As a firm believer in the philosophy, "When you look great, your performance is great," naturally, my favorite part of working out is buying cute athleisure and accessories.
My companion to a good workout is a quality water vessel, one that'll stay cool and can be used in a variety of climates. So recently, I began sifting through different websites to find a new one. To compare shipping prices, I added a few different water bottles to each cart on the websites.
Ultimately, I couldn't decide, and left all my carts behind. I didn't make my choice until I checked my email about an hour later. In my inbox, I saw that one of the companies sent me an email after I left my cart:
The extra step of sending an email made me feel like a valued potential customer, and was the deciding factor in my purchase. That email about my cart items, plus a link directly back to the checkout screen, made finishing my purchase quick.
Have you noticed that shoppers are adding items to their cart, but aren't completing their purchases on your website? Maybe retargeting customers with a cart abandonment email, like Hydro Flask did, is your answer.
Don't worry — if you've never even heard of a cart abandonment email, we're going to go over the specifics next, starting with a quick definition.
Cart abandonment email
A cart abandonment email retargets customers who showed intent to make a purchase by reminding them to complete their checkout process. You can use these emails to boost sales and conversion.
Research, like what I did with water bottles, is just one reason customers abandon their cart. Some other factors include unexpectedly getting pulled away from the device, not being able to afford the shipping and taxes, or finding the site hard to navigate on a different device.
If you want to know how many people are leaving their carts behind on your site, start keeping track of your cart abandonment rate. It's critical to measure your cart abandonment rate so you can have insight about how many shoppers aren't completing a purchase.
Cart abandonment rate
Cart abandonment rate defines the number of people that have begun the shopping process on a website, but don't complete the checkout process. The estimated average for cart abandonment rate globally is 86%.
Barilliance found that the number of shoppers that leave a site without completing a purchase has been rising slightly since 2016, but fluctuates, especially around holidays. For instance, on Cyber Monday, cart abandonment rate is likely to drop. Tracking cart abandonment rate leads to making informed guesses about the shopping habits of your website viewers.
To track abandoned carts, you'll need some sort of online tool to help you out. For instance, Google Analytics provides you with cart abandonment insights, as well as the software options we'll cover later.
Once you start tracking cart abandonment rates, you'll have an idea of how to target these potential customers so they commit to buying. If you've never created a cart abandonment email before, don't sweat it. Next, we're going to look at some examples from companies that knocked it out of the park.
Abandoned cart email examples
'Rent with Confidence' Email from Mac Properties
'10% Off This' Email from Etsy
'A Friendly Reminder' Email from Vera Bradley
'Your Class is Waiting for You' Email from Skillshare
Good cart abandonment emails usually target a concern of shoppers that leave, like shipping price. Targeting a specific concern of customers shows that you're devoted to making their shopping experience one that's delightful.
1. 'Rent with Confidence' Email from Mac Properties
I'm moving soon, so I've begun to search for apartments. When I browse realty websites, I pick places I'm interested in and read more about them before continuing on with my search. I received this email recently from one of the websites I visited, inviting me to visit again, or call, to start an application.
Although it's true that this email doesn't involve adding items to a shopping cart, it's still an effective method of retargeting a customer with an abandonment email.
Recall that a cart abandonment email retargets customers who intend on making a purchase on your website. I abandoned the application process without paying the fee, so this email was sent to encourage me to wait until I'm ready to finish.
2. '10% Off This' Email from Etsy
I love this email. It does a fantastic job of giving the shopper a reminder of what they almost bought by alerting the customer of a new promotion for the item. It's an amazing example of retargeting a customer with an offer.
This email provides the coupon in a hyperlink that'll take you directly to Etsy's homepage so you can complete your order at checkout. It's effective because it reminds shoppers what they intended to buy and why it could still be valuable to them with the sale.
If you have a high number of abandoned carts for an item that is about to go on sale, it could be a good idea to send shoppers an email that retargets their interest with a special promotion, like Etsy.
3. 'A Friendly Reminder' Email from Vera Bradley
This email from Vera Bradley provides all the functions of a great cart abandonment email, including informative copy and a link that will take shoppers to their cart. Take a look below:
Reminding the shopper that items aren't purchased until the completion of the Checkout process eliminates any confusion of the buying process, or reminds shoppers what they intended to buy. Additionally, the link at the bottom takes shoppers directly back to the checkout screen, which makes it easier for shoppers to buy.
