It's frustrating when you watch the customer filling up their online shopping cart and hold your breath until they check out. But sometimes customers just disappear without finishing the purchase process. Leaving you with plenty of questions. What happened?

What is cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment is an e-commerce term describing the event that happens when a customer visits your website, start placing items into their online shopping baskets but eventually they don't buy anything, they leave without checking out.

According to Statista, 69.23% of online customers abandon their shopping carts.

This number is even higher in some industries. In my opinion, higher risk means higher abandonment rate. The higher the risk is, the more information the customer wants to gather before making a decision.

cart abandonment rate by indsutries

Source: SaleCycle

Data by Blue Core shows that nearly 40.32% of the cart abandonment emails were opened and 10.09% of these emails received clicks. 2.05% of these emails resulted in conversions. Clearly, cart recovery emails help increase the revenue.

The psychology beyond cart abandonment

The information we can process is limited and to be frank, we'd get crazy if we were aware of everything that's surrounding us. Your heartbeat, breath or even the room temperature are things you don't pay attention to on purpose. Yet, if there is a danger, our reptilian brain immediately alerts us instead of starting to analyze the situation itself. It would take time and essentially could cost our lives.

Now, before making any decisions, your subconscious mind knows what you want. It knows if you really want to buy something for instance. On the other hand, if you aren't a100% convinced, you start to rationalize your decision and look for excuses.

When the customer is in the middle of shopping, they start to ask several questions to themselves:

  • Do I really need this item?
  • What if this shirt doesn't fit me? Can I ask for a refund and send it back for free of charge?
  • How much is the shipping fee?
  • What if the product breaks?

You need to convince the customer that their decision is right. So they won't call it a quit when obstacles arise. Answer all the questions that might arise and make sure you decrease the number of unseen expenses. Nothing is more annoying than finding out about the extra fees at the checkout.

Why people abandon their shopping carts?

People leave your website without purchasing for several reasons.

  • The process is frustrating
  • The website is broken
  • Additional cost comes up (shipping fee)
  • Purchase is postponed
  • The customer was just browsing
  • Payment wasn't successful
  • The voucher wasn't valid

As you can see, the reason for abandoning carts can be anything. That's why you need to find out what these reasons are to minimize your loss.

Cart abandonment is inevitable.

Some customers will always abandon their shopping basket. Accept it. You are leaving money on the table unless you have a killer abandoned cart email sequence.

Help customers make the decision. Make shipping cheap or free. Make it fast.

If the customer has to fill out a form, make it short and sweet. Allow autofill (e.g. email address, address lookup). Your check out process must be optimized as well.

What to include in your email?

  1. A clever headline.
    Use a creative sentence to remind the customer of the abandoned product.

  2. The photo of the product.
    If you sell clothes or shoes, make sure you also include the name of the brand, the size, and the color.

  3. CTA for each item.
    Insert a "Buy now" product to help the customers navigate easily.

  4. Return to the website button/navigation bar. Offer the opportunity of navigating to the webshop rather than one specific landing page.

  5. Contact information. Allow recipients to get in touch with you if they need help.

Use triggered emails to fine-tune your e-commerce email marketing strategy

The success of your cart abandonment lies in the right timing.

What is the best time to send abandoned cart emails?

Automating your email sequence allows you to target the right customer based on certain rules that trigger certain emails. These emails encourage the customer to complete the transaction.

Double opt-in

Make sure you have the customer's consent to send emails. It's important that you follow this practice to avoid being reported.

You can get someone's email address in three ways:

  • The customer has purchased something before
  • They subscribed to the newsletter
  • They created an account

How to use the automated cart emails

Successful e-commerce email sequences do include cart recovery email series.

In fact, you should break down these cart recovery emails into a cart recovery campaign.

You don't necessarily need to give a massive discount to persuade the customers but simply remind them they left something behind.

1. Send a kind reminder.

Send a reminder email about the product the customer "forgot about". People get distracted for many reasons, the customer might intend to buy your stuff but they were interrupted by something or someone. Then they forgot what they were up to.

A gentle heads-up might be enough to win them back.

2. Ask what the reason was for abandoning the shopping cart.

Since you can track what's happening on the website, you can easily figure out what the problem is by using Google Analytics or Hotjar. Look for high churn rate and understand where people leave your website. It can be a great hint!

Yet, psychological factors aren't easy to detect so you might want to ask your customers why they abandoned their carts.

3. Use your secret weapon - give a discount!

Before you decide to give a 50% discount to recover those carts, make sure you A/B test instead.

You don't know if 10% Off is an attractive offer or 5% discount would make it too. Don't leave money on the table if you don't have to.

 

21 Best cart abandonment emails - recover money like a pro

The success of recovering abandoned shopping baskets depends on the data and on well-designed email.

The following 21 examples of cart abandonment emails show you some of the best practices of how you can use your personality and craft a great, targeted email in the most creative way.

1. Going, going... - Warehouse

Warehouse shopping cart abandonment email example

Source: Pinterest

Warehouse played the FoMO (fear of missing out) card. The second "going" word was bolded to emphasize the fact that the chosen product was drifting away.

