Tips on Recovering Abandoned Carts

If there’s one thing that e-commerce sellers should keep track of more often, it’s their abandoned carts. Cart abandonment is when a customer leaves an item on their cart and doesn’t complete the purchase. Knowing that you’re so close to making a sale and the customer decides to change course at the last minute is quite disheartening. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to recover abandoned checkouts and minimize your cart abandonment rate.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can recoup those lost carts to boost your store’s revenue and improve the customer’s buying experience.

Why do customers abandon carts?

First off, let’s discuss the main reasons why customers abandon their carts. Many factors go into the consumer’s decision not to complete the purchase. The fact that they added the product to their cart is a sign that they’re interested, but it just so happens that something came along that hindered their buying decision.

1. Your website is slow

If your website is slow to respond, you need to fix it immediately. A huge part of the online shopping experience is convenience, and customers don’t like to wait for websites to load. Experts estimate that 1 in 4 customers will leave a website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load, indicating that page speeds are crucial for securing a sale.

Plenty of factors contributes to a slow website, like unoptimized images, caching issues, and excess codes. You can check the performance of your website using tools like Google Pagespeed Insights and GTmetrix. These tools identify problems with your website and provide recommendations on optimizing it.

2. Complicated checkout process

Whether long fill-out forms or mandatory account registrations, a complicated checkout process can frustrate customers and make them abandon their cart. To give your customers a hassle-free shopping experience, you want to simplify the checkout process. The faster they can reach the checkout, the more likely they’ll follow through with the purchase.

3. Unexpected shipping costs

Customers aren’t pleased when they get slapped with unexpected shipping charges upon checkout. Not everyone is keen to buy products in bulk, especially if the item already comes with a hefty price tag. What happens is the customer abandons their cart in search of more affordable shipping fees or even better, FREE shipping, which is what most online shoppers have come to expect as standard.

4. Lack of payment options

Nowadays, people value flexibility more than ever. Customers want to explore their payment options and choose the best one that suits their needs. An online store with limited payment methods will find that its cart abandonment rate will increase over time. Consider adding alternative payment options upon checkout to encourage customers to follow through with their purchases.

5. Excessive upselling

We get it; upselling is great for generating profits. But that doesn’t mean you should upsell your customers during a purchase. Not only is it intrusive to your customer, but it also comes off as disingenuous to sell another product in a single transaction. To avoid cart abandonment, save your upselling after the purchase is complete.

6. The price is too high

When a customer deems that a product’s price is too high, what they’ll do is look for better deals on other websites. You need to set your prices competitively to provide customers with the value proposition they’re looking for. Alternatively, you can create special offers and incentivize them with coupons to lower their sticker shock.

7. Lack of trust with payment

Online shoppers don’t always feel comfortable sharing their card details on websites, and it’s understandable given the rampant activity of hackers. You can address these fears by providing social proof upon checkout. Social proof is evidence that people have purchased your product and had great experiences with it.

Social proof can come in customer reviews, testimonials, or social media posts. To further enhance the trust factor, you can offer a generous return policy for the customer’s peace of mind.

8. Lengthy delivery times

Customers have grown accustomed to lightning-fast delivery speeds thanks to services like Amazon Prime. Naturally, people want to receive their orders as quickly as possible. So when their expectations don’t match up with your delivery times, they abandon their cart without a second thought.

Selling online is about meeting customer expectations. To reduce your cart abandonment, make sure you’re competing in terms of shipping speeds and delivery times.

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How to recover abandoned carts

While abandoned carts can feel discouraging, fortunately, it’s not the end of the world. You can still recover those carts and have the customer complete the purchase. When recovering abandoned carts, you need to implement a sound strategy that will remind customers of the value proposition your brand presents.

Here are a couple of tried-and-tested ways to recoup lost carts and secure the sale for your store.

1. Utilize popups

Using popups is the quickest way to get your customer’s attention when they exit your website. Popups remind customers of the products in their cart and direct their focus towards the checkout process. It’s a great first step to minimizing cart abandonment without being too intrusive or in-your-face.

Aim to keep your popups short and sweet. The goal here is to convey a sense of urgency for the customer to follow up with the checkout process. You can even sprinkle a bit of humor to capture their interest. Just make sure to use vivid colors like reds and oranges to make your popups stand out visually.

2. Push notifications

Push notifications are the recommended option for recovering abandoned carts because they send directly to the customer’s phone. There are plenty of plugins available for most e-commerce sites out there, so choose one that best suits your needs/preferences. Personalized push notifications effectively recover lost carts, making the customer feel more valued by the seller.

To further leverage the effectiveness of push notifications, you can add a discount code or a free shipping voucher for the customer. Think about sweetening the deal a bit to encourage them to purchase.

3. Send email reminders

Another strategy to recover abandoned carts is sending emails to your customers. With this strategy, you want to ensure that your email is unique for the customer to read it. Most of us get bombarded with emails daily, so your results may vary when using this cart recovery method.

But when implemented properly, email reminders can help lower your cart abandonment rate. The key is to create an eye-catching subject for customers to notice your email. Bold letters, stylized fonts, and unique symbols can make your email stand out in a customer’s inbox, so experiment and see which ones deliver the best results.

One thing to keep in mind is the timing of your emails. You don’t want to send out email reminders immediately after the customer leaves your website. Please give it a minimum of one day before you send an email and follow up every two days. That way, your emails won’t come off as spam, and the customer will be more than likely to read them.

4. Set up retargeting campaigns

Retargeting campaigns are PPC advertisements that display ads on a shopper’s abandoned cart on other websites. Such campaigns take advantage of visuals to remind customers of their abandoned cart.

Retargeting works because of recency bias. There’s a good chance the shopper is still thinking about the product they intend to purchase. By targeting them with ads, they can recall their interest in buying your product. What’s great about retargeting campaigns is that they’re less intrusive than emails or push notifications, making them more effective at minimizing your cart abandonment rate.

5. Use cart recovery applications

The latest technique in recovering abandoned carts is cart recovery applications. These apps have built-in features to lower your cart abandonment rate and secure online sales. Apps like Consistent Cart, Abandoned Cart Messenger, and Abandoned Cart Recovery incorporate their own cart recovery methods to ensure customers proceed with the checkout process.

While these apps won’t work 100% of the time, they can help with your overall cart recovery strategy.


Cart abandonment is a crucial aspect of your e-commerce business that you should not ignore. When a shopper abandons a cart, that doesn’t mean you’ve lost a sale. There’s still an opportunity to recover that cart and redirect the customer to the checkout process. If you notice that your cart abandonment rate is high, it could mean a poor user experience or an inefficient sales funnel.

By following the tips we’ve mentioned in this article, you can improve your cart abandonment rate and close potential sales purchases.

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