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How to send abandoned cart emails on Shopify

Matthew Arnone
September 27th, 2020 · 3 min read

Why Send Cart Reminder Emails?

Abandoned cart and abandoned checkout recovery emails are a big opportunity to recover lost revenue. Abandoned cart emails remind customers that they still have items in their cart. This can remind them to come back to and complete their checkout. There are multiple strategies for recovering abandoned checkouts with email, as well as complimentary strategies that can make them more effective.

Review Your Abandoned Checkouts.

Where can you see your abandoned checkouts?

Finding your abandoned checkouts on Shopify is really easy. From your Shopify admin go to Orders > Abandoned checkouts. Here you will see a list of all of your abandoned checkouts from newest to oldest.

The abandoned checkout table

Manually Send a Recovery Email

Advantages to sending a manual recovery email

The biggest advantage to sending a manual recovery email is the amount of customization that you can put for each customer. You could give a customer a single use discount code, or offer them something specific to them. This can be hard to scale however, once you start receiving more orders sending manual recovery emails can be impossible to stay on top of.

How to manually send a recovery email

From the “Abandoned checkouts” section of the admin portal, click on the order you want to send an email for. From there, click “Send a cart recovery email”. You have the possibility to send a custom message and click on the box next to each email you want to send the message to.

Click an abandoned checkout to view it

Click “Review email” to preview your email, make sure to give it a second read. Spelling errors and grammar mistakes can look very unprofessional. If it all looks good, click “Send notification” and your email will be sent!

Fill in the message box with an offer/reminder

How to send automated emails
  1. From your Shopify admin got to Settings > Checkout
  2. Scroll to “Abandoned checkouts” and check the “Automatically send abandoned checkout emails” box.
  3. Under “Send to” choose what customers you want to send emails to.
  4. Select a “Send after” time. This is the number of hours that Shopify will wait until sending an abandoned checkout email. Select the “Never” option if you want to send them manually.

Shopify gives you the option to send recovery emails 1 hour, 6 hours, 10 hours, and 24 hours after a cart is abandoned. If you are wondering why Shopify has chosen these options, it’s because they have done research and have found that customers are most likely to return after these time periods. The most effective times were 1 hour or 10 hours after abandonment. By choosing one of these times, you will be maximizing the amount of time.

View of the options on Shopify Admin

Advantages over manual messaging

The biggest advantage to sending automated messages is that it is much more scalable. As your store grows, it becomes harder and harder to send customized manual emails over time.

Automatically apply discounts to recovery emails

A discount is a great way to entice a customer to return to their cart to complete their checkout. A high number of abandoned checkouts happen because of unforeseen fees (tax, shipping, etc.)

Shopify has a great guide on adding discount codes to emails here.

Custom Email Apps

Advantages to using custom apps

As great as Shopify’s automatic email recovery is, there are apps on the Shopify app store that can increase conversion rates and add other ways to help recover abandoned checkouts.

Custom email features

Here are some features that email recovery apps can provide:

  • Email Popups - These are popups that help improve email capture rate since these will show on the site and try to capture an email before the checkout page.
  • Persistent Carts - Abandoned Cart recovery can be made easier if the same cart items are persistent across all devices.
  • Order Recovery Emails - These are custom emails for the customer. Apps can offer more customizability.
  • Drip campaigns - You can schedule follow up emails to continue to remind the customer with multiple touches.

Pair Email Recovery with SMS Recovery

Why to pair email and sms recovery

Email recovery can pair up really well with SMS recovery. Lots of Shopify checkouts give the user the option to leave either their phone number or their email. If the user only leaves their phone number then you won’t be able to contact them by email. That’s where an SMS recovery app can work side by side with email recovery. Having both SMS and email together are more effective than one alone. Since the user may not check their email or may not check their texts.

Advantages of SMS recovery

SMS recovery can be even more effective than email recovery since texts have a much higher open rate than emails. Researchers have found that SMS open rates are as high as 98% while emails have a 17-20% open rate. Since email is the main channel for most businesses to communicate with their customers, SMS can offer you a way to stand out.

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