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WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Guide: How To Recover Abandoned Carts

Struggling with a high WooCommerce cart abandonment rate?

Do many of your users add items to their cart and abandon the checkout process?

If you nodded yes, you definitely need a thoughtful cart abandonment strategy.

One that does not train people to expect discounts every time they abandon the cart but still does the job well.

In this post, I’ll show you how to set up a dynamic sequence based on the order total of the user.

After reading the post, you will be able to set up a smart cart abandonment sequence for your WooCommerce store using the powerful automations engine, Autonami. Access the free version here>>

Excited? Let’s begin.

Why Shoppers Abandon Their Carts

Baymard recently did a survey on 2500+ people and found several reasons why people abandon their carts.

Here’s a list of some of the most common reasons:

Reasons for WooCommerce cart abandonment

A lot of these reasons can be addressed by creating an optimized WooCommerce checkout page.

But for reasons like:

I was just browsing’ or ‘my toddler wanted my attention‘ or ‘I thought I’ll come back to it when I have some time

You definitely need a persuasive cart recovery email sequence.

Because uncertainty, procrastination, and distraction are also big reasons why people abandon the checkout process.

Statista found that 40 percent of people are simply browsing, while 38 percent of people are still researching.

The good news?

Some of those people might be back to buy if you send out a well-timed abandonment email sequence.

The Problem With Most Automated Cart Recovery Systems

Most WooCommerce cart abandonment plugins treat all users equally.

You can either offer a blanket discount to everyone or to no one!

You can’t incentivize them based on the item(s) they were trying to buy, their order total, have already used a coupon code, etc.

If you always offer a discount when any user abandons their cart, your system trains them to expect a discount all the time:

This strategy backfires because it eats into your profitability.

But let’s say, their order total is above a set threshold, then you may want to offer a handsome discount to convert them.

The existing systems aren’t flexible and dynamic enough to consider any of this.

That right there is the problem!

The Smarter Way to Recover WooCommerce Abandoned Carts

Now that we’ve understood where most cart recovery solutions falter, let’s look at the system that works.

Yes, we’re talking about Autonami: Automations for WordPress. It lets you create a fool-proof WooCommerce cart abandonment strategy that works like a charm.

Here’s what our users are saying about it:


Another user, Borja reported a recovery rate of 20%, that’s insane!


Using Autonami, we can create a WooCommerce cart abandonment workflow based on the cart total of the user. For example, here, if their cart total is over or equal to $100, send them an email with a 20% off coupon code.

And if it’s less than $100, we can send them 10% off on their purchase:

A cart-total based workflow created in Autonami to combat cart abandonment

We’ve created this workflow just to give you an idea of what’s possible. Your imagination is the limit.

You can create product-aware cart recovery sequences, send segmented campaigns to different users based on their cart total, – and so much more!

Note: The next email in the sequence will not go if the cart was recovered due to the previous email.

Create a behavior-based sequence with rules

Autonami gives you a bunch of conditions to make your sequence behavior-based.

Let’s look at the rules you have at your disposal:

Cart-specific rules available under the ‘Cart Abandoned’ event in Autonami

You can set up campaigns based on cart total, cart item(s) matched, cart item category, coupon code matches, and some more.

Autonami also lets you choose multiple conditions in conjunction with each other – using the ‘AND’ and ‘OR’ functionality.

Create multiple conditions, for example, if the cart total is above $X and cart category matches – Makeup.

You may create a simple 3-part email series based on the condition(s) selected.

Time your emails well

Autonami lets you define a delay in your emails in minutes, hours or days.

We’ve studied several successful cart recovery sequences and found that their timing is the key. Here’s how you can set up the delays in your sequence:

Setting delays for your actions in Autonami

Your first email should go out within 30 minutes because the purchase is still very fresh in their mind.

Use the first email to simply ask them if they need any help.

Send the second email within the next 24 hours, use this email to either, offer a discount or just to nudge them once again.

The final email can go within 48 hours, reminding them that their coupon’s validity is set to expire in a few hours.

Offer a discount to recover more carts

Autonami lets you set expiry and personalize a coupon code that you’ve created in WooCommerce.

So after you’ve created a coupon code in WooCommerce, personalize it using Autonami.

Here’s how you can do that using the built-in merge tags:

Personalized coupon code to lure prospects

Make sure you set the coupon code’s validity to not more than 3 days.

To set the validity, define the number of days here:

Coupon expiry feature to set the validity for a WooCommerce coupon

It’s a wise decision to build urgency into your strategy, to make your second and third emails super effective.

