12 Shopify Abandoned Cart Email Tips + Examples to Earn You More “Cha-Chings”

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 12, 2016. Alex McPeak has updated it to reflect the most current data and insights. 

Over 1.7 million businesses around the world use Shopify, making it one of the go-to ecommerce platforms for entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

Abandoned cart emails are popular with Shopify users—because they help ecommerce store owners make money. In fact, data from the Klaviyo marketing automation platform shows they’ve contributed to millions of dollars in sales.

But if you haven’t set up an abandoned cart automation for your Shopify store yet, you may not even realize what you’re missing out on and how majorly these emails could impact your business. 

Shopify merchants love the “cha-ching” sound that means they just made a sale. But don’t take my word for it…

Keep reading to discover:

How to trigger a Shopify abandoned cart automation 

You can easily set up email automations (also known as flows) thanks to Klaviyo’s seamless integration with Shopify.

And better yet, if you’re using Shopify as your ecommerce platform, there’s an out-of-the-box abandoned cart flow already all set up. 

If you’d like to instantly recover lost shoppers, simply enable this flow in your Getting Started tab in Klaviyo and sit back while your Shopify abandoned cart emails earn you more sales.

You can start using the abandoned cart flow as is, or you may want to make some changes before you start emailing your subscribers to adjust them for your store and your audience. 

Instead of starting from scratch, edit or clone and edit Klaviyo’s pre-built abandoned cart flow—from there, you can make any changes you want to your flow. I’ll go through some of the filters to consider.

Conditions are the building blocks that you customize to either include or exclude certain sectors of your audience. Use these to define how shoppers trigger your abandoned cart flow and who the emails send too.

Abandoned cart emails send to shoppers who have added items to their carts, but haven’t purchased them, so this email automatically goes out when a shopper takes the action “Checkout Started.” 

In order to narrow recipients to only those who haven’t purchased, use a condition based on what someone has or hasn’t done.

abandoned cart flow trigger in Klaviyo dashboard

Choose to only include people who have Placed Order zero times since they first entered this flow. That way, you won’t exclude people who have purchased other products during other shopping sessions.

abandoned cart flow event variables in klaviyo automated platform

If you’d like to segment your abandoned carts to target specific subsets of your customer base (such as first-time or repeat buyers), this is where you can add additional conditions.

Finally, choose when you want to send your each Shopify abandoned cart email—I recommend sending it two to four hours after the customer abandons their cart in order to stay top of mind while they’re still considering the purchase.

How to create an abandoned cart email

Once you set up your Shopify abandoned cart automation, it’s time to build your emails and supply the content you want to include.

To start, include dynamic information about the abandoned product or products, like quantity, size, color, or price, as well as an image. This will help remind your shoppers what items they were looking at and provide details that may convince them to purchase.

You’ll automatically see the product image, product name, quantity, and total price for each item in the pre-built abandoned cart emails. But there’s even more data that you can use to give your shoppers a complete picture of their abandoned item.

When you preview your abandoned cart email, you can also view all the data that’s imported from your Shopify store. These properties are called event variables

Let’s say you’d also like to include the type of item your shopper was considering in your Shopify abandoned cart email. You can do this by previewing the email, finding the variable you’d like to include (in this case, type), copying it, and pasting it into your template.

abandoned cart flow trigger-2 for Klaviyo users

comparison

This is also when you’ll decide what you want your emails to say, what imagery to include, and what you want the design to look like. 

Not sure where to start? Check out the tips and examples below for inspiration. 

 

5 tips to optimize your Shopify abandoned cart emails

No business is the same, and your emails should be unique to your Shopify store and your brand. But there are certain guidelines you can follow to upgrade your automations and give them some extra flair.

 

1 | Take advantage of email templates

Aesthetically-pleasing email templates are a great place to start, but to create effective emails, lay out your templates in a way that facilitates the buying process. 

Decide whether you’re taking a product-focused or brand-focused approach to your content, and let the template design lead the reader toward the action you want them to take—most likely, clicking your call-to-action (CTA) button.

emali template sample for cart shoes, product alternatives

Most Shopify stores use a product-focused approach to their abandoned cart emails since you typically use these emails to convince shoppers to purchase a certain product. 