4. 'Your Class is Waiting for You' Email from Skillshare
Even if your company doesn't sell physical products like purses or water bottles, you can still send abandonment emails to bring customers back. Take this email from Skillshare, a service that provides online courses:
Notice that the email is still effective — it provides a screenshot of the class and links to it. Another touch to delight customers comes from the extra class suggestions at the bottom. It gives more reasons to go back to the site and look at different courses.
If you're looking for more cart abandonment email examples, check out our post here.
Otherwise, let's talk about software you can use to create and track these emails.
Cart abandonment software
HubSpot for WooCommerce
Cart abandonment software can help you make emails and track them. Some offer customizable options, while others are more focused on making sure the emails get sent. Most offer a sliding scale price, so you only pay for what you use.
If you’re a WordPress user, you might be using WooCommerce to run ecommerce for your online shop. And while that combination brings a lot of power, one thing it doesn’t include is cart abandonment. That’s where HubSpot for WooCommerce can be helpful.
This free integration allows you to track the items your future customers are leaving in their shopping carts and automate sequences to make sure you’re following up with these warm buyers.
From the plugin, you’re able to identify the contacts that added items to their cart but didn’t complete checking out. And you can also identify what products get abandoned most frequently. It’s powerful data for your business.
If you’re using WordPress and WooCommerce, this is a tool worth considering.
Rejoiner is software that specializes in recovering abandoned carts. It tracks shopping activity of customers, collects and analyzes email data, and provides options to make cart recovery emails personalized for shoppers.
The software tracks shopping activity as soon as an email address is entered on your site, and provides you with insights about your cart abandonment rate. Additionally, Rejoiner makes sure that customers are able to complete their purchase on any device to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. Restoring a cart on any device regenerates the session, increasing conversions.
You'll be able to track conversion rate with Rejoiner, as well as abandonment rate, email open rate, CTR, and revenue per email. Data points like these can help you optimize your next email campaign for effectiveness.
Users of BigCommerce can automatically send personalized emails to shoppers who leave during the checkout process. The software also provides tools to completely customize your emails, like in the example below.
When a shopper receives an email that was created using BigCommerce, they will find that the email includes what they were about to buy and reminds them to come back and complete their purchase, which makes the checkout process easier.
BigCommerce is a great option if you want full control over automated email design, want to email customers at peak times, and need to evaluate analytics about email performance. The site provides insights about how much revenue you're earning, how many abandoned carts you have, and the amount of carts that have been recovered.
Privy provides its users with many tools to recover abandoned carts, from pop-ups that keep shoppers on your site to A/B testing. The service focuses on increasing conversion through different methods that have proven successful.
For instance, Privy allows you to show targeted messages and promotions to cart abandoners if they leave the checkout screen without completing the purchase. The software looks at what's in a shopper's cart and uses that information to pick the proper promotion you've made to target them.
Privy can also integrate with Shopify or BigCommerce, and is a good choice to use if you are already a customer of either ecommerce platform. Privy lets its users run multiple campaigns at once and measure results, which you can use to improve the quality of your online storefront.
This software provides tools to quickly create and send clean, professional cart abandonment emails. It also integrates with Shopify and BigCommerce. CartStack is a good idea if you want a no-fuss, integratable software solution that lowers the rate of shoppers leaving their carts.
One of the reasons shoppers abandon their cart is because something brings them away from their device. When you use CartStack, you can make emails that remind them of their intended purchase and include the shopping cart.
CartStack is offered at a fixed rate per month, which is slightly different than most software on this list that offer sliding scales. The good thing about fixed rates is that they're less likely to change, but if a sliding scale is more affordable for your business right now, it's something to keep in mind.
While emails aren't the most personalized tool, there are other tools Keptify provides to make sure the shopping experience caters directly to a customer's needs. For instance, you can use the software to send text messages to shoppers in addition to email.
This method is another tactic to boost sales — however, you'll want to use that feature sparingly, and only if you trust your prospects won't be bothered by additional texts about your services. However, it's a handy way to quickly retarget lost customers.
Now that you know all about cart abandonment emails, you're ready to go out into the world and make your own. And, if you're like me, critique the next one that comes into your inbox. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you create. In the meantime, there are some leggings for pilates calling my name.
Originally published Mar 31, 2020 2:30:00 PM, updated October 19 2023