Abandoned Cart Emails: Calculating Abandoned Cart Revenue

Posted April 29, 2019

$18 Billion. That’s the amount of revenue eCommerce businesses lose each year as a result of abandoned carts. This and many other shopping cart abandonment statistics may come as a shock, however the issue itself is a common behavior that will likely always be a part eCommerce purchasing cycle. So how can you combat the abandoned cart conundrum? The short answer: Abandoned cart emails. But before we get into that, let’s go review the reasons why consumers abandon carts.

Cart Abandonment Rates

As an eCommerce business, seeing so many customers abandon their carts each day can be frustrating. In fact, Baymard Institue, a large eCommerce research company found that on average nearly 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. That means out of every 10 customers who add items to their cart, 7 of those customers decide not to complete the purchase.

abandoned cart statistics

Why Consumers Abandon Carts

Although shopping cart abandonment isn’t something that can be eliminated altogether, there are certainly steps you can take to help reduce your abandoned cart rate. But before doing so, it is important to learn the reasons why consumers tend to abandon their carts.

In a study on shopping cart abandonment conducted by Baymard Institute, over 4000 U.S. adults were asked two questions:

  1. Have you abandoned any online purchases during the checkout process in the past 3 months?
  2. If so, for what reasons?

The graphic below gives a breakdown of the most common responses:

reasons behind abandoned cart -Baymard Study
2019 Baymard Institute Study
Graph omits the “Just browsing/Not ready to buy option”

How to Reduce your Abandoned Cart Rate

Now that you know some of the most common reasons that consumers abandon online shopping carts, here are solutions to each:

Extra costs too highConsider offering free or flat-rate shipping
Site wanted me to create an accountInclude a guest checkout option
Long/complicated checkout processOffer one-page checkout
Couldn’t see total order cost upfrontInclude estimated total cost prior to checkout
Didn’t trust the site with my credit card informationDisplay payment security badge and compliance
Delivery time was too slowOffer expedited delivery options
Website had errors/crashedKeep up with regular website maintenance
Return policy wasn’t satisfactoryConsider improving your return/refund policy
There weren’t enough payment methodsAccept alternative payment options (PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.

Without soliciting feedback from your customers, being able to pinpoint exactly why a consumer abandoned their cart can be quite difficult if not nearly impossible. This is why it’s important to ensure that your store is optimized for conversions. Along with the suggestions listed above, here are a few other ways to optimize conversions and reduce your abandoned cart rate:

  • Add accurate stock level warnings
  • Conduct site speed optimization tests on a regular basis
  • Make sure that your shipping and return policies are easily visible on your website
  • Make getting in contact with your store easy
  • Ensure your website it easy to navigate
  • Include a progress indicator on checkout pages
  • Include a wishlist or “save cart” feature

How to Calculate your Store’s Cart Abandonment Rate

There are a number of tools you can use to help calculate your store’s abandoned cart rate. However, Google Analytics is one of the best and most common. By using Google Analytics you can track your visitors throughout the sales funnel. Google Analytics and other similar tools collect data that allows you to see how consumers are moving throughout your website. When used in combination with other tools, you can utilize this data to identify and retarget customers based on their unique journey on your website.

abandoned cart revenue example

Using Funnels to Help Gain Cart Abandonment Insights

Creating a conversion funnel with Google Analytics is a very simple task that can help online retailers gain more insights about shopping cart abandonment.

When setting up a conversion funnel, you’ll want to set goals associated with the funnel.

Example goals:

  • Duration of time on confirmation page
  • Number of pages or screens visited on the website within 5 minutes
  • Number of times buy now button is clicked

A funnel exhibits the pathway followed by the consumer to reach an online retailer’s goal. To measure cart abandonment rate, a URL destination is used as the goal. Generally, the URL destination is the order confirmation page or the thank you page after the customer has completed their order.

How To Use Google Analytics To Set Up A Shopping Cart Funnel

Using a powerful tool such as Google Analytics to set up and track your shopping cart funnel can provide you with valuable insights to help you combat abandoned shopping carts.

Follow this example below to set up a shopping cart funnel with a multi-step checkout process:

Step 1: Sign into your Google Analytics account. Click admin in the bottom left-hand corner.


