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Numerous research reports show that you can expect around 15% of abandoned carts to be recovered using email marketing automation in combination with an optional discount or coupon code to further entice shoppers to complete their purchase.

If you’ve ever purchased something online I’m sure you’ve received at least one email trying to entice you to complete an abandoned purchase.

Research tells us that most people abandon their carts for a few primary reaons:

  1. They’re in research mode and shopping across multiple sites to price check
  2. They add a product to their cart to find out what shipping will cost (when the shipping cost isn’t clear on the product page)
  3. They simply run out of time or get distracted and never return to complete their purchase

Our abandoned cart saver, in combination with our automatic product review reminder emails (that went out in April) are two of the many features we’re currently working on to help BigCommerce clients sell more without having to do more.

We’re strong believers in marketing automation, especially for our smaller clients without a marketing team, and will continue to roll out other marketing automation features over the coming weeks and months with one primary goal – to get your conversion rate well above the average for the industry in which you sell.

So, let’s take a look at how the abandoned cart saver actually works.

How Does It Work?

Here’s a very high level overview of how the feature works:

  1. A shopper adds one or more products to their shopping cart in your BigCommerce store
  2. They start the checkout process, but for whatever reason don’t complete it
  3. They leave your website
  4. After one hour, they receive an email inviting them to complete their purchase
  5. If after one day they haven’t completed their purchase, they receive another email
  6. Finally, after two days if they haven’t completed their purchase, they receive a final email
  7. You see a report on all abandoned and recovered orders including the exact dollar amount saved

As is explained below, this feature can be disabled and both the content and timing of the emails can be completely customized.

When Will This Feature Roll Out?

The roll out will start this coming Monday, 21st May and may take a few days to reach your store depending on when you signed up for BigCommerce. The feature will be turned on by default for all stores on the gold, platinum or diamond plans and the feature can easily be disabled from the Settings -> Store ->Miscellaneous tab if required.

We’ve decided to roll this feature out on the gold, diamond and platinum plans only, for a few different reasons. The first is that in order to recover abandoned carts, you need to have a lot of carts that are abandoned. When we looked at the statistics, clients on the gold plan or above had a higher overall measure on all metrics, including the number of carts that were abandoned, purely because their sites get more visitors.

The second reason comes from lots of interviews, conversations and research with our clients. Our larger clients tend to pay extra close attention to conversion rate optimization (CRO) and the idea of being able to cost-effectively recover a large number of abandoned carts automatically is something that appealed to them quite strongly, again, primarily because they have the volume of visitors where a small percentage improvement in their conversion rate will have a huge material impact on revenue.

Clients on the broze or silver plan can get access to the abandoned cart saver feature simply by upgrading to the gold, diamond or platinum plan at any time. Let’s take a look at a few screenshots of the abandoned cart saver in action.

Customizable Email Messages

From the Marketing -> Abandoned Cart Notifications menu you’ll see a series of 3 emails that are setup by default. These emails are scheduled to be sent to any shopper in your store who abandons their shopping cart, which means they added products to their cart and started the checkout process but for whatever reason didn’t actually complete their order.

By default, there are 3 emails setup and they are scheduled to be sent 1 hour, 1 day and 2 days after a shopping cart has been abandoned. They contain a simple message which you can customize to include a coupon code if you’d like. The design of these emails can also be completely customized to include your brand elements and style.

Here’s how the default email looks (in this example, we’ve included a coupon code):

Creating or modifying an email in the series is quick and easy, as you can see below. You can create up to 3 emails to be sent to shoppers who have abandoned their carts. If you select a coupon code to include it will automatically be applied to the shopper’s order when they click the link in the email.

The contents of each email can also be personalized using dynamic placeholders for first name, last name, full name, cart contents, checkout link, store name, etc. See this knowledge base article for more details.

Abandoned Cart Settings

Of course you also have complete control over important settings for this feature and it can be disabled if required. Depending on how many visitors you get to your BigCommerce store, you can choose to be notified when a shopping cart is abandoned in your store. You can be notified every time a cart is abandoned, or you can receive a summarized email when a certain number of shopping carts are abandoned, such as 10, 50 or 500. You can also turn off these email notifications.

Abandoned Cart Saver Reporting

We’ve built a beautiful yet simple report that shows exactly how many carts have been abandoned and how many have been saved. We then tie these numbers together to show you exactly how much you’ve made in sales that you otherwise would have lost. We do all of this in one report:

The report also shows the exact details of every abandoned order that was saved so you have a completely granular level of reporting if that’s what you need.

Opting Out Of Marketing Emails

Along with the automatic product review reminder emails, your shoppers can opt out of receiving abandoned cart notification emails. Any shopper that ops out of receiving these emails will have a new attribute called Receive Marketing Emails set to No as part of their customer profile. You can also set this attribute to No if a client calls and asks to stop receiving these emails:


Leave a Comment
  • Deborah

    Please excuse me if this is a dumb question as I’m new at this ecommerce thing! Please could you tell me at what point the cart is considered to be abandoned? Does that mean when the website window is closed? I’m wondering whether the cart is considered abandoned if the window is left open, while the customer perhaps is busy with other apps on his/her computer?

  • brianne.brewer


    That is correct, a customer will have to get to the payment details portion of the order. Before this point they have not yet identified themselves nor provided an email address.

  • brianne.brewer


    Here is a Knowledge Base Article about the Abandoned Cart Saver feature. Steps 1-4 show you how to access the feature, so that you may disable if you do not want automatic emails.

  • Lisa

    IMO, this option should NOT be turned on automatically. Since we do not know exactly the time that our carts are updated those of us who want to change the email or turn it off do not have the time to do that since the first email comes just an hour after the cart is left.

    I love the concept, just believe that this could be better telling store owners that it is available and letting us have the choice to turn it on after we have time to customize it so that it best represents our stores first.

  • Hi Mitchell, this looks good. One question; how far down the checkout process does a customer need to go before this kicks in? The current report seems to only pick up customers who have made it as far as entering payment details but then not completed, which makes the abandonment rate seem unnaturally low. It’d be great if this picked up everyone abandoning after hitting ‘proceed to checkout’

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