exit your website, a well-timed and compelling offer can sway them back to your site to complete the transaction.

According to BigCommerce, implementing exit-intent popups can lead to a 20% increase in conversion rates for D2C stores.

But what should your exit-intent popup say?

There are plenty of ways to go about it. When someone is about to leave your website, you can use a pop-up that offers them a special deal like this one


Another option is to use an exit intent pop-up for email or newsletter subscriptions, where you can entice visitors to subscribe before they leave.

For example, just like Push Living does it! They clearly explain who their newsletter is meant for and what exciting stuff you’ll receive when you subscribe. It’s simple and super clear!


Or you can also offer free shipping:


Give them time and let your visitors make their decisions without feeling rushed. It’s important to show respect to your customers by giving them ample time and freedom to consider their options.

Just like Boohoo did!

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5. Make the Purchase Experience smooth

Did you know that about 11% of people abandon their shopping carts because they found the checkout process too complicated?

It’s understandable, nobody likes to feel confused when they’re trying to buy something online.


You know that feeling when you’re trying to buy something online and you can’t seem to find what you’re looking for? It’s frustrating, right?

Well, imagine being a visitor on an ecommerce website and not being able to easily find the buttons to proceed with your purchase, read reviews, or see the price. It’s like a treasure hunt gone wrong.

The more you hide important elements of the buying process, the faster people will give up and go to your competitors instead.

And let’s not forget about those product page advertisements that lead to the homepage. Don’t be that store. Send visitors to the corresponding product page instead.

Simplify and clarify your process as much as possible.

I. Optimize your Page Load Speed

If your checkout pages (and any other pages on your ecommerce site) are taking too long to load, shoppers may click away and never complete their purchases. In fact, a high cart abandonment rate is often linked to slow site speed.

And let’s face it, in today’s busy world, we all want instant gratification. So if your site isn’t optimized for speed, shoppers are likely to move on to a competitor who can offer a faster and more efficient shopping experience.


And with Mcommerce sales being projected to exceed $510 billion in 2023 and $710 billion in 2025, optimizing your site for all devices is more important than ever.

II. Give customers a Guest Checkout Option

Offer customers the convenience of guest checkout, a handy feature in e-commerce that lets them make purchases without the hassle of creating an account or logging in.

In simple terms, they can skip all the account-related stuff, and your website won’t store their personal info.

With guest checkout, the purchasing process becomes quicker, with fewer steps, allowing your customers to buy what they want and get on with their day in no time.

According to Baymard Research, 42% of consumers abandon their shopping carts either because they’re required to create an account or because the checkout process takes too long. It’s a significant loss for businesses.

However, by streamlining and optimizing the checkout process, you can potentially increase conversions by a whopping 35.62%.

6. Let Shoppers Save Their Cart For Later

Sometimes shoppers may not have the time to complete the checkout process and may want to come back later to finish the transaction.

With the Save Cart for Later option available on online shopping sites, customers have the freedom to keep the items in their shopping carts without having to go through the whole process again.

It’s a feature that benefits both logged-in users and guest users and is perfect for those who are busy or want to keep items in their cart for future purchases.

To help ensure that these abandoned carts are not lost, businesses can display a welcoming message when the shopper returns to the website after a few hours or even days.

The inactivity campaign by is one example of how retailers can assist cart abandoners in completing their purchases:

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Reduce Cart Abandonment by Letting Buyers Preserve Their Carts

Cart abandonment is a common problem in the world of eCommerce, with a staggering 88% of shoppers choosing to ditch their carts before they make a purchase. To combat this, many businesses use tactics such as retargeting ads and reminder emails to encourage shoppers to complete their transaction.

However, one of the most effective strategies for reducing cart abandonment is to offer a ‘Save Cart for Later’ function. By allowing buyers to save their shopping cart for another time, it addresses one of the primary reasons why customers abandon their carts: a lack of time.

Offering this feature can have a significant impact on the rate of cart abandonment, making it a valuable tool for any eCommerce business looking to boost their sales.

Expert Tip: When a shopper saves their cart, make sure to include them in your automated abandoned cart campaign, as mentioned in the first tip.

7. Include Trust Symbols & Reviews

When making purchases online, customers want to feel confident that their personal and financial information is in good hands. That’s where trust symbols come in.

These visual elements, prominently displayed on checkout pages, serve as an immediate and reassuring signal that an ecommerce store is committed to keeping customer data safe and secure.

From SSL symbols to Security badge symbols to endorsements from trusted third parties like the Better Business Bureau, there are many different trust symbols available that can help boost customer confidence and establish your company as a trustworthy online retailer.

To make your online shopping experience even better, consider adding customer testimonials and reviews throughout your website. These real-life stories and opinions from happy customers will help you establish trust and credibility.


How Trust Badges Increase Your Site’s Conversions?

Trust badges provide customers with a sense of security and legitimacy for the brands they interact with. Essentially, trust badges enable businesses to borrow credibility from other well-known and reputable brands.

One study conducted by Blue Fountain Media found that including a trust badge on a form led to a significant 42% increase in conversions.

Similarly, VeriSign’s extended validation (EV) certificates demonstrated a 30% increase in conversions within the hotel booking industry.

As such, the addition of trust badges can have a powerful impact on customer conversion rates.

Cart Abandonment Software and Solutions to Explore

Fortunately, you don’t have to handle your abandoned cart issue all on your own. Numerous tools and platforms are available that can automate this task with just a little effort from you at the beginning:

  1. 1. OptinMonster stands out as the ultimate cart abandonment software available today. It offers versatility, advanced features, and exceptional support.image8

    For beginners, OptinMonster provides a wealth of tutorials and ready-to-use templates to help achieve your desired outcomes.

    If you’re an experienced user, you have the flexibility to experiment with various campaign types, utilize Advanced Targeting, and customize Display Rules to your heart’s content.

  2. 2. AdRoll is fully integrated with Shopify, making it a convenient and powerful marketing tool for brands to expand and gain more customers.


    In addition, AdRoll offers effective retargeting ad solutions and a comprehensive data analytics interface, allowing you to tailor your marketing strategy to individual customer profiles.

    The icing on the cake is that many of AdRoll’s impressive features come at no cost to you!

  3. 3. Drip is a simple and effective solution designed to address the issue of cart abandonment using email and SMS marketing.

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    It understands that once visitors leave a website without completing a purchase, they often don’t return. That’s why Drip provides you with various channels to reconnect with those potential customers.

    By leveraging the data you have on your prospects and existing customers, Drip allows you to create engaging campaigns across multiple channels. The goal is to specifically target and reduce cart abandonment instances.

Boost Your Revenue by Preventing Cart Abandonment!

Don’t let abandoned shopping carts cost you sales. It’s a common problem for ecommerce sites, but with the right strategies, you can turn it into a huge opportunity.

By improving the checkout process, making a smooth purchase experience for customers, and using targeted abandoned cart campaigns, you can convert more leads and maximize your marketing dollars.

Say goodbye to abandoned carts and hello to success!