Add SMS to your recovery strategy

Adding SMS to the mix can increase the effectiveness of your campaign.

Most of our users are exploiting the power of a multi-channel strategy to reach out to their prospects.

Messages are opened on average within 90 seconds, compared to 90 minutes for email. SMS has an open rate of 98% with 90% of messages opened within three minutes. Source: Sales Cycle

Take a look at the click-through rate of SMS compared with email:

Click-Through Rate (CTR) of SMS outperforms that of Emails

Send the SMS within 2-4 hours of sending your first email for the best results.

To make your SMS stand out in their cluttered inboxes, use emojis.

Personalized SMS for abandoners created using merge tags, emojis & product image

Note: For customers based in the US and Canada, you can also send an image in the SMS. This could either be your logo with a tagline for a greater brand recall or an image of you/your team.

Track your recovery stats to improve further

Track your stats so that you know how many carts getting abandoned and how many of those are being recovered.

Knowing your numbers will help you tweak your strategy.

Maybe you find out that offering a higher percentage discount will be a better strategy for you- then be it, do that.

Maybe it pays off to write product-aware abandonment emails.

Here’s the interface of Autonami that helps you track your abandoned carts:

A detailed report on recovered/abandoned carts and revenue in Autonami

Some Well-Written Cart Abandonment Emails To Learn From

We studied several cart abandonment emails. And we’ve created a mini-library of some well-written emails that deserve a mention.

You can look at these emails, understand our perspective on why they work and then implement them using Autonami.

Before we dive in, I am sharing a snapshot of the email that Autonami allows you to send:

WooCommerce cart abandonment email sent via WordPress using ‘send email’ action in Autonami

It’s a clean, conversational and text-based email.

You can choose the layout for listing the products in their cart. Here are the styles that you can pick from:

Choose the format to present the cart item(s) – tabular, in rows, comma-separated & more

Let’s look at the emails from some other popular eCommerce stores.

The reminder email (Checking in)

Here’s an on-point example from the popular store, Man Crates. The good thing about this email is that it looks nice and simple.

The black header with the logo at the top serves an instant reminder of where this email is coming from.

A persuasive cart abandonment recovery email by ManCrates

They’ve put the phone number too, in case someone wants to get in touch – they have the option! Let’s look at some other examples.

Product-Aware abandonment email

Here’s an example of a well-written product-aware recovery email from Beardbrand:

A text-based yet convincing cart recovery email by Beardbrand

The major plus point of this email is the P.S section that gives a stamp of approval to the product they intend to buy.

Being able to send product-aware emails is an important use case that you can achieve through Autonami.

Personalization will increase your recovery rates.

Incentive email for abandoned user

Here’s an example of an email offering an incentive in the form of a 15% discount. It’s encouraging users to complete their purchase with the coupon code:

A recovery email with a discount coupon to lure abandoners

It’s a pretty decent attempt at converting visitors. But you must note that their system will send this discount email to just about everyone – whether their cart total is $50 or $20.

However, it’s a well-written, conversational email with the recovery link.

The coupon code is easy to remember. What we particularly liked about the email, is the P.S section which is nice and conversational.

Cart abandonment email offering free shipping

Here’s a brilliantly well-written email from again.

This email is offering free shipping as an incentive, valid for the next 48 hours:

A recovery email offering free shipping to entice the prospects

It’s from the founder’s desk – hence it commands people to pay attention.

Secondly, the email is short, crisp and to the point, there are no unnecessary images or HTML content.

Finally, the free shipping coupon is valid strictly for two days – there’s a built-in urgency.

Overall quite an action-producing email and I’m sure it converts high too!

Ready to Draft Your WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Strategy?

Cart abandonment is a serious issue for all of us – some business owners acknowledge it, others ignore it.

In this post, we helped you acknowledge it and look at the concrete steps to combat it.

We looked at why most cart recovery solutions out there are flawed and encourage bottom feeders to join the bandwagon.

We also looked at the alternative to this ineffective strategy, in the form of Autonami.

You can access the free version of Autonami here – and put a smart cart abandonment email sequence into play, today.

Here’s to recovering abandoned carts and dollars!

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Tavleen Kaur

Tavleen Kaur

Do you know after Amazon implemented the 1-click buy system, their sales shot up year-on-year hitting $88.9 Billion mark in 2014? Jeff Bezos attributed it to a friction-free & streamlined buying process. At BuildWooFunnels, we're determined to give you the tools you need to do the same in your business. I am Tavleen and I help you get there faster.

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