For product-focused abandoned cart emails, include an image of the abandoned product front-and-center. All you have to do is format the image to your liking since and choose which product details (price, size, color, etc.) to include or not include.

If you sell something that you anticipate your customers might have questions about, consider taking a brand-focused approach instead and feature a prominent link to your support team or use the content to educate the reader about your store.

 

2 | Personalize your content

Personalization is key in any email you send, and personalizing your Shopify abandoned cart emails will only make shoppers more likely to engage. 

Personalize your abandoned cart emails by including a tag that references the customer’s first name in the subject line or the copy of the email. For example, instead of using the copy, “Your items are waiting,” you might want to use, “Your items are waiting, Marissa.”

You can also reference the specific product that the customer left in their cart in the subject line or copy of the email. For example, “Your sneakers are waiting for you!” is much more enticing than “There are items still left in your cart.” 

Another option to consider is using a hybrid of these two techniques and referencing the customer’s first name as well as the product they left in their cart. For example, “Marissa, your sneakers are waiting for you!”

You can further personalize your Shopify abandoned cart emails by including product recommendations based on past purchases. For first-time customers, include trending or best-selling product recommendations instead, since you won’t have access to their purchase history. 

Consider displaying these products at the end of the email so you don’t distract the reader from the main event—the product they abandoned.

 

3 | Segment your emails to create more relevant experiences

Segmenting your abandoned cart emails goes hand-in-hand with personalization. Segment them based on customer behavior (eg. first-time vs repeat buyer) or profile information (eg. location) to send a more relevant, targeted message to your customers. 

To do this, set up different abandoned cart flows based on which metrics you want to use. 

Cart flow for email templates in Klaviyo CRM

For Shopify, you can segment based on whether or not a customer has purchased before, the value of the items in their cart, the number of items in their cart, and other information about the item in their cart, like which collection it belongs to.

Create different versions of your abandoned cart for different shoppers to watch those open rates and click through rates soar.

 

4 | A/B test emails

By creating different variations of your Shopify abandoned cart emails, you can A/B test subject lines or the content of your email and get a better understanding of what kind of email your subscribers are most likely to respond to. 

For example, if you choose to offer first-time customers a discount on their abandoned items, you can test a dollars off discount vs a percentage off discount to see which results in the most sales. 

You can also consider testing the aforementioned personalization techniques in the subject line by including a customer’s first name in one variation and the product name in another to see which is most effective.

Since there won’t be a “winner” to the A/B flow test like there is with campaigns (because flows are ongoing), you can periodically edit variations of your abandoned cart emails and test them against your most successful one. This will allow you to determine what works best for your Shopify store and improve your emails on a continuing basis.

 

5 | Spice it up with SMS

Abandoned cart automations don’t have to be limited to email. In fact, if you already collect phone numbers and SMS consent from your customers, texting your subscribers can be a great way to give them the extra push they need to purchase.

And since brands are seeing incredible open rates and click-through rates with SMS, adding a text message into your abandoned cart series is sure to get more eyes on your message.

Take CurlMix, for example. The haircare brand adds a text to their abandoned cart automation that promotes the product the shopper left behind with a link to go back to the cart and complete the purchase.

While you don’t have as much room for content with text, you can complement your Shopify abandoned cart series with SMS to reach shoppers in more ways than email alone.

SMS campaign example for users

Shopify abandoned cart email examples

Setting up your abandoned cart email automations with Shopify and Klaviyo is the first step. The next decision you have to make is considering what your emails will look like.

So how do you design a cart recovery email that will effectively win back shoppers to your Shopify store? Take inspiration from these abandoned cart email examples and templates from seven different Shopify brands.

1 | Princess Polly

Subject line: Look Familiar? Your Phoenix Denim Jacket Black Won’t Last Long!

Apparel brand Princess Polly uses an abandoned cart template that’s simple, but effective.

Their copy, “Can’t stop dreaming about it? Get it while you still can!” leads nicely into the image they include of the abandoned product. Underneath, there are product details including size and price with a CTA that takes the reader directly to the product page.

They also highlight a few other value-add details throughout the email including their rewards program, their referral program, and their buy now pay later option.  

Plus, did you notice how they personalized the subject line with the product? All together, this Shopify abandoned cart email is sure to have customers clicking back to Princess Polly.