The personalization was an important element of this abandoned shopping cart email. They greeted the recipient by name and said they noticed that she was on Warehouse's website on Tuesday.

The email itself was divided into 3 parts. The dividers made it easy to digest the content itself. The first part was about catching the attention with the model's image and the warning to act quickly, the second part included the forgotten product and the third part recommended additional clothes.

2. Don't miss out - Pandora

Pandora shopping cart abandonment email design example

Source: Pinterest

Pandora chose a friendly reminder approach in their shopping cart abandonment email design. Although they also used FoMO to trigger emotions, instead of saying that the customer won't be able to buy the product later, they said they had saved the item for them.

Pandora used four buttons leading to their website: Charms, Bracelets, Return to the homepage and Continue shopping. This method helps your customer navigate to the right landing page easily. In fact, the seamless process increases the possibility of conversion.

Pandora noted that "Stock not reserved until payment has been received". Communicating this term helps avoid disappointment and complaint later on.

Below the Shopping Bag there are two other CTAs.

At the bottom of the email, the recipients can find another menu. If you build a community, you can also use this space to encourage customers to join.

3. Forget something? - J.Crew

J.crew cart abandoned email design sample

Source: Pinterest

Customers forget about their shopping carts very often. That's why this question asked by J.Crew is totally valid.

"Go to your bag now" was recommended immediately. If the customer indeed just forgot about their shopping cart they would go and check it out. No need for sugarcoating in this case.

At the bottom of the email, three CTAs were used: Shop New Arrivals, See What's in Fall Sale and Shops we love. How could you possibly benefit from using this tactic?

Even if the customer doesn't buy anything, you can find out a lot about them. If they are price sensitive they check out sales, if they follow the latest fashion they will click the new arrivals. This information can be important when it comes to personalization and well-targeted emails.

4. These look good in your bag... but they would look even better on you. - Madewell

Madewell shopping cart abandon email design example

Source: Pinterest

Madewell sprinkled some compliment that was a great way of building an instant trust. They encourage the recipient to "Go for it" just as a friend would do in the fitting room. Personalization in the email subject line "You've got great taste, Alyssa" made the shopping cart abandoned email even more friendly.

Each item has their own "Shop now" button to prevent the struggle of browsing around.

Encouraging customers to use wishlist was also a clever move. People return to the website and you get precious data. You can send better-targeted promotions, recommend items and activate the inactive users at the same time.

5. Still on your mind? - Guess

Guess cart abandoned basket email design sample offering free shipping on orders $75+ with the code

Source: Pinterest

Is love at first sight possible? I can assure you, sometimes customers just fall in love with a product. But for some reasons, they need to think it through.

Guess decided to emphasize that they offered free shipping and free in-store return. By using a code, the success of the cart recovery campaign can be easily measured.

6. I want you to want me - Nasty Gal

Nasty gal cart abandoned email sample

Source: Pinterest

Not being wanted makes anyone devastated, even if you are a pair of shoes. Nasty Gal just nailed it with this sentence in their follow up email for completing the order.

This shopping basket recover email design example wasn't over complicated nor contained too much information. Yet, it has a clean design and it's straight to the point.

Nasty Gal actively calls recipients to hang out on social. Using an active verb to encourage the customers to connect is always a good idea.

7. Hey, where did you go? - Puma

Back to shopping cart email example from Puma

Source: Pinterest

In this shopping cart email example, Puma used catchy subject line: "Reminder: There's something in your Shopping Cart".

When I saw this reminder shopping cart email at the first time, I associated the girl with a shop assistant looking for me. The intention of using this image isn't clear but it definitely worked for me.

Puma also offered free shipping but they gave a deadline to trigger a sense of urgency.

8. See anything you liked?

Whistlefish abandonment cart email design sample

Source: Pinterest

I love this email by Whistlefish. It's a little piece of art. If you have a designer at hand, do ask them to design some great stuff.

Whistlefish wanted to kill hesitation by explaining why shopping with them is a great decision.

You can also run a survey and find out what your customers' biggest concerns are. Include it in your email as FAQ and help the recipients overcome their fears.

9. Distracted? Confused? - Bonobos

Bonobos abandoned cart email example

Source: Pinterest

Bonobos used humor to catch the recipients' attention. The yellow color naturally grabs the attention, not to mention a giant chicken in the middle of the office.

Distraction is one of the leading reasons why customers leave their shopping carts behind without checking out. They might just need a hand. Asked them if you could help with anything.

10. Still thinking about it? - Asics

Asics abandoned basket email sample

Source: Pinterest

Here is another lonely pair of shoes (heartless people). Asics assumed the customer couldn't decide that's why they didn't buy the items. We've all been there, it isn't easy. How about checking out the bestsellers?

Use data and help make the purchase decision easier.

Asics didn't leave it to luck but mentioned free shipping twice in their email.

The customer could either continue shopping or proceed to checkout. Fast and easy.

11. Is it me you're looking for? - Debenhams

Debenhams abandoned basket email

Source: Pinterest

This email by Debenhams is minimalistic in terms of colors. Only black and pink colors were used which obviously refer to their target audience.

