When a shopper goes to the supermarket, how often does he leave his full shopping cart in the middle of Aisle 4 and go home? Never. Unfortunately for eCommerce merchants, eShoppers do this all the time. Nearly 75% of all online shopping carts are abandoned.

Why? Sometimes shoppers are just browsing, sometimes they’ve encountered technical problems (the site crashed or timed out), sometimes they found the process too complicated, or they had to get back to work or the children. Whatever. What’s important is what that 75% rate represents. If one could eliminate shopping cart abandonment, sales would quadruple overnight.

A simple yet potent tactic for lowering cart abandonment rate is the use of abandoned cart emails. Just as it sounds, an abandoned cart email is an email sent to a customer who has added products to his cart but, for whatever reason, failed to check out.

This potential customer is far more convertible than a new customer for obvious reasons: she’s been to your site, shown an interest in specific products, etc. By retargeting her with an email, a merchant can give her that extra nudge to complete her purchase.

Cart abandonment email statistics

Here are some statistics regarding the efficacy of abandoned cart reminder emails:

Source: Ometria

When is the best time to send abandoned cart emails

So, first things first: When should you send abandoned cart emails? Timing is important. According to SalesCycle’s research into 200 global brands, abandoned cart emails sent:

  • Within 20 minutes achieved on average a 5.2% conversion rate.
  • Within an hour achieved on average a 4.5% conversion rate.
  • Over 24 hours after a basket was abandoned achieved on average a 2.6% conversion rate.

5 Abandoned cart email best practices for effective conversion

Now, what should your abandoned cart email look like? I’ve seen many such emails, and I’d like to share with you five examples I consider very attractive and effective:

1. Warby Parker

Take a look at this email below, which I consider a model of good abandoned cart email design. It has a catchy subject line, which immediately reminds you that you created and abandoned a shopping cart at this site. It shows you front and center the item you abandoned, reminding you of the various reasons you were attracted to it. The brand is immediately identifiable. It’s personalized, and it creates a sense of buying urgency.

2. Doggyloot

This email has been designed from a clean, easy to follow template — it’s very descriptive and includes the item name, description, price, link and image for the product that was left behind. And it has a clear abandoned cart call-to-action — a loud, standout checkout button that will take you straight to the shopping cart page to complete the purchase. It’s also friendly and personalized (“Your friends at Doggyloot”).

For more ideas, check out this link from Marketing Land.

3. Kurt Geiger

Kurt Geiger’s ad is a perfect no nonsense example of an email that gives the added incentive of an additional discount or sale, without going overboard.

4. ModCloth

Modcloth’s abandoned cart email is personalized and written to be friendly and whimsical, aligning with the psychographic dimensions of their target customer. It’s also got a clear image of the abandoned item. You can also include some reviews from other customers on that particular product, ratings, images of similar coats, and suggestions for matching accessories.

5. Chubbies

This email contains compelling visuals, great copy, multiple links, and clever subject line. It makes it very easy for customers to go back into their carts.

While you will never convert 100% of your abandoned carts into sales, you are absolutely likely to convert a fair percentage of them by implementing a cart abandonment email campaign. Such a proactive campaign is a low cost, low risk, high return way to increase sales, and one that you don’t want to neglect using.


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