WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Guide: How To Recover WooCommerce Abandoned Carts

Tavleen Kaur
December 5, 2020
WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Guide: How To Recover WooCommerce Abandoned Carts

Have you nailed your WooCommerce cart abandonment strategy yet? Are you sending out well-timed abandoned cart emails or SMSs to recover carts?

If not, then this WooCommerce cart abandonment guide is for you.

The cart abandonment rate has risen to an all-time high of 69%+ and it's not coming down any time soon.

Gone are those days when just having a cart abandonment email sequence was enough.

In this post, I'll teach you how to set up a 'Smart Revenue Recovery' system for your WooCommerce store based on the items your user was trying to buy, cart total, and other rules.

We'll be using the powerful automation engine, Autonami. Download your free copy here>>

Watch this free video training to learn more about the exact emails you should be sending out and at what time.

Also, discover how to offer a deadline-bound discount in those to make your sequence convert.

Let's now dive deeper into how you can recover WooCommerce abandoned carts.

Why Shoppers Abandon Their Carts?

Before we dig deep into the reasons, let us quickly understand what shopping cart abandonment is.

When a user adds items to the cart but does not complete the purchase process, the cart is considered abandoned.

Baymard recently did a survey on 2500+ people and found several reasons why people abandoned orders.

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

Reasons for cart abandonment during checkout

The top three reasons are:

  • Unexpected additional costs
  • Checkout processes involving account creation
  • A long or complex process

This study does not even take into account the reasons related to buyer psychology in an online store.

Reasons such as:

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

Uncertainty. Procrastination. Distraction.

These are also big reasons that lead people to abandon the checkout process.

The cart abandonment rate jumps to nearly 75% around Black Friday when the traffic is high and the urge to comparison shop is even higher.

That means you're going to lose potential customers around the holiday season.

But here's a piece of good news:

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

The Problem With Most Automated Cart Recovery Systems

Most WooCommerce cart abandonment plugins treat all users equally, whether they're guest users or not.

You can either offer a blanket discount to everyone or 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.

But if you always offer a discount every time a user abandons their orders, your system trains them to expect a discount code all the time.

Take a look at this comment that proves my point:

The Problem With Most Automated Cart Recovery Systems
The strategy of offering same incentive to everyone, irrespective of their cart total, item(s) in cart etc. - backfires because it eats into your profitability.

Worst part? It trains users to expect discounts abandoned orders!

But let's say, their cart total is above a set threshold, then you may want to offer a handsome discount to convert them before your cut-off time.

The existing systems and free plugins aren't flexible and dynamic enough to consider any of this.

That right there is the problem!

Meet the Smart Revenue Recovery System

In order to solve this problem, we created the Smart Revenue Recovery System - which allows you to create WooCommerce cart abandonment sequences by first understanding who's at the center of it with custom variables.

You can create your strategy based on:

  • The items in the cart
  • User's cart total
  • Whether a coupon has already been used on the checkout or not
  • Whether or not your pages need to be translated with a plugin like WPML

So let's look at the components of our smart revenue recovery system that takes all of the above points into account for your WordPress abandoned cart strategy.

Meet the Smart Revenue Recovery System
The 3 parts of the Smart Revenue Recovery System
  • Multi-Channel Sequence: It means not just abandoned cart emails, but using SMSs as well to recover your abandoned carts.
  • The timings: Timing your abandoned cart emails and SMSs for maximum impact so customers don't just unsubscribe.
  • Smart Incentive: It means offering a personalized and time-bound incentive on the basis of the rules you set to get some recovered carts.

Our users who are deploying this system with Autonami are having great success with it, take a look:

Review of Wardee Harmon satisfied with the WooCommerce cart abandonment strategy of Autonami

Another user, Borja reported a recovery rate of 20%, that's insane! That's just with WooCommcerce cart abandonment cart emails and a series of SMSs:

Review of Borja Obeso satisfied with the WooCommerce cart abandonment strategy of Autonami

Here's another user who's diligently using the abandoned cart plugin and getting a smashing recovery rate of 13% at the onset:

a smashing recovery rate of 13% at the onset

This one's from Daniel, who's consistently bringing 30% of his abandoned users back to complete their purchase:

Review from Daniel Nordmark satisfied with the WooCommerce cart abandonment strategy of Autonami

Impressive? Isn't it?

