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abandoned cart best practices
Automation
July 27, 2023

16 abandoned cart best practices to nail your cart abandonment strategy

Table of Content

Your ecommerce store could be the best functioning website with a clear funnel to offer a seamless shopping experience. Yet, customers will still abandon shopping carts for different, sometimes unexpected, reasons. 

Implementing cart recovery notifications is not a matter of convenience but of necessity. Still, with constant customer behavior changes, you must follow abandoned cart best practices to optimize your cart abandonment strategy.  

cart abandonment rate

If your ecommerce store is located in the UAE or any other GCC country, your cart abandonment rate must be at least 80%, as per the Statista report. 

A report from Klaviyo reveals that stores using cart recovery emails recover 3% to 14% of lost sales. However, our clients are witnessing better results over WhatsApp.  

Dleel.com, for example,  generated $136 in revenue for each $1 spent on automated cart abandonment campaigns in 2023, earning back at least 30% of abandoned carts. 

" I believe that BusinessChat is the perfect solution for customer retargeting and revenue growth. It is an indispensable tool for WhatsApp marketing automation. BusinessChat's team is a true partner in our success, especially when it comes to recovering abandoned carts." 
Mr. Zakaria Alrashedi, Head of Ecommerce of Dleel.com

This article will teach you how abandoned cart workflows executed with best practices can turn potential lost sales into loyal customers.

Track cart abandonment on Google Analytics

If you know the difference between abandoned cart vs abandoned checkout, then you know that tracking cart abandoners is harder than checkout abandoners. This difficulty stems from the fact that Shopify stores, for instance, cannot capture cart abandoners if they’re not previous customers or haven’t subscribed to your newsletter. 

To capture all lost sales and work on winning them back, you have to track cart abandonments in Google Analytics. 

Here’s how to do that without any need for experts: 

  • 1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account
  • 2. Click Explore
Log in to your Google Analytics account
  • 3. At the top of the screen, start a new funnel exploration template
start a new funnel exploration template
  • 4. Configure your exploration using these options: Select a standard or trended funnel. In a trended funnel, you can see all the steps simultaneously or dive into a specific step by clicking the step name at the top of the visualization.
  • “MAKE OPEN FUNNEL" toggle: Funnels can be "open" or "closed," which determines how users can enter the funnel: In an open funnel, users can enter the funnel at any step. In a closed funnel, users must enter the funnel in the first step.
Configure the exploration
  • 5. Add the steps: they define the user journey you want to measure. You can define up to 10 steps in the funnel. Finally, add the conditions visitors must meet to be included in that step.
  • 6. Click APPLY
Edit the funnel steps
  • Check the reports to determine your cart abandonment rate and see where traffic drops. 
Check the reports

Set up cart abandonment workflow over WhatsApp instead of email

Use BusinessChat's WhatsApp API calculator to determine your potential WhatsApp campaigns' fees.

Marketing automation platforms boast about best practices for abandoned cart emails that bring 20% or so of overall email-generated revenue. That can be true, but not in the Middle East, where emails are something of the past. Global media insights reports reveal that 80% of internet users in the UAE use WhatsApp; it’s the number one channel for staying connected with family and friends and communicating with brands. 

The average email open rate doesn’t exceed 21%, according to MailChimp, whereas conversion rates are between 2 and 5%.  

On the other hand, the average abandoned cart metrics for BusinessChat customers in 2023 over WhatsApp API are the highest in the region. 

  • Average open rate: 70%
  • Average click-through rate: 30%
  • Average recovery rate: 20%
  • Average ROI: $100

These rates are impressive even at their average, but some industries are witnessing outstanding cart abandonment workflow results. Dkhoun Emirates got an 80% open rate and 40% click rate, which led to a return of 130$ for each $ 1$ invested. The UAE-based incense and perfumes brand generates 96% of its revenue from abandoned cart notifications. 

abandoned cart best practices: whatsapp vs email

Create a series

When BusinessChat sales reps explain the three message cart abandonment notification feature, the first question we get from our clients during sales or onboarding meetings is, won’t the customer be annoyed and block us?

Our answer has never changed! It’s a definite NO. 

First, you will always have the unsubscribe option attached to your campaigns, so a customer can simply opt out if they’re no longer interested in your offers.

Second, data from our clients have shown varied behaviors. Some customers might just need a simple nudge, others might need more convincing and incentives. It all depends on the reason for abandonment and the customer's detailed profile, which the best AI cannot predict yet. 

To optimize for the best conversion rate possible, we recommend that you implement a three-message campaign to recover lost sales. 

