5 Practical Tips to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

Karolis Civinskas

Abandoned shopping carts.

As an online store owner, you can’t do much about them because they’re bound to happen. Slow internet, high shipping costs, declined credit cards, and so on—the reasons shoppers walk away mid-purchase are numerous.

But having a strong cart recovery strategy in place is a must for recovering as many lost sales as possible. In this post, we’re sharing five practical strategies to achieve this goal, along with examples of real brands that implemented them.

The strategies we’ll cover include:

  • SMS messages
  • Push notifications
  • Email messages
  • Website chatbots
  • Free products

Let’s begin with an often overlooked strategy: text message marketing.

1. Use SMS Campaigns

SMS messages could be a powerful way to recover abandoned shopping carts. Since people open 98% of SMS they receive (the highest open rate among all marketing methods), you can let more shoppers know about products they left.

Many online stores have increased the shopping cart recovery rate with SMS messages. Proozy, an ecommerce outlet store, made this strategy a part of the larger conversion optimization plan.

Proozy’s abandoned cart recovery SMS were simple reminders. They contained a greeting, a reminder about the product, and a link to the shopping cart. Thanks to this strategy, Proozy was able to achieve an average 2.26% conversion rate, which translates into hundreds of recovered sales.

If you’d like to try the same strategy, follow these steps:

  • Add an SMS marketing app to your store
  • Collect text message subscribers (your chosen app will have special tools for that)
  • Send abandoned shopping cart reminders and recover sales

2. Try Push Notifications

Another overlooked shopping cart recovery method. If done right, browser push notifications allow businesses to reach customers directly and achieve higher open rates than other marketing methods, including email.

Pura Vida Bracelets, a large Shopify store, is an example of a business that successfully implemented push notifications for cart recovery. The brand sent reminders like this one below to encourage shoppers to return and finish purchases.

One major advantage of using this shopping cart recovery method is the message display method. Push notifications are shown in browsers, so there’s no need for customers to go to an inbox to get the notification. That’s why almost 9% of pushes sent by Pura Vida were clicked on, which is a decent click-through rate.

Most important, of those customers who clicked on the pushes, 21.9% finished purchases. That was a really great performance considering that push notification campaigns are sent automatically, so there’s little effort involved.

To try pushes to recover abandoned carts:

  • Add a push notification app to your store
  • Collect push notification subscribers
  • Send abandoned cart reminders

3. Send Email Cart Recovery Campaigns

Personalized abandoned cart recovery emails are another great method to increase sales. Many customers are used to receiving email marketing from brands, so you can send quick reminders via this marketing method.

Cart abandoned emails need to share some features to give you the best chance to recover sales. These features include:

  • Engaging subject lines. Abandoned cart email subject lines need to be attention-grabbing, which is often done with creative copy, discounts, or FOMO
  • Personalization. Emails that mention customers’ names and contain personalized product recommendations are more relevant for them
  • Product image. Adding an image of the abandoned product might encourage shoppers to check it out one more time and consider buying
  • Large, contrasting CTA button. CTAs that share these characteristics are easy to see, so they can grab the shoppers’ attention and let them know how to finish their order

Let’s see an example of an email with these features. Koh, an online store that sells cleaning products, sent this colorful email that conveys the message pretty well.

As with any other method, recovering sales with emails requires some experimentation. Use your email marketing app to create several recovery campaigns to find out the techniques that work best.

You can experiment with email designs, texts, CTA buttons, discount sizes, types of incentives, and other tricks. Use reporting and analytics to find those generating the highest number of recovered sales. The best-working campaigns should be the ones your store sends to customers.

4. Convert Visitors with Website Chatbots

A website chatbot is an app that communicates with visitors via pre-developed messages. This technology is considered one of the most influential marketing trends in 2021. Online stores use chatbots mainly for marketing and customer support, but they can also help reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate.

In fact, you can use chatbots to both recover sales and find out reasons why shoppers leave without buying. Here’s how. 

Chatbots can display automatic messages with suggestions for support and FAQS before a shopper leaves the website. Analyzing the buttons visitors clicked most times will help find potential problems with checkout. 

For example, this chatbot from a clothing store offers support to encourage the customer to check FAQs instead of leaving. The customer can find out answers to how the store could help them in case of problems with the order or the product.

Thanks to the built-in technology, chatbots recognize when website visitors are about to leave the website. So they display messages instantaneously to give online stores one more chance to get orders. If the customer finds answers to their questions thanks to the chatbot, they can complete the order.

To add a cart recovery chatbot to your online store:

  • Install a chatbot app. You can find a good app in your ecommerce platform’s app store (Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix, etc.)
  • Activate a cart recovery bot. This is done inside the app. Also, personalize this bot with messages and questions (chatbot apps have ready-made templates for recovery bots for you to personalize).
  • Choose chatbot display settings. For example, you can set your chatbot to display a message after visitors leave the checkout page for other pages on your website or immediately after they move the mouse pointer towards closing the page.

5. Add Free Products to Orders

Online stores often add small gifts to products that customers want to buy. A small but pleasant surprise such as an extra product can motivate shoppers to buy, so you can prevent a customer from leaving by delighting them.

Boots, a large retailer that sells beauty and health products, uses this technique. When a customer adds two or more items from the same brand to the cart, a gift is automatically added. In the example below, the customer gets a nail tool for buying two nail polish products.

Getting that free product might be the motivation customers need to convert. Knowing that they will get more at your store compared to others can make them choose in your favor. So, trying this technique could help you reduce the abandoned cart rate.

These best practices should be useful to prevent abandoned sales:

  • Product relevance. Make sure that the free product is related to the ones a customer intends to buy.
  • Deal promotion. Use website banners, emails, and other marketing channels available to raise awareness of this promotional offer.
  • Experimentation with products. Consider trying different products and bundles to define the ones to which customers respond well.


Recovering abandoned shopping carts requires an organized and consistent strategy. These five techniques could be major parts of your strategy because they are tried and tested by numerous online stores.

But the most important thing about recovering more sales is experimentation. The first campaign you create might perform well, but the second one can perform even better. So, try different tactics and campaign versions to see what works best.

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