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Abandoned Cart Emails in 2023: The Definitive Guide


According to Forrester’s research, brands can lose up to $18 billion a year in revenue due to shopping cart abandonment. From this report, it is evident that a lousy cart recovery strategy can cost retailers a significant amount of money.

Additionally, the studies conducted by Baymard Institute shows that the average cart abandonment rate is just below 70%, which only includes web users, whereas mobile users have an even higher cart abandonment rate of 85.65%.

Because millennial shoppers like to keep their options open and have an abundance of choices to consider, their expectations in terms of quality and comfort have skyrocketed, while patience and their capacity to endure substandard shopping experiences have diminished.

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Ultimately, from a business viewpoint, the shopping cart abandonment strategy is a crucial pain point every business should address. Emails are the best way to tackle this situation. With an abandoned cart email, retailers will be able to craft a perfect cart recovery strategy and regain the sales on autopilot. Here’s what you need to know. retailers will be able to craft a perfect cart recovery strategy and regain the sales on autopilot. Here’s what you need to know.

What are Abandoned Cart Emails?

Abandoned cart emails are messages that are automatically sent to your potential customers – to remind them about the products they were interested in purchasing but didn’t complete the checkout process.

Abandonment rate is nothing but the percentage of shoppers who add items to a virtual cart but abandon it before the completion of the purchase.

These emails will be triggered if the user abandons the cart or leaves the checkout flow before finishing it.

However, you’ll need to have the shoppers’ email addresses to set up a cart recovery strategy. Assume that you have a list of customers who abandoned the cart before purchasing, you can either send a cart recovery message or a series of emails depending on your cart retention plan.

Reasons for shopping cart abandonment

Reasons for shopping cart abandonment

  • 34% of potential shoppers abandon their cart because they are not ready to buy (A majority of the users visit the website to window-shop, explore options or compare prices) (Source- SaleCycle)
  • 15% of customers claim that they abandon their cart to go shop in-store
  • 23% of customers leave the website without completing the checkout because of the extra charges like shipping and handling charges (Sources- SaleCycle, Baymard)
  • 34% of customers abandoned the cart as they were asked to create an account before the checkout (Source- Baymard)
  • 17% abandoned the cart for security reasons (Source- Conversion Fanatics, Baymard)
  • 39% of mobile shoppers abandoned the cart due to poor shopping experience (Source- Loqate)
  • 27% of consumers didn’t complete the checkout process due to slow delivery or unfriendly return policy (Source- Baymard)
  • 10% of shoppers abandoned their carts due to the lack of convenient payment methods
  • Poor site navigation causes 24% of shoppers to abandon their cart

Create your Abandoned Cart Series in a Snap


Cart Abandonment Statistics for 2020

Studies held by Sleek Note suggest that only 2.86% of e-commerce website visits convert into a purchase. And, every year Ecommerce stores lose up to $18 million sales.

It doesn’t matter how depressing this may seem, there is always light behind the clouds if you let your eyes wander. According to Getelastic, about half of all abandoned cart emails are opened, plus, a third of all clicks lead back to purchases on the website. Most importantly, abandoned cart emails account for 3% of the total revenue generated by e-commerce businesses.

Besides this, BigCommerce claims that an average of $5.65 is earned per abandoned cart email, whilst welcome mails and promotion emails generate only 1/4th of that.

5 Outstanding cart recovery email practices with examples

As you may know, shopping cart abandonment is a major concern across all devices and industries.

Here is everything you need to know to set up the perfect abandoned cart email for your retail business.

1. Low-commitment CTAs Works Better

Setting up your first abandoned cart email strategy could be a daunting task. To make the most out of it, you must know how to approach and address the abandoned cart users. There is no doubt that the sole purpose of the cart recovery mail is to get sales back. And the call-to-action must align to the same objective.

Anyhow, you must remember this too: Asking users to buy from you is one of the highest levels of commitment you can ask for. And to reduce the scope of commitments, it is advised to rephrase your CTA instead of using the term ‘buy’.

You can use phrases such as ‘Take Me Back’ or ‘Return to Your Cart’ instead.

Abandoned cart email template with low-commitment CTA

Action Item(s)
  • Frame your CTA in such a way it gives an impression of lower commitment to the user.
  • Refrain from using phrases like Buy, Pay, or Checkout.

2. Be Clear- Be Specific

One thing that makes us human is that we forget and move on. But it can be both good and bad. Sometimes your user may forget about the items he/she added to the cart. And this is why it is important to remind them- give them a clear picture of what they have in the cart.

Abandoned cart email template with product specifics

To achieve this, your email should include a clear copy, product images or even ratings if you think it’s the right thing to do.

Action Item(s)
  • Include product images.
  • Prefer a more engaging tone to converse with your customer, keep it interesting.

3. Create Urgency to Drive Actions

Creating a sense of urgency is an effective psychological trigger. This ‘being missed out’ feeling can work wonders when it comes to cart recovery. It not only reminds the readers about the products they left behind but let them rethink their decision to abandon the products at the cart in the first place.

Abandoned cart email with FOM element

Since urgency is a time-based concept that prompts us to act quickly, it is considered as one of the most effective marketing approaches today.

Action Item(s)
  • Make sure the shopper has a reason to return to the cart and finish the purchase.

4. Add Reviews or Testimonials into Your Abandoned Cart Email

As claimed by Forbes over 90% of online users prefer reading user-generated reviews before making a purchase. 84% of shoppers trust reviews as personal recommendations.

