eCommerce cart abandonment solutions and best practices

Content Marketing Specialist

Monika Karlović

Content Marketing Specialist

A constant pain for eCommerce companies is dealing with customers who abandon their carts before check-out. Boosting cart recovery rates can be tricky, but not impossible.  

In this blog, we will walk you through ways in which your eCommerce business can boost conversion rates with various messaging strategies and channels to seamlessly bring customers back to their carts and encourage a purchase. 

What is cart abandonment?

Cart abandonment is when a customer does not complete a purchase after browsing your web shop and adding items to their cart. Once they exit your site or app, all the products in that cart are considered abandoned.  

Depending on how your eCommerce shop is set up, those items can be transferred to a “favorite list” on the customer’s profile or simply removed from the cart and put back in stock.

In either case, no purchase has been made, affecting conversion rates and your bottom line.  

Why do shoppers abandon their carts?

To understand the “why” behind cart abandonment, it’s important to first understand that it is the unfortunate but natural way people shop online. Window shopping, price comparisons and simply browsing for fun are some reasons why online shoppers abandon their cart- they weren’t all that serious about completing the purchase in the first place.  

Abandoned cart statistics and benchmarks

But what about those shoppers who are seriously considering making a purchase and at the last minute decide not to?  

According to the Statista, in 2022 the main cause of cart abandonment in the USA was extra costs such as shipping, taxes and fees. Second place was when a customer was forced to create an account to complete a purchase.  

Another top reason, making up 17% of cart abandonment, is a long and complicated checkout process.  

Research from the Baymard Institute says that the average rate of online shopping cart abandonment for eCommerce companies is 69.99% which can be considered the benchmark.  

69.9%

average rate of cart abandonment

Want to calculate your abandoned cart rate?

Check out our blog on how to quickly calculate your rate of cart abandonment and compare your results to the industry benchmark.

Calculating the rate of cart abandonment is just the first step to finding out if there are issues with your shopping journey.  

Dig deeper into what pain points your customers experience and explore options on how you can reach out to them to recover their carts and complete their purchase.  

Email and SMS: The traditional cart abandonment solutions

In 2023, most eCommerce companies have some communication plan in place for contacting customers about their abandoned carts. They often use familiar channels such as email or SMS

Sometimes a gentle nudge through these channels is all it takes, simply informing your customers that they have items waiting in their shopping cart could do the trick.  

SMS notifications for abandoned carts

SMS is one of the simplest channels to reduce your cart abandonment rate. The high open rate of SMS alone makes it ideal for engagement, but when you couple that with the fact that 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes, you get a powerful communication tool ideal for driving quick action. Perfect for reminding and motivating your shoppers to continue the shopping cycle.

An SMS that bundles an incentive along with a reminder will increase the chance of converting the cart into a purchase. Incentives can range from discounts on current or future purchases, free delivery or free samples, to extra loyalty points and more.

abandoned cart sms example

Make it easy for your mobile shoppers to go from the SMS inbox directly to their carts by including a link to the abandoned cart in the SMS. Clicking the link will recall the cart either in the mobile browser or the shopping app. Even if the shopper wants to continue in a desktop browser, the link will still serve as a reminder.

Abandon cart SMS examples and templates

To get started on sending SMS abandoned cart messages, use these examples as templates to start building your message flows: 

  • Hey [customer name]! You left some popular items in your cart. Click the link to access your [brand name] shopping cart before they sell out! [URL] 
  • Looks like you forgot something in your [brand name] cart! When you complete your purchase today, you’ll get a complimentary gift of your choice – go to your cart [URL]
  • [Brand name]: We’ve put items left in your cart on hold for the next 2 hours. Click here to complete your purchase while they’re still reserved! [URL]
  • Hi [customer name], [brand name] here, use code [code] for [X %] off when you complete your purchase today! Check out what you left in your cart [URL]
  • [Customer name], there are items waiting in your cart – get free shipping on your [brand name] order in the next 12 hours with promo code [code]. Click here to access your cart: [URL]

Use personalization, discount codes, special offers, and links to design your abandoned cart messages. 

