Effective Ways to Save Abandoned Carts

7 min read
Effective Ways to Save Abandoned Carts

In my previous articles, I covered a few reasons why customers abandon shopping carts. If you’re worried about the abandonment rate at your store, this calls for a change of tactics, not a surrender. I’ll give you a few different ways to save abandoned carts, so test them yourself and find out which one works best for you and your customers.

Email marketing: jumpstart the conversation 

If you have the email address of a customer who hasn’t completed a transaction, you always have the option of sending them a message to remind them of what they left behind.  

Take a look at what Synerise found when we compared the average value generated by a standard newsletter campaign and a special message about abandoned carts. To do this, we divided the amount of individual campaign orders by the number of messages sent. The results are clear - messages sent regarding abandoned carts generate an average of over twelve dollars in revenue, while standard campaigns bring on average a maximum of ten cents of profit.

The numbers don’t lie - using email to remind customers about carts they left behind can tap into enormous potential. Still, there are some basic elements these messages must contain in order to get the best results:

  • An engaging, attention-grabbing message subject line. Start with the basics and remember that the important part here is to make sure the Trade Value of standard email campaign about a promotion Value of email about abandoned cart recipient opens the message
  • A clear call to action, which should refer to the purpose of the message and encourage the customer to return to their abandoned cart.
  • A direct link to the abandoned cart. Keep the number of steps that need to be taken in order to complete the transaction to an absolute minimum.
  • Images of the products in the cart. This helps customers to instantly recognize what they left behind and persuades them to go back and finish the purchase.
  • Extra perks. You may surprise the customer with incentives to return to the cart, like free shipping or a discount.
  • A sense of urgency. Using limited-time offers or countdowns, you can get the customer to take action instantly.
  • Customer service contact. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you to resolve any questions they might have.
  • Dynamic content. This might be based on the target group and, if possible, the items in the abandoned cart – everything depends on the level of product tagging and segmentation.

There is no single magic bullet when it comes to using email to save abandoned carts. Your success rate will depend on several factors like the field you’re in and the kind of products in the cart, among other things. Careful testing and attention to detail can improve your results.

Example: 3-step email campaign

A three-step engagement campaign has proven to be popular, with the first message making contact, the second with more emphasis on returning to the abandoned cart and the third all about closing the sale. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1st email – 1 hour after cart abandonment

First email - 1 hour after cart abandonment

It’s important to send it soon after the customer leaves the cart behind, but it doesn’t have to be a strictly sales-oriented message. It’s enough for it to be a gentle reminder about what they were ready to buy just a short time ago. Apart from a direct link back to their carts, be sure to include your contact information as well.

2nd email – 1 day later

If the first message doesn’t get results, then it’s time to take the next step on the following day. The next email should convey a sense of urgency, perhaps with a reference to limited supplies of the products in the carts. Additional information, such as product reviews, may also be helpful.

First email - 1 day after cart abandonment

3rd email - 3 days after cart abandonment

The previous two messages were about trying to re-engage the customer but now it’s all about making the sale. The third email needs an offer that’s too good to be ignored. Free delivery or a discount are both proven ways to make the sale.

First email - 3days after cart abandonment

Web push notifications

Web push notifications have become a standard part of the arsenal of every marketer. They’re great at triggering immediate action and that’s why they work well for pushing promotions. More importantly, push notifications are a perfect way to remind customers of abandoned carts.
The good news is you don’t need to have someone’s email address to send a push notification. They are displayed in real time through the internet browser used by the customer and you only need their consent to send such messages. 

Bear in mind, though, that not all browsers support push notifications. Also, different browsers have different limits on the number of characters they display, something to remember when crafting your message.

Web push notification with discount

There are a few reasons why push notifications are more effective than other marketing channels:

  • If customers leave a cart to go check prices on other sites, you can react within minutes.
  • They don’t require recipients to go to their email service provider and check their inboxes.
  • With push notifications, it’s easy to grab the customer’s attention and bring their focus back to where you want it – the cart they filled in your online store.
  • Even when the customer is no longer in your store, they can still see your message. This means you get your message in front of customers faster.

Just as with email subject lines and other marketing content, there are ways to optimize your chances of getting the response you want:

1. Use words that stress the passing of time

Creating a sense of urgency through a limited time offer is one of the best ways to move customers to take action. 

2. Organize limited-time promotions

Discounts are another effective tool for engaging customers who might need just a small push to complete a transaction they’ve already started. Don’t underestimate the power of “Today only!”

3. Share information about availability subject to change

Connect the power of contacting customers who have abandoned carts with updated information about changing inventory and product availability. Learning that an item in their carts is about to be sold out can drive customers to take action.


Retargeting is a kind of online marketing that reaches out to customers who have already visited a particular site. Retargeting not only helps to keep brands in the minds of customers, but also helps to turn their attention of items they have selected and placed in carts without completing their purchase. 

Planning a retargeting campaign for abandoned carts

1. Create a segment of customers who have abandoned carts

To be effective, retargeting has to be aimed at the right group of customers. It’s no use reminding customers about a product that they’ve already bought. Such messages are not only a waste of money, they also irritate the customer while making them wonder if you know what you’re doing. After all, they bought something from you and now you’re asking them if they’re interested in the same product. 

For your retargeting campaign, create a segment of customers who viewed a product or placed it in a cart and then filter out everyone who actually bought it. Make sure that the only people left in the segment are those who have shown interest but haven’t converted yet. 
With your segmentation properly set up, you can deliver highly personalized content that gets results:

  • Customers who have abandoned carts can see an announcement offering, for example, free shipping on all orders over a certain amount
  • For more effective ads, use dynamic retargeting, which lets you present products that you know the customer already placed in a cart
  • Include complementary products to those placed in a customer’s cart. This applies not only to products that are often purchased together but purchases made by other customers who put the same products in their carts.

2. Remember that time is of essence

You need to reach customers very soon after they leave a cart behind but there is no perfect time for all products. Higher priced items like furniture or electronics have a longer purchase path than less expensive items like cosmetics or clothes.

3. Emphasize reasons to buy now

Promoting things like free delivery or easy returns can be a great reason to get customers to come back to your store. People like free stuff and lower prices and this type of promotion also does a lot to reassure anyone who has reservations about making an online purchase.

4. Create multiple campaigns

It’s important to coordinate your marketing efforts in order to be sure that everything works together. For example, if your customers become used to receiving a discounted offer after leaving a cart behind, they will do it more often in the expectation of getting another discount. This is why it’s a good idea to not jump straight to the discounted offer and first try to engage customers with other communications reminding them about their carts.

Wrapping up

Saving abandoned shopping carts may be a stressful element of your customer communication, but let’s be honest – you can’t escape it. That's why you’re not losing anything by setting up and executing a few extra campaigns for those clients who can’t seem to make up their minds, no matter the reason. I hope these ideas will help you get started, but once you get to know your customers a little – don't be afraid to test new ideas.