User-generated content has great potential to drive conversions. If your customer has a second thought about buying your product, reviews and ratings can boost his/her confidence and improve the chances of conversion.

abandoned cart email with user reviews

Abandoned cart email with customer testimonials

Action Item(s)
  • Find out 3-4 best reviews that suit the theme of your abandoned cart email.
  • Add reviews or testimonials at the bottom of the template

Worried about negative reviews? It’s time to eat those frogs. Read More…

5. Offer Personalized Product Recommendations

Everyone today wants to be heard and treated with respect. Having a personalized approach in mind while building your cart recovery strategy will help you yield massive results. Understanding your customer’s preferences, shopping pattern, and interests allow you to deliver the best shopping experience for your fellow shoppers.

Abandoned cart email template with alternate product suggestions

You can either show similar products as recommended products or display products that compliment the item in the cart.

Action Item(s)
  • Choose the items you want to display as product recommendations
  • Use a product recommendation engine to automate the process

Abandoned cart emails: Strategy and Timing

One thing every retailer should know is that an abandoned cart doesn’t always translate to lost revenue. Retailers have a certain amount of control; they can regain such shoppers through a focused cart recovery approach.

When it comes to the best time to send abandoned cart emails, time is of the essence. Soon as you determine how far along the customer was in the ordering process, you can begin tailoring your message.

The first 60 minutes after the customer left the cart is crucial. The initial message should be sent within this specific time-frame. There are multiple reasons for this: 1) The user might still be online, looking for similar products 2) Since the user abandoned the cart recently, he/she will still remember the pain points, which makes it easy for you to address it and resolve it through your email.

However, the first email should aim at helping the customer. Ask for feedback and understand the difficulties faced by the user. Any response you receive will help you customize your purchase process and messaging in the future.

However, the first email should aim at helping the customer. Ask for feedback and understand the difficulties faced by the user. Any response you receive will help you customize your purchase process and messaging in the future.

The second abandoned cart email should be sent after 24 hours. There is a good chance that the shopper will engage in shopping around the same time as the day before. Also, create a sense of urgency or scarcity, and let the customers know that the cart will soon be expired.

The third and final email should incentivize the shopper to complete the purchase. And this message should be delivered within 48 hours to a week’s time after the cart is abandoned. Besides, makes sure that your messages are mobile optimized.

Strategic cart recovery emails can recover 6X times more abandoned customers. Learn how to set up the abandoned cart email trigger using TargetBay…

Try these Abandoned Cart Email Subject Lines for Higher Open Rate

We’ve already seen how timing can be an integral part of your abandoned cart recovery campaign. Email subject lines create an impression and entice the user to open the email. A clear and catchy email subject line will improve your email open rates, thus elevating your chances of conversions.

There are various subject line archetypes retailers use to maximize their conversions. Here we offer a set of tried and tested formulas to help you craft the perfect subject abandoned cart email templates.

Subject Lines With Discounts and Offers

We consider this as a last resort. Yes, words such as deal, promotion, % off are all-powerful trigger terms, but it does work the wrong way too- if that’s the only tool you have in your repository. The point is, if you overdo it, the shoppers might exploit the possibility and wait until the last minute to avail the discount. These kinds of subject lines aim to resolve the difficulties faced by the shopper by incentivizing them.

Subject Line Examples:
  • Empty your cart with [discount] % off
  • Free shipping, just for you [name]

Product Shout-out Subject Lines

Product shout-out subject lines are focused and simple, yet tailored to ensure that it points and resurfaces the need customer originally had when they added the product in their cart.

Subject Line Examples:
  • Don’t get left in the dust (Asics- a running shoe brand)
  • Your cart is sobering up! (Whisky Loot)

Simple Reminder Subject Lines

Simple reminder subject lines work based on ‘presumptive close’, where the retailer assumes that the shoppers abandoned their cart because they forgot it. No other possible causes like costs, shipping, or even alternate choices will be considered in this scenario.

Subject Line Examples:
  • You’ve left something behind
  • Oops, you forgot something

Captivating and Engaging Subject Lines

Not everyone appreciates the hard sell. There are times when you need to be friendly and engaging to bridge the buyer-seller gap. Giving a personalized touch to your abandoned cart email subject line is a great way to engage customers.

Subject Line Examples:
  • Clocking in
  • Where’d You Go?!

The FOMO Subject Lines

You might already know this, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is one heck of a marketing strategy. But why? Well, no one likes to be left behind or feel like missing out on something. Plus, urgency and scarcity are two insane psychological ploys that can impact the customers’ actions.

Subject Line Examples:
  • Almost sold out!
  • Your cart is expiring

Improve your Abandoned Cart recovery with 30+ Customizable templates


Before You Go

An abandoned cart is a major concern that frustrates today’s retailers. At the same time, it is a potential opportunity to understand your customers, improve the shopping experience and elevate conversions. Either way, one thing is sure. To fully leverage this situation, businesses have to step up their game- use abandoned cart software– engage in diverse channels- turn over every stone to reach and convince the shoppers to complete the purchase.

Do you currently have any abandoned cart recovery strategies? How has it worked out for you? Let us know through comments.

Picture of Georgie Vineeth

Georgie Vineeth

Georgie is a Content Specialist at TargetBay. A curious marketer and communicator, he believes in simple yet relevant messages that create a human connection, and in innovation beyond the norms.

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