Adjust these templates to your brand tone of voice and persona to capture your user’s attention and trust. Remember to personalize messages with the customer’s name, your brand name and links that give them easy access to their abandoned cart.  

Abandoned cart email

Abandoned cart reminders sent over email allow for more creativity. Visuals and images can be included in a branded email that encourages the customer to recover their cart. 

Include images of the items left behind, clever CTAs and let your brand image shine through with flexible email designs and templates. You can offer discounts or promotions in the same email, and use personalization tactics to stand out. 

abandoned cart email example

In contrast to SMS, 45% of abandoned cart emails are opened and 21% of users click to view their abandoned cart. So, although email allows for a more enticing reminder, they can often get lost in crowded inboxes or promotional folders, meaning many customers never interact with them.  

Although email and SMS are familiar channels and reliable in their own right, there are alternative and dynamic ways to send abandoned cart reminders that can help increase the rate of recovery.

Alternative cart abandonment messages with examples to bring shoppers back

WhatsApp

WhatsApp offers a range of rich features to make messages more engaging for end-users. Being the world’s most popular chat app, campaigns can achieve higher visibility through WhatsApp- similar to that of SMS.  

That’s why it is an ideal choice for abandoned cart reminder messages. Customers can get reminders sent directly to their mobile device on a channel they already use regularly.  

With a business account, you can send branded messages with a verified check mark, allowing for more trustworthy engagement. 

WhatsApp has a range of message types including product messages to display the items left in their cart, or product catalogs to recommend other products they might be interested in.  

abandoned cart whatsapp example

What makes WhatsApp even more appealing for these cart recovery messages, is that eCommerce companies can build end-to-end journey on the chat app. Boost conversion rates by allowing customers to view the products in their cart, add additional items to their existing cart and complete purchase – all in one app. With a third-party payment integration, you can allow customers to make payments through WhatsApp, and avoid losing customers due to a complicated payment process.  

whatsapp third party payments

Viber

If Viber is a popular chat app among your customer base, it is the perfect option for cart abandonment reminders.  

Create compelling and automated messages that use interactive buttons and custom keyboards to guide customers back to their carts. 

If customers are still hesitant to complete the purchase, they can easily interact with a Viber Bot and learn more about your brand, products and get any questions they need answered to help encourage them to complete the purchase.

abandoned cart viber example

Apple Messages for Business

One of the greatest features of Apple Messages for Business is that it is connected to Apple Pay, making it unbelievably simple for customers to complete their purchases without having to leave the chat.  

This makes Apple Messages for Business a strong contender for alternatives to abandoned cart reminder messages as you can offer customers a well-rounded journey without the pain of switching to a web browsers or application to complete a payment. 

abandoned cart apple pay

RCS Business Messages

If your customers love SMS but you want to level-up the content of your messages- try RCS.  

Add your logo, company name and rich images or videos to engage customers and remind them of the products they were interested in.  

Use carousels to display multiple items left in a cart and allow customers to easily access your web shop or app through clean and simple call-to-action buttons.  

abandoned cart rcs example

In-app push messages

If you have a shopping app, use push notifications to remind customers of what has been left in their cart.  

Tapping the push notification takes your customers directly to the shopping cart within the app, enabling them to complete the purchase immediately.  

Push notifications should contain rich media such as images to reach a higher open rate. Incentives to revisit the abandoned cart can also be included in the push notification. But the most important thing when talking about push notifications is to remember not to be too pushy. Sending too much content will scare away your customers.

abandoned cart in-app push example

Abandoned cart best practices for eCommerce brands – with examples

1. Abandoned cart subject lines

If you are sending abandoned cart reminders via email, the subject line is your first chance at getting your customer’s attention back.

When creating the subject line for an abandoned cart email, keep it short and sweet. You want to grab their attention without sounding spammy. Try asking a question or adding the item they abandoned in the subject line. You can add a time-limit to add a sense of urgency.

Example

Ask an intriguing question

Forget something?

Mention items in their cart

Still interested in our smart watch?