Debenhams also emphasized the Free Standard Delivery, Free Click and Collect and Next day delivery order by 2pm. Convincing your customer is the key.

12. It's in the bag - Levi's

Levi's abandonment cart email offering 25% discount

Source: Pinterest

Levi's decided to give 25% off to the recipient. But this offer was valid for 48 hours only. It's a great example of triggering a sense of urgency.

13. Just for you, friend £5 - Joy

Joy abandonment cart email offering £5 off

Source: Pinterest

Joy used a quote to build an instant friendship with the recipient. This email feels really personal and the recipient feels this offer is unique, tailored to them.

Joy gave one week to redeem the voucher. Enough time to think.

What I really like is that Joy asked their recipient for feedback. They encouraged engaging on Facebook as well.

"I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

14. Wait, you forgot something! - French Connection

French connection cart abandonment email example - Sale UP To 50% OFF

Source: Pinterest

The image that French Connection used in this email is definitely eye-catching. I stared at this impossible pose for a couple seconds, to be honest.

After analyzing the image, the readers get to the point: SALE UP TO 50% OFF. Even if the abandoned product doesn't attract the customer anymore, the 50% discount will.

15. Still interested? - PacSun

Pacsun e-commerce email

Source: Pinterest

This recovery email by PacSun listed the items that the customer left in the online shopping cart.

Instead of offering a 10% discount, they decided to list the products one by one with the old and new prices.

The recipient doesn't need to count and can actually see how much they save. Rationalization at its best.

16. Just a reminder - Sephora

Sephora reminder email

Source: Pinterest

Sephora's email is vivid and full of actions. They offer 3 FREE SAMPLES with any order which is a really generous offer from them. Women love free samples.

Top reviews and weekly specials invite the recipient to join an exclusive club. They can learn about the best picks and get daily deals.

17. Wait a second! - Doggyloot

Dogyloot funny abandoned cart email example

Source: Pinterest

Doggyloot used the image of a dog in their funny abandoned cart email design.

Their copy is really creative as it's related to dogs. Using niche words can work if you use them in a creative way. "Fetch this deal" is a good example.

18. Don't worry, we've got you - Jack Wills

Jack Wills e-commerce cart recovery email

Source: Really Good Emails

Jack Wills used a sympathetic tone of voice in their e-commerce cart abandonment email when they said they understood that life could be hectic and Luke might forget about his shopping bag.

Under the "Order subtotal", there is a message saying that Luke qualified for the free delivery.

Each item in the shopping cart has a "View item" CTA but at the bottom of the email, Luke could also return to his items.

At the bottom of the email, three different items were listed that the recipient might be interested in. You can pick products the reader most likely would pick based on data. For example, customers who chose the same items as Luke are interested in similar products.

Of course, the good, old "Sale up to 50%" offer is in the email as well to save the day.

19. Still thinking about it? - Whisky Loot

Whisky loot cart recovery email

Source: Really Good Emails

This email by Whisky Loot focused on decreasing the recipient's anxiety. They listed a number of factors that would help the post-purchase evaluation.

Whisky Loot also answered frequently asked questions and encourage the reader to get in touch if they still have questions. The "Treat yourself" CTA is definitely a creative one.

20. Is your Wi-fi Okay? - Adidas

Adidas cart recovery email - "Is YOUR WI-FI OKAY?"

Source: Really Good Emails

I love this email. The creator of this email exactly knew that the reasons for abandoning shopping carts could happen due to technical problems.

Adidas used this caring approach to ask if everything was okay. They also recommended to check out reviews that would convince the reader if they had second thoughts about the product.

This email has three different CTAs: "Shop now", "Customize" and "Explore now". The recipient can also navigate to the website by clicking the menu at the top of the email.

If you have a physical shop, make sure you also include a store finder in your email. Many people prefer shopping offline, make it easy for this people to find your shop.

21. You accidentally left some amazing wine in your cart. No biggie. - Winc

Winc offered coupon $20 off in their cart abandonment email follow up

Source: Really Good Emails

Winc reminded the recipient that they accidentally made a mistake, in a funny way. They gave away $20 off to encourage completing the purchase.

Instead of using CTAs like Shop now, Wince decided to go with a more easy-going approach and said "Let's do this" and "I'm ready for Wine".

What's different here is that Winc used its cart recovery email for their referral program as well. The recipient could invite their friends to Win and earn an additional 26 bucks.

At the bottom of the email, we find the boring but important bit. Include Terms and Conditions when you promote a special offer just to be on the safe side.

Takeaway

About 75% of online purchases aren't completed. Customers have many reasons to leave your webshop without buying anything yet you still have the chance to direct them in the right direction.

By designing a great, automated cart recovery email follow up sequence you can actually lead the visitors back to your website and get them finish the purchase.

The success of recovering money depends on how you can leverage data and send the right message at the right time.

Author
Roland Pokornyik

Roland Pokornyik

CEO / Co-founder @ Chamaileon.io & EDMdesigner.com