Ecom Cart Abandonment Emails – To Send or Not To Send?


We were asked this question recently by a client. With an average 50% of cart abandonment rate in their Google Analytics data– this seemed like a high number.


So we decided to do some digging.


What is the average cart abandonment rate?

The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is about 70%. (Source Here.)


So based off this – our client is doing quite well comparatively speaking.


Is 50% Cart Abandonment a true Reflection?


To get a more holistic understanding, we looked at the abandonment rate in the backend. In this clients case; they use WooCommerce. And interestingly, we discovered that many of the actual abandoned carts are ultimately recovered (ie the user ended up completing the transaction).


From Jan 1st 2021 – September 30th 2021 – there were 2278 abandoned orders. However nearly 80% of these (1785 orders) were recovered.


So that means on average, of the ‘50%’ of the carts that are abandoned – about 80% are recovered.


That being said, in that time frame – 21.6% were still lost – 493 orders.


So should we use Email Follow up for this Client?

Having researched, the general consensus is in favour of using follow up emails. However in general, most ecommerce companies have a higher abandonment rate and thus a greater need to.

Considering a cart is considered abandoned if an order is not completed in 15 minutes (this is the default for the WooCommerce native solution) – there is likely many people who complete the transaction in the minutes & hours after this.


Therefore if we know generally speaking – most will return to complete – we are addressing the 20% who don’t.  The timing and the messaging of the emails here are important. The default for email follow ups in woo is 30 minutes , 1 Day & 3 days.



However, we don’t know typically of the 80% who return to order – when they complete the order.


An educated guess would be within minutes or hours. If that is the case perhaps the sequence could be something like 3 hours, 1 day etc.


GDPR Consideration

As per this article, you can send abandoned cart-emails in a GDPR-compliant fashion.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the number of emails you send matters: The fewer emails you send, the more likely the balancing test will be in your favour.


So Do we recommend to use follow-up emails?

Considering everything – yes. However, how it’s done – is important. To stay on the good-side of GDPR and not to annoy customers / potential customers – the timing and frequency of the emails are key.


There are alternative plugins that can give you greater data to help inform these decisions. By knowing, how long on average does it take for a customer to return to complete their abandoned cart – you can adjust your email timings.


But like most things in marketing – there will inevitably be some testing and tweaking to find what works best for you.


What should the follow-up email say?

This is going to be largely determined by the timing, your brand voice, the product(s), market etc. Modern consumers are savvier than ever before. Therefore, You don’t want to mindlessly annoy them.


Like many automated confirmation emails – the email signups can be standard run of the mill and a bit boring.


OR.. you can use a bit of creativity to make your brand stand out (and ultimately help get the business).


Here is an Interesting Twitter Thread on this exact subject with a different type of copywriting. But again – write what works for you and your (soon to be returning) customers.


Make sense?

If you would like to improve your e-commerce performance, please get in touch with us.