Leveraging Abandoned Carts to Drive Sales for Brands

It is estimated that on average almost 70% of shopping carts are abandoned, making the Abandoned Cart Flow one of the most essential features to have active when running an ecommerce store.

If you think you don’t have time to set up an Abandoned Cart Flow, or that it’s not really very useful for you, think again. Can you afford to leave money on the table?

Consumers will abandon a cart for all kinds of reasons; from being forced to create an account or pay for shipping or they simply want to compare prices. What they have in common is that they’re almost certainly considering a purchase, and if you don’t engage with them, you’ll almost certainly lose that sale. Check out the Klaviyo Abandoned Cart Benchmark Report for a deep dive into establishing benchmarks for the feature.

In this post, we’ll show you just how much an Abandoned Cart Flow can do for a growing business. We analyzed over 1,000 Klaviyo customers from the past few years that do between $500k and $1M a year in online revenue to see how much value the Abandoned Cart provides to these business on a 30 day basis. Our research proved that you don’t need to be a multi-million dollar business to see tangible results from this feature.

Abandoned Cart Benchmarks

The Abandoned Cart Flow is certainly popular with Klaviyo users: 75% of the stores we studied have implemented it. However, not all brands drove the same results. On average, stores in our analysis got about 4% of their 30-day revenue from this source, with more than half getting under 3%. In contrast, the top 25% of performers were getting close to 10% of their revenue in the past 30 days from the Abandoned Cart Flow!

In other words, this is one of those features you could just turn on for a small boost in your engagement, but there’s also lots of room for optimization and growth.

Optimizing Your Abandoned Cart

Building and optimizing your Abandoned Cart Flow is not intended to take a long time, which is why Klaviyo sets you up with a strong pre-existing template for you to build off of. That doesn’t mean you should just “set it and forget it,” though: it’s in your best interest to monitor your flow on a regular basis to optimize it.

Here are some of the key considerations to take into account when designing your Abandoned Cart flow:

  • Length of the series: We recommend sending between 2-3 emails in the series.
  • Timing: We advise sending the first email 1-4 hours after someone starts a checkout, then sending a second email 1-2 days after that. Keep in mind that the flow clock starts as soon as something is added to a cart, so you should give your customers a few hours to make sure they’ve actually abandoned the cart.
  • Ticket Size Matters: It would be wise to monitor how much time passes between when a customer adds an item to the cart and checks out. Consumers usually take a little more time to think over a bigger purchase, so it’s best to give them space to do that. If you rush in too eagerly, you risk losing the sale.
      • Provide different offers to customers based on the value of their cart; a customer who has a cart value of $25 vs. a customer who has a cart value of $500 are likely to respond differently to the same offer.
  • A/B Testing: We recommend testing a variety of different messages, including:
      • Timing delays
      • Subject lines
      • Content
      • Number of emails in the series

Branching: Not all carts and customers are the same. So “branching” or splitting your Abandoned Cart Flows based on specifications of the prospects cart may yield stronger results. Some examples of branches include:

    • Existing customers vs. new customers; you may want to have a different message or incentive to these segments of customers.
      • An existing customer has purchased from you in the past so you likely have details like email, location, purchase history, etc and may not need to offer a sales discount to get them to buy again.
      • For a new customer, you will likely not have all of this information and may want to be more aggressive with an offer to get them to purchase.
    • By the product category or collection; this way you can create product-specific content that relates to the customer in a more authentic way that could lead to a better chance of them completing the purchase.
    • Value of the cart; having a special message to customers who had a larger cart value could make them feel special enough to complete that purchase.

Example of a Strong Abandoned Cart 

Beach Riot does a great job with their Abandoned Cart Flow that we wanted to highlight for you.

The Southern California-based brand was launched in 2015 as a swimwear brand, and recently added an activewear line. Until about a year ago, the small team had focused on wholesale distribution, but brought marketing manager Katie Wallace on board to grow the ecommerce side of the business.

Starting from scratch, Katie used a “combination of how the flow was originally set up, reading up on what others were doing and thinking through how she would like to see an abandoned cart set up as a customer.” It only took Katie about three hours to set up the flow after testing previews and making slight adjustments. Katie told us that she monitors the performance of the flow daily, and says “If I’m not seeing results within 2-3 weeks of making a change, I will make adjustments to some of the key elements.”

beach riot abandoned cart flow email example

We like Beach Riot’s initial message, sent an hour after the cart is abandoned, because it not only reminds the customer to complete the purchase in an authentic tone and voice, but it educates customers as to what the brand is about.

For any developing brand, one of the biggest pain points is brand education. If you get a customer that is interested in making a purchase, you have to do everything in your power to educate, inform and engage with them, which is exactly what Beach Riot has done with this message.

If a customer does not purchase after getting the initial message, Beach Riot sends a follow-up message 2 days later with an incentive to complete the purchase. Sales are just about evenly split between the first email and the second email in the series.

Katie says that for her, the three key elements to a strong Abandoned Cart message are timing, the incentive, and the subject line.

Interested in learning more about creating and optimizing abandoned cart automations? Check out these brands that nail the abandoned cart email flow.

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