Offer a special discount

Get 20% off in the next 24 hrs!

2. Personalize messages

Adding personalized context to your messages can help entice customers to read and act on the messages you send. Especially if you are engaging them on channels they use regularly to interact with friends and family like WhatsApp or Viber – you want to keep your messages in-line with other messages they receive on these channels.  

You can do more than just use their first name. Combine other data you have on customers, such as birthdays or special dates and use them to encourage customers to return to their cart.

Example

Hey Julia! With your birthday coming up next week, we think you deserve to treat yourself to a gift! Check out your cart and we can have it delivered by your birthday next Tuesday.  

Go to cart

3. Use various channels

Preferences vary between customers; this includes the channels they want to communicate with you on.  

Use popular digital channels to get their attention immediately and add SMS or email as a fallback in case the message doesn’t go through.  

Alternatively, first send a push-notification from your app reminding them they have items in their cart. After a certain amount of time, send a second reminder over their preferred channel with a special offer to encourage the customer to complete their purchase.  

Example

Push-notification message

Julia! There are items in your cart, don’t forget to complete your purchase! 

Digital channel message

Hey Julia, get free delivery today when you complete your purchase!

4. Feature abandoned items

Using images of the items in your customers’ carts will help nudge them to complete their purchase.  

Make use of the dynamic features of different channels and display product images and details directly in the chat.  

Example

5. Add social proof

Social proof encourages customers to follow the actions of others. Try adding some aspects to your abandoned cart messages depending on the channel you use.  

For email, you can add reviews of the products in the customer’s cart or testimonials at the end of the email. 

If you are using digital channels or SMS, try adding a sense of urgency by mentioning how many other customers have viewed or purchased the product. 

Example

Julia! The limited-edition smart watch is selling fast, 76 customers have purchased it in the last 48hrs. We reserved one in your cart for the next 12hrs, get yours before they’re gone! 

Go to cart

6. Add a special offer

Online shoppers love special offers and discounts. Depending on what your brand can offer, get creative with your promotions when sending abandoned cart reminders.  

Example

Hey Julia, there are items waiting for you in your cart! Complete your purchase today and… 

  • Get free delivery 
  • Get a special gift of your choice at check-out 
  • Get 10% off your purchase  
  • Get double the loyalty points  
  • Get a free return voucher in case you need to send it back 

7. Create a clear call-to-action

Make it easy for customers to access their carts with clear call-to-action buttons on various channels. If you use SMS, make sure to clarify exactly where the link in your message will lead customers. This is your opportunity to send them further into the purchasing journey- make it count! 

Example

Go to cart

Click and shop

View items in cart

8. Make it conversational

Its possible your customers haven’t completed their purchase because they are still uncertain or have more questions about the products. If you use a chatbot or cloud contact center, you can initiate a conversation with an abandoned cart message and let them know that by replying they will get any questions they have answered. 

abandoned cart conversational experience

Tools for abandoned cart recovery

To bring all these possibilities to life and make sending abandoned cart reminders easier than ever, automation will become your best friend.  

With the right tools, you can segment customers based on their interests and behaviors to send the right messages, on their preferred channel.

Omnichannel customer engagement solution

Our omnichannel customer engagement solution, Moments, allows you to build message flows for various scenarios and is equipped with a wide range of features to bring your cart recovery messages to the next level: 

  1. Include send-time optimization, to ensure customers get their messages when they are most likely to open them  
  2. Add failover channels through Moments so customers never miss their cart recovery messages.  
  3. Create customized message flows with insights from customer data and ensure you build the right messaging strategy to boost recovery rates 
  4. Use behavior triggers to send messages to customers after they have abandoned their carts 

Customer data platform

Collecting and utilizing customer data can help you bring personalization to your cart abandonment messages. Segment customers based on their behaviors and interests so that you can add personalized context to your messages. 

Want to improve your cart abandonment recovery rate?

Discover an omnichannel customer engagement platform to automate abandoned cart messages with ease.

Check out Moments
Mar 16th, 2023
11 min read
Content Marketing Specialist

Monika Karlović

Content Marketing Specialist