How to Build a Smart Revenue Recovery System for your WooCommerce Store?

Autonami has two versions - the free (lite version) and the premium. You can set up a cart abandonment sequence using the free version too.

You can set up a timed sequence of automated emails to recover WooCommerce abandoned carts and offer a discount through a personalized coupon code.

For SMS campaigns, you'd need the premium version (Pro version).

Quick Glance at the System

Let's take a look at the simple automation we've created based on the cart total of the user:

Let's understand this interface more deeply:

  • START WHEN - This section represents the event or the trigger that starts the automation. For example - when a cart got abandoned on your eCommerce platform or when a new order got created or when a review got added and more.
  • IF - If stands for the conditions in your automation. So after an event occurs, if the conditions match the conditions specified here, then the subsequent action will take place. You can set up multiple conditions using 'and', 'or' on something like cart contents.
  • THEN - 'Then' stands for the action that you want the system to perform. The action could be sending notification emails, creating coupon code, creating a new user, adding a tag in CRM, and more.
  • YES/NO - You can create separate workflows based on whether the specified condition is met or not, like whether or not a user has abandoned orders on your WordPress eCommerce site.
  • END - The automation will end automatically when there are no more actions to perform or conditions to check.

We've designed this WooCommerce abandoned cart automation such that:

If the cart total is greater than or equal to $100 → send a 20% discount coupon email notification

If the cart total is between $50 and $100 → send a 10% discount coupon email notification

Capturing abandoned carts

Autonami live captures the email addresses of prospects as soon as they fill them out on the checkout page.

This is similar to other WooCommerce abandoned cart plugins, but it also captures what they were trying to buy and their cart total.

When you go to the ‘Carts’ tab at the top >> Click on ‘Recoverable carts’ - you'll see this:

Stats of all the recoverable carts in Autonami

These are the list of captured users. So when a user leaves their email on the checkout page, it gets captured to run automation through the WordPress plugin.

Live cart capturing feature in Autonami

Now, return to the Autonami interface in the WordPress dashboard and go to the 'Recoverable Carts' section:

Demonstration of Cart details got captured in Autonami

After a certain time period, the cart status will change from 'Captured' to 'In-Progress', which means that the cart is now abandoned.

And then, all the live automation from the cart recovery plugin that runs on the 'Cart Abandoned' event will get triggered.

You must enable the cart tracking option in the 'Settings' tab of Autonami to live capture emails during checkout.

Check the live cart tracking settings in Autonami to create WooCommerce cart abandonment sequences

You can also set the waiting period here in WordPress - i.e. the exact time after which a cart will be marked 'abandoned'.

It's set to 15 minutes on default.

3-Parts of the Smart Revenue Recovery System (WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Sequences in Autonami)

Now that you know how the Autonami WooCommerce plugin captures the abandoned carts, let's look at the system in totality.

We'll now deep dive into each of the three parts and get a better understanding of each.

1. Creating a Multi-Channel Sequence (Email + SMS)

In this cart recovery automation, we have used a multi-channel WooCommerce abandoned cart strategy. We’re not only sending out cart abandonment emails but SMSs as well with this WooCommerce extension. 

Take a look at the automation:

WooCommerce cart abandonment: Creating a Multi-Channel Sequence (Email + SMS)

Adding SMS to the mix can increase the effectiveness of your campaign, especially when paired with great email templates for your abandoned cart recovery emails.

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

SMSs have a way higher click-through rate of 36%, as compared to 3.2% of emails:

SMSs have a way higher click-through rate of 36%, as compared to 3.2% 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.

WooCommerce Cart abandonment sequence: To make your SMS stand out in their cluttered inboxes, use emojis

Note: You need to have Twilio credits and the premium version of Autonami to access to Twilio connector and Twilio gives you the ability to use custom email templates.

And for customers based in the US and Canada, you can send images in SMS.