2 | Sakara Life

Subject line: Look What We Found

You can see in this email from Sakara Life how you can use a basic abandoned cart template to create an effective message that resonates with your customers and effectively communicates your brand. 

The email starts with an eye-catching header image that features their best-selling products with copy underneath, products below, and a clear CTA. Plus, the subject line hints at the content, suggesting the email contains information about the shopper’s abandoned cart.

Sakara Life also uses their copy to educate readers about their Clean Boutique products, which is the perfect way to teach subscribers more about the brand. 

The template is easy to replicate and easy on the eyes.

3 | Golde

Subject line: We saved your superfoods 🌿

Golde is extremely relatable in this Shopify abandoned cart email, asking, “Are you a multi tabs person too?” (Why yes, I am). Luckily, they save your cart and give you 15 percent off your first order. 

I also like that Golde invites people to respond to the email with any questions. For shoppers who may be unfamiliar with superfoods, their benefits, or unsure how to use them, this provides a convenient way to get in contact with customer support.

Additionally, under the header, “Thought you might like these, too!” Golde introduces a variety of similar product recommendations so that shoppers who may not be sold on their original choice can easily click to explore the entire collection. 

Not to mention, the fun emoji in the subject line is a cheeky way to grab the attention of someone scrolling through their inbox.

4 | Static Nails

Subject line: Staticbabe, we have something special… 24 hours left 🖤🖤

Static Nails gives their shoppers an incentive of 10 percent off for their abandoned items, but there’s an ultimatum: You only have 24 hours to make your purchase, which they hint at in their subject line, too. This creates a sense of urgency with shoppers that’s sure to entice them to complete their purchase.

Additionally, the at-home manicure brand has two main collections—their liquid glass lacquer and pop-on nails—which they use the rest of the space in the email to inform readers about. 

For subscribers who may be new to the brand or only aware of one of these collections, Static Nails takes every opportunity to ensure that shoppers are aware of the different types of products available through this brand-centric approach.

 

5 | Gr8nola

Subject line: Hey, Where’d Ya Go? 🤷🏻‍♀️

Granola brand gr8nola uses their Shopify abandoned cart email to elaborate on the product and engage with the reader. You can see the copy here is longer than you’ll typically find in an abandoned cart email, but it works.

The email still includes an image of the product, but the content beforehand seems like it’s coming as a note written directly from the founder, Erica Liu Williams. 

She talks a little bit about how their granola is cleaner than other options, flaunts their free shipping offer, and brings it all home by mentioning that she’s a small business owner who welcomes feedback, in case there’s a specific reason why the shopper hasn’t purchased yet. 

Gr8 job, gr8nola.

 

6 | Package Free

Subject line: Can one purchase make a positive impact?

Package Free Shop takes a brand-centric approach to their Shopify abandoned cart email by making a statement on their mission of Zero Waste.

The subject line just barely implies that this is an abandoned cart email, but it still piques the reader’s interest. The email itself uses the main focal point, the header image, to convey a statistic about how much trash the average American makes per day—and then challenges you not to be average. That’s a hook if I ever saw one.

When all is said and done, this email is incredibly effective because it’s engaging but still features the basics—a (moral and financial) incentive to buy, key product details, and a distinct CTA. 

7 | Three Ships

Subject: Need a hand?

Similar to, gr8nola, skincare brand Three Ships also keeps one of their Shopify abandoned cart emails super simple, but this one is even more bare bones as a plain text email with no imagery, branding, or design. 

In fact, if you didn’t know better, you’d probably think Laura Burget, co-founder at Three Ships, was emailing you directly. 

Laura creates a friendly reminder of the abandoned cart and invites the shopper to respond if they would like her help creating a personalized skincare routine or if they have any questions. 

How could you not engage?

Shopify abandoned cart emails: The first step to more sales

Once you’ve integrated your Shopify store with your Klaviyo account, getting your abandoned cart email series up-and-running is already halfway done. You just need to decide what content you want to include.

By following these Shopify abandoned cart email automation tips, you’ll have shoppers reaching for their wallets—or perhaps their phones to check their Shop Pay code. 

Interested in more shopping cart abandonment email tips? Check out these resources.

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