Our top clients have been following these abandoned cart best practices: 

  1. First message: remind customers of their abandoned carts. Include a picture of the product and its specific characteristics to ensure they remember the item you’re referring to (more tips on this later 😉). This simple nudge can convert many people, especially those who left without intending to leave their carts. According to our data, it helps convert around 50%. 
  2. Second message: the second message incentivizes people who didn’t convert from the first cart reminder. Offer a discount and invite customers to benefit from it before it ends. This message converts at least another 25%. 
  3. Third message: the last message in the series is addressed to the stubborn ones who might not have a buying intention in the first place. Reminding them repeatedly could compel them to buy before missing out on your great offers. Remind them about the discount/ offer and use urgency. Highlighting the offer's expiration date can firmly push customers to return to their carts. 
abandoned cart reminder series

You can always play with the formula and see what works for your brand. You can A/B test different campaigns and decide based on the data you will get. 

Time your message right

What is the best time to send abandoned cart email or message? 

The ideal time to send abandoned cart notifications is one hour after the customer leaves your store. According to Rejoiner, the first cart reminder gets the most conversions when sent 60 minutes after abandoning the cart. It works because it captures people before buying elsewhere if they’re on a discovery journey. Plus, it accounts for the people planning to return without encouragement. 

Send the second message after 12 hours. Customers are more likely to be still enthusiastic about buying; an offer can bring them back to checkout if money is their problem. 

Send the third message within 24 hours. This should work with people who tend to procrastinate. Fear of missing out will compel them to act quickly. 

the best timing for abandoned carts reminders

Write an engaging subject line

Studies indicate that 47% of individuals decide whether to open an email or message based on its subject line. People usually check their notifications bar and decide whether to click a message based on what they read. 

Therefore, you must strive to make your subject line captivating and emotionally compelling, sparking curiosity in the recipient. 

This is especially important considering that abandoned cart messages are just one of the many reminders your customers receive daily from various sources, and they may appear unimportant to some.

A good subject line is not specific solely to emails. People decide whether to read a message instantly or not based on the WhatsApp notification they read.

engaging subject line

Use dynamic fields to personalize messages

The role of personalization in driving conversions cannot be overstated, making it a crucial element in any cart abandonment workflow. Even subtle personalization tactics can wield substantial influence. For instance, addressing customers by name has proven to be a powerful strategy, fostering a stronger connection and making them more receptive to your message. 

Leveraging advanced marketing automation platforms, specifically those built on the WhatsApp API like BusinessChat, adds another layer of sophistication. With dynamic fields, you can seamlessly capture the names of cart abandoners and automatically address them individually. 

dynamic fields help personalize messages

Feature the abandoned product

At least half of the traffic that landed on your store is just canvassing or window shopping. Another third, perhaps, is comparing prices and quality. To stay on top of mind and ensure your customers remember their orders, you must add a picture of the left item. Adhere to WhatsApp’s marketing-campaign policies and best practices and send a high-quality image. 

Don’t zoom in or zoom out too much. Strike a balance so that customers can see the product's distinguishing features. Better yet, if you have a product video, ass it to your message. Videos best showcase complicated products and allow customers to understand what they’re missing out on entirely. 

a message featuring the abandoned product

Add related products to your CTA buttons

Including CTA buttons that allow customers to discover similar products is a great tactic to catch two fish with one hook. First, you encourage shoppers who were just canvassing to discover and pick another similar item if the first one doesn’t conform to their needs. Second, it can be an upselling opportunity. Shoppers might buy a second item from the related products list along with their original order. 

In all case scenarios, you have nothing to lose. Whatsapp allows you to add up to three CTA buttons, so you can spare one for this long-shot tactic. 

Create urgency

Incorporating a sense of urgency into your abandoned cart notifications can yield tangible results, as supported by compelling statistics. Studies have shown that messages highlighting limited stock availability, time-sensitive offers, or imminent discount expirations can significantly boost customer response rates.

For instance, e-commerce stores that strategically used urgency in their abandoned cart notifications report an average increase of 20-30% in conversion rates. This impressive uplift can be attributed to the psychological impact of urgency, prompting customers to take immediate action to secure their desired items.

By emphasizing scarcity through phrases like "Limited stock remaining" or "Offer expires soon," you create a sense of exclusivity and instill a heightened motivation for customers to prioritize their purchase. This approach not only encourages swift decision-making but also effectively reduces the chances of extended hesitation or complete cart abandonment

Pro Tip: use the FOMO technique in all three messages, with different emphases. For example, focus on the limited stock for the first message, a time-sensitive discount in the second message, and double down on time again for the last reminder. 

create urgency

Diversify your offers

Discounts can act as double-edged swords, drawing in a diverse range of traffic, not all of which may be genuinely interested in purchasing. The challenge lies in steering clear of a scenario where customers intentionally abandon their carts, expecting better deals down the line.