Step 2: Select the profile you want to set up the funnel for by clicking goals.


Step 3: Click +new goal.


Step 4: Create a custom template and click continue.


Step 5: Set the goal description and type. Name the goal completed order, select destination for the type, then click continue.


Step 6: Add the URL of the last page customers will visit in the sales funnel (in most cases this will be the confirmation page), in the destination equals to field.


OR select begins with if the website automatically adds a number at the end of the page URL.


Step 7: Turn on the funnel. Perform a test checkout just as the consumer would do, noting down each step as you go. Add additional steps to the funnel as needed. Turn the funnel off the first url.

  • Cart page (for example: yoursite.com/checkout/cart/)
  • Check out page (for example: yoursite.com/checkout/onepage/)

Note: Consumers can only enter the sales funnel in step one.

Step 8: Save the new goal.


Over the next 24 hours, the funnel report will collect the data.


To view the funnel report, click conversions > goals > funnel visualization.

google analytics example

The result will look similar to this:

example of shopping cart funnel report

Abandoned Cart Emails

When it comes to cart abandonment, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is, there’s absolutely no way to eliminate or prevent consumers from abandoning their online shopping carts. However, the good news is that in many cases, an abandoned cart just means you have another chance to gain the customer’s business.

Sending abandoned cart emails is a great way to re-engage your abandoned cart customers and get them to complete a purchase. In fact, the average open rate for abandoned cart emails is a whopping 45%. That means nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened. And even better, out of the 45% of emails that are opened, nearly half of the users who click through to the website end up making a purchase.

Moral of the story, if you don’t have an abandoned cart email strategy in place, chances are you’re missing out on tons of sales. So how can you implement or optimize your abandoned cart strategy? Check out these tips:

Automate the process with drip email marketing

Creating a drip marketing flow for abandoned carts can be beneficial for both you and your customers. Email marketing platforms like Klaviyo make it easy to set up these kinds of flows.

With Klaviyo, each flow starts with what’s called a trigger. In this case, the trigger would be starting the check out process. In other words, anyone who starts the checkout process, whether they complete it or not, will be automatically entered into this flow.

To filter out people who complete a purchase so that the only people who remain in the flow are people who abandoned their carts, you’ll want to add a filter.

Source: Klaviyo

Next, you’ll want to create a series of emails with dynamic content. Klaviyo’s abandoned cart flow feature allows you to include product information for the specific customer. By using this feature, the abandoned cart email will contain the products that your customer added to their cart prior to leaving the site, along with a button for them to click on to complete the purchase.

Source: Klaviyo

Creating a series of emails increases your chances of making a sale. Once the customer re-engages and completes the purchases, they are then removed from the automated flow.

Send at the right time

The first email in the series should be sent within the first 1-4 hours in order to get the best results. If the customer remains in the flow after the first email, it is best to send the follow-up email a day or two later.

It is important to keep in mind that the above timing is a mere suggestion based on the latest research on abandoned cart emails. The best way to determine what time to send out the emails is to review your email analytics and conduct drip email A/B tests to determine what time delay sequence your audience responds best too.

Include the right content

Your customers want to know that you’re there for them. Make sure that your email content is customer-centric and addresses any issues or pain points that you think your customer may have experienced during the checkout process.

In addition to displaying the product and cart information, be sure to ask them if they have any questions that can help with their buying decision. Questions may include: Is there anything we can help you with? Do you have any questions about these products or the order process? Did you experience any issues during the checkout process?

Keep in mind that this type of email should be sent from a well-monitored inbox that can handle high volumes of replies. Sending the email from a real person’s account is even better. This makes the customer feel comfortable which makes them more likely to respond.

Other things to consider including in your abandoned cart emails:

  • Special offers
  • Percentage discount
  • Free shipping
  • Detailed product information
  • Product reviews/testimonials
  • Shipping and return policy

High abandoned cart rates can seem discouraging at first. However, it is important to remember that abandoned carts are just an opportunity to win back those customers who failed to complete their purchases. Having a solid abandoned cart email strategy can help you turn those seemingly missed opportunities into big bucks.

Filed under: Blog

Tagged with: Abandoned Cart, drip emails, drip marketing, e-commerce

Libia RM

Libia has several years of experience creating content for marketing, advertising, and PR.