10 Amazing Abandoned Cart And Browse Emails (and what you can learn from them)

Cart and browse abandonment are pressing challenges for online marketers.

You're running a successful eCommerce store. You've figured out your eCommerce platform, organized your marketing, got a good level of traffic, and are sending regular emails to keep in touch with your customers. But your sales are a lot smaller than they could be, because customers are dropping out before completing their purchase.

Cart and browse abandonment emails are a proven way to recover these lost sales.


Cart abandonment email statistics

Amazing but true, research shows that: 

  1. Of customers who get around to putting a product in the cart, around 60% or more abandon before they finish buying (58 % - Real-Time Marketing Report Q3 2018)
  2. 88% of shoppers don't even get that far: on average 39% of shoppers look at products but only 12% cart any!

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Imagine getting almost 8 days' income per week, not 7!

Reduce these two types of abandonment - which is very easy - and your sales will jump. If you could persuade all cart and browse abandoners to buy, your sales would jump 10x.

Of course, that's unrealistic, because some customers may have never had the intention to purchase in the first place. But it’s really worth while trying to resolve their lingering hesitations, because many of them are persuadable, and you can boost sales significantly. On average you can gain about 11%.

Let’s look at two simple emails that can recover lost customers after they abandon your site or their cart: cart abandon and browse abandon emails. You need to create both, or else you're leaving money on the table. But once these are set up, they will recover revenue on an ongoing basis.

We’ll also cover how to set recovery emails up for yourself, using your ESP. By working with over 500 ecommerce websites, ranging from the very small to the very large, from fashion retailers to holiday companies, we’ve derived the essential characteristics of great cart abandonment and browse abandonment emails.

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What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are sent to customers who have added products to their cart but failed to check out.

It’s remarkably effective as a sales recovery tactic. On average, cart abandonment emails increase your turnover by about $80K per $1m turnover, and browse abandonment emails add another $30k. 

It’s important to realize that customers often abandon their carts without intending to. For example, because they got distracted and forgot, because the process was complicated, or because they remembered the product they'd chosen but not your site, so they searched again and bought it from a competitor.

Here’s an example of an effective cart abandonment email by Molton Brown:

This is a simple but very underused tactic, even by some of the biggest brands on the web. A lot of very big retailers are leaving money on the table.

You can easily do better, because abandoned cart emails are so simple to set up.

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Abandoned cart email best practices

Abandoned cart emails are easy to create. Your customer may not have intended to abandon. Now they may want to buy, but need a gentle reminder.

1. Send a copy of the shopping cart

Sending them a copy of their shopping cart is the easiest way to get those customers back.

Take a look at this example from Thorntons. It’s basically a very simple message telling the customer what they've given up. Better yet, it gives them the link to "checkout now" and easily get back to their cart, skipping the registration page so that they don’t have to provide their info all over again.

2. Customize the header image

Here’s an example from Jessops, which is particularly compelling because the header image is tailored to match the abandoned products.

The email promises "FREE Next Day Delivery", which may help seal the deal.


3. Keep it simple

This example from Whistlefish includes the three dimensions of a great email: on-brand visuals, easy-to-read copy, and a clear call-to-action.


Note how the email is clear and extremely simple – no elaborate creative is necessary. This makes cart abandonment emails a real quick-win to start recovering revenue.

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More cart abandonment email features

1. Product suggestions

The next example from Rip Curl shows another feature of great abandonment emails: related product suggestions.

Maybe the customer abandoned because they didn't find exactly what they wanted. This means that by displaying alternative products, you can encourage them to engage.

2. Social proof

Marketers can also give cart abandonment emails a boost by including social proof. Star ratings provide a final nudge for customers to make a purchase, while detailed reviews reassure shoppers about the item they carted. Here’s an example from Glasses Direct:


Learn more: The Complete Guide to Cart Abandonment

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What are browse abandonment emails?

Now let's look at another type of abandonment, which happens earlier in the sales funnel. Some customers do a lot of research, but don't put any products in their cart until they know everything they plan to buy. When a customer looks at one or more products, but abandons without carting any, this is called browse abandonment.

You can send them a second kind of abandonment email, called browse abandon.

Browse abandonment email tips

1. Show the browsed products

Here’s an example from Karen Millen. It's very similar to a cart abandon email, but the "cart layout" shows a list of products that the shopper has viewed, rather than a traditional shopping cart.

2. Include dynamic images

Here's another browse abandon email, this time from Jessops, which also contains a dynamic banner to tempt the customer back based on their favorite brand:

3. Include relevant product suggestions

This example from IronmongeryDirect shows the products you've viewed, along with some related suggestions in case the browsed products don’t seal the deal.

Learn more: The Complete Guide to Browse Abandonment

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How to send abandoned cart and browse emails

By now you should see that abandoned cart emails needn’t be too fancy: they're very similar your existing marketing emails with an additional block of carted or browsed products.

You can find more hints and tips in our complete guides to cart abandonment and browse abandonment.

How to choose a shopping recovery solution

  • To get started quickly, choose a solution like Fresh Relevance, which allows you to create cart and browse abandonment emails in your existing ESP, based on your existing email templates.
  • Select a platform that rebuilds the shopper’s abandoned cart, even if they click through the email on a different device.
  • To get the most out of shopping recovery campaigns, adopt a solution that lets you flexibly configure email sending and reporting according to your business needs.

Cart and browse recovery emails are very easy to set up, and every marketer who is doing email marketing should consider adopting them because the average ROI is so good. Learn from the brands above, and add cart and browse recovery to your personalized marketing strategy.

03/20/2019 How-tos