Abandoned shopping cart email can increase conversion up to 50%

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25, mars 2015

Customers increasingly abandon their full basket just before the virtual checkout. As a marketer, what can you do to still achieve conversion in those cases?

Causes of abandoned shopping carts

First, you need to look at the two main reasons for people abandoning their shopping cart. Clearly in first place are the unexpected and/or high shipping costs (28%), followed by the obligation to create an account (23%).

Still used too little

Email campaigns aimed at converting abandoned shopping carts show growth; from 11% in 2012 to 24% in 2014. Sending the customer who walked away an email within an hour after abandoning the shopping cart will give you the best chance of a  conversion into a purchase. Obviously, this does depend on the type of product and the customer. It is important to test this properly.

It is notable that only a limited number of companies make use of this. Research has shown that of the top 1000 companies in the USA only 62% send the first mailing within 24 hours. The second mailing usually follows within 48 hours after sending the first email, which is done by in total 17% of this top 1000. 20% send three abandoned shopping cart emails.

Some statistical averages per email, measured in time after shopping cart abandonment:

Email #1 (sent 20 minutes after cart abandonment)

  • Open rate: 46.04%
  • Click-through % (CTR): 6.3%

Email #2 (23 hours after shopping cart abandonment)

  • Open rate: 40.35%
  • Click-through % (CTR): 9.8%

Email #3 (1 week after cart abandonment)

  • Open rate: 27.54%
  • Click-through % (CTR): 10.3%


If you develop a smart win back email strategy, you can increase the conversion rate up to 50%. Make sure you have the information below before any possible cart abandonment by the customer. Make it relevant by being specific.

Limit yourself to the following necessary information. Too many questions that are not directly-relevant, such as “sex”, may trigger a moment of abandonment and creates confusion.

  • email address; obviously…
  • Name; first name, middle name, last name.
  • Product interest; the abandoned products.
  • Budget; the amount spent on products.

Campaign components

The personalised email campaign comprises several components:

  • Relevant subject line: short and sweet. Test what works best.
  • A personalised salutation, instead of the bromide “Dear Customer” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.
  • The list of products that have not yet been purchased. Here again, test whether you should still show alternative or complementary products. Make sure to focus on the shopping cart and not to bore the customer with other nice items he/she may purchase from you.
  • A clear call to action. For example, when you offer a discount using a code, make sure that the customer is navigated to the personalised page with both the shopping cart and the discount that has been applied. ‘One click go shop and buy.’
  • Give a brief and clear summary of the USPs to take away any doubts about you as the supplier. Convince the customer once again why he/she should order the products from you.
  • In terms of technique: Responsive email for mobile use is an absolute precondition. A tidy technical structure, sleek visual design, impeccable texts and do not forget to check for spam rating, to make sure your email actually ends up in the inbox.


  1. Keep it simple. For the time being, only focus on the shopping cart. Do not bombard the customer with all kinds of other irrelevant information and do not bother him/her with other campaigns, fantastic products, actions and discounts.
  2. Timing is everything. Avoid a spam feeling and limit the campaign to 3 email messages. Give up if the customer fails to respond and make sure that he/she remembers you in a positive way.
  3. Test, test, test. Look at what you’re doing, measure results, assess and optimise. Be critical. Constantly fine-tune and improve on the basis of previous results.
  4. Technical flexibility; make sure you can (technically) switch quickly in respect of structure, content and time of dispatch.

Finally, remain critical about what you send and put yourself in the role of the customer: what would you like to receive, what pleases you and what impresses you.

More advice?

If, based on the above, you are interested in how you can still achieve conversion with the lonely abandoned shopping carts that are right in front the checkout, please feel free to contact us.


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