This could either be your logo with a tagline for a greater brand recall or an image of you/your team.

2. Timing Your Campaigns for Maximum Impact

Autonami lets you set 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.

Let's look at one example from BumblebeeLinens, here's the email they send:

Example of cart abandonment emails sent by Bumblebee Linens

This is not just a one-off email, it's followed by a well-planned and well-timed sequence.

Here are the follow-up emails they send and the conversion rate for each:

Bumblebee Linens cart abandonment sequence

Overall, this 3-email sequence sent over a period of 3 days converts to a whopping 19%!

This means that they manage to bring back about 20 people out of every 100 that abandon the cart.

Notice how they used different abandoned cart subject lines to lure customers.

Set the delay of your first email to 30 minutes after the cart gets abandoned.

Here's how you can set up the delay in your email sequence:

set up the delay in your WooCommerce cart abandonment sequence
  • Send your first email 30 minutes because the purchase is still very fresh in their mind and store owners can help remind them. 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 with a single click button to simply nudge.
  • The final email can go within 48 hours, reminding them that their coupon's validity is set to expire in a few hours.

Make sure the WooCommerce cart abandoned SMS and email are well-spaced too - their timings should not collide with each other.

3. Offering Smart Incentive

Autonami gives you a bunch of conditions to make your sequence behavior-based. This comes as a very handy solution to your WooCommerce abandoned cart situation.

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

Set conditional action in WooCommerce cart abandonment sequences in Autonami
Cart rules to make your campaigns dynamic

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.

Using conditions or rules to set up woocommerce cart abandonment sequences

So, for this automation, you can segment your users based on their cart total.

Next, create personalized coupon codes.

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:

Creating personalized coupons with Autonami
Personalized coupon code to lure prospects

Make sure you set the coupon code's validity to not more than 3 days for great results.

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

Set expiry for coupons in Autonami
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.

These WooCommerce cart abandonment sequences are well-tested to increase your revenue.

Tracking your abandoned carts

Track 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 where you can see the analytics for cart abandonment:

Analytics in Autonami to track your abandoned carts

These stats will show up for you after you install and activate Autonami.

Here's one of WooFunnels' users who has seen crazy abandoned cart recovery rates for his clients. He reveals his strategy:

Crazy-Good WooCommerce Cart Abandonment Email Examples

We studied several cart abandonment emails. {Here's some additional reading resource for you}

And we've created a mini-library of some well-written emails that deserve a mention.

The reminder email (Checking in)

The first cart abandonment email example is 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 as an instant reminder of where this email is coming from.

The reminder email (Checking in)

They've put the phone number too, in case someone wants to get in touch - they have the option!

The button takes people straight back to their cart.

Product-Aware abandonment email

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

Product-Aware abandonment email
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 against your WooCommerce abandoned carts.

Incentive email for abandoned user

Another brilliant abandonment email example from HelloNomad.com.

They're offering an incentive in form of a 15% discount:

Incentive email for abandoned user
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.

You can change that in Autonami.

Cart abandonment email offering free shipping

What a brilliantly well-written email from BeardBrand.com again!

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

Cart abandonment email offering free shipping
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!

Checkout Page-aware abandonment email

I'm incredibly impressed by this email from BillyGene.com. It's very contextual and serves as a powerful reminder.

This email literally came within the first hour of abandoning the cart:

Checkout Page-aware abandonment email

Do you know what works in favor of this email?

The user is instantly able to connect the dots and know what they need to do next. No room is left for any confusion. You can use Autonami to configure this by selecting the exact WooFunnels Checkout page in the rules section.

Ready to Create 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 understand the concrete steps to combat it. While there are options offered by Yith WooCommerce, the abandoned cart lite for WooCommerce offered by Autonami gives you more flexibility.

We looked at why most cart recovery solutions out there are flawed and encouraged bottom feeders to jump on the bandwagon.

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

Here's to recovering abandoned carts and dollars with your WooCommerce abandoned cart recovery strategy!

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

If you need more options, check out the abandoned cart Autonami's pro version.

Author: 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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