Definition: Abandoned cart emails are a conversion optimization technique where online stores send an email reminder to browsing customers who exit a website with outstanding items in their shopping cart.

People abandon shopping carts for a multitude of reasons — such as slow load times, excessive shipping charges and simply not being ready to buy yet — but as many as 75 percent intend to return and finish the purchase.

Abandoned cart emails capitalize on demonstrated shopper intent, offering a gentle reminder of their initial intent and ensure that your online store doesn't get forgotten. While manually firing off emails to every abandoned cart is hugely inefficient, an abandoned cart saver automates this process and

How to win back customers with abandoned cart emails

There are many approaches a business can take to abandoned cart emails. Some commonly utilized approaches include:

  • Multiple emails: Sending out one email a few hours after the cart is abandoned and at least one more in the days that follow is a standard practice.
  • Personalized content: Abandoned cart emails should be tailored to the customer and the products they left in the shopping cart. Try different combinations of referencing these elements in the subject, headline, and body. Pictures of the items in question are generally also effective in improving click rates.
  • Related products: For customers who abandon their cart because they lost interest in the item,
  • Time pressure: Messages to the effect of "We're still holding onto your [item] at [price]! Act fast to preserve your order at these rates!" can help inspire more clicks. Businesses might even specify a time limit after which the deal cannot be guaranteed.
  • Coupon codes: Sending out a small coupon for 5% or 10% off the sale can be the small enticement customres need to return and make a purchase
  • Discounts: High shipping prices are one of the most common causes of cart abandonment. Like coupon codes, waiving or reducing the shipping fee is another popular inducement technique.

When to send abandoned cart emails

Your audience should dictate how many abandoned cart messages you send to customers and at what intervals. Depending on the price points of your products, customers need more time to make a decision. It's important to strike a balance between reminding consumers and being too aggressive. Some general guidelines:

Sending the first email

Timing and content are both crucial for the first abandoned cart reminder you send customers. In general, the first message should only contain the most important details about the shopping cart and a prominent buy button to facilitate the checkout process.

Testing determines the time that should elapse before the message is sent because this varies significantly. Some retailers send the first email after only 20 minutes, but this is too quick to deliver results. One hour of inactivity is the standard, and testing this reveals whether it will be effective for your specific audience. Four hours delivers the highest sales gains Returning traffic often diminishes after this time frame.

In addition to testing, considering how long the average shopper typically spends on the website and the length of time it takes them to find the products they want to buy is used to determine the correct time to send the first shopping cart reminder.

Sending the second email

Utilizing a single abandoned cart email is often not enough to encourage customers to return and complete their purchases. The second reminder is a great time to include a coupon to give consumers an extra reason to convert. Online store owners see an increase in revenue when they use this approach.

Similar to the first message, audience preferences should dictate when the second abandoned cart email is delivered. For example, sending the second message 12 hours after the first is a great way to appeal to deal-savvy shoppers. This group wants to save money, as well as make a quick purchasing decision. Otherwise, 24 hours is typically a successful time frame because the majority of customers make their decisions within one day. If customers don't take action after 24 hours, test a shorter time period for the second email instead of extending it to 48 hours.

Learn more on how to time your abandoned cart emails.

Recover lost revenue

Abandoned cart emails are one of the most solvable low hanging fruits in ecommerce: by activating automated emails, you can increase conversion rate over night. Learn how an abandoned cart saver can recover up to 15% or more of lost sales.

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