This doesn't imply abandoning discounts but underscores the importance of harmonious balancing. Instead of relying exclusively on discounted pricing, consider diversifying your promotional tactics. Offering benefits like free shipping or engaging giveaways can be powerful alternatives, ensuring that your customers perceive added value beyond mere price reductions.

icons representing different offers like free shipping, giveaways, etc.

Offer discounts based on the abandoned cart value

Tailoring your discount strategy to the abandoned cart's value can be a savvy approach to incentivize customers. By aligning the discount with the specific value of the items left behind, you not only acknowledge the significance of their intended purchase but also demonstrate a personalized commitment to customer satisfaction. This targeted approach can be particularly effective in encouraging customers to reconsider and complete their transactions, as it showcases a genuine effort to provide value that resonates with their preferences and purchase history.

set offers based on abandoned cart value

Add a precise CTA

Effective calls to action (CTAs) are paramount in guiding customer behavior. Failing to provide explicit directives might result in customers hesitating to return to their carts. Fortunately, WhatsApp provides a streamlined solution through efficient CTA buttons, allowing you to incorporate up to three buttons for optimal engagement. To maintain focus and clarity, consider including two buttons in your message.

The first button can serve as a direct invitation for customers to revisit their carts and proceed to checkout. Employ decisive language such as "Shop Now" or "Checkout" to instill a sense of urgency and prompt action. Simultaneously, the second button can offer customer service support, addressing any unforeseen hurdles the customer might encounter.

CTA icon

Use social proof

Enhance customer confidence in the quality and value of their intended purchases by leveraging positive reviews, testimonials, and customer ratings associated with the products they left behind in their carts. 

Research indicates that products with favorable reviews and testimonials are 71% more likely to be perceived as credible by potential buyers. By showcasing the real-life experiences of satisfied customers, you validate the product's worth and create a sense of trust.

An overwhelming 92% of consumers consider online reviews a critical factor in their purchase decisions. Therefore, integrating social proof into your abandoned cart strategy can be a decisive factor in persuading customers to complete their purchases. 

social proof: star reviews

Provide efficient customer support

Customer support is the backbone of successful ecommerce. If you’ve been overlooking providing customer support for cart abandoners, you have to rectify this mistake immediately! 

Though your cart reminder copy might be perfect, covering all the necessary details the customer needs to know, there will always be unexpected pain [points that you didn’t anticipate. 

The shopper might have encountered difficulties finalizing the checkout due to a technical glitch. They may have inquiries about the product, such as shipping times or refund policies, that a human better addresses. This holds even for low-priced or small items. 

Add a chatbot button to your campaign to offer instant effective service, as ecommerce chatbots can handle at least 80% of customer inquiries and be great virtual sales assistants. 

chatbot and shared inbox icons for customer service


Excellent and Clear Copy

It is essential for the message copy to be brief and to address the subject directly. Make sure to mention the abandoned product, highlight the customer's interest, how it can benefit them, and the urgent need to complete the shopping process immediately.

Pro tip: focus on the benefits over features, especially if it’s an electronic product or other complicated items, as most people don’t have a knack for tech. Plus, highlighting the benefits makes it personal, and people can relate.  

Track your results and improve your cart abandonment strategy

Implementing abandoned cart best practices is an ongoing and data-driven endeavor. Adaptability is key to success in the ever-changing market and consumer behavior landscape. Studies show that businesses using advanced tracking and analytics tools witness a significant 20-30% increase in cart recovery rates. 

As a store owner, consistently monitoring and analyzing your campaigns' results is not just a good practice but a strategic necessity. The data-driven approach allows you to build on insights, optimizing your strategies for maximum impact. Stores that actively refine their cart abandonment strategies based on data insights experience a notable 15-20% improvement in overall sales.

Abandoned cart best practices FAQs

What is the best practice for abandoned cart emails timing?

Market insights suggest that sending one cart reminder email after one hour of cart abandonment yields at least 20% of conversions. A follow-up within 12 hours and a third reminder within 24 hours is the ecommerce standard. This timeline ensures capturing customers as they’re still considering a purchase and seizing the chance before shopping elsewhere. 

How do you handle abandoned carts?

Depending on the reasons for cart abandonment, you can execute different strategies and tactics to handle abandoned carts.

  1. Optimize your website and offer a frictionless shopping experience
  2. Optimize the checkout process
  3. Implement exit intent popups
  4. Use social proof and UGC
  5. Send personalized cart abandonment notifications (emails, SMS, or WhatsApp messages)

What is the best CTA for abandoned cart?

The best CTA for abandoned carts is “Shop Now”. it entices shoppers to take immediate action and directs them to their carts immediately. 

What is the best wait time for abandoned cart?

The ideal wait time for abandoned cart reminders is 30 to 60 minutes. This strikes a balance between giving enough time for shoppers who will return without encouragement and capturing others before purchasing elsewhere. 

Table of Content

Table of Content

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