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How to Recover Abandoned Checkouts in WooCommerce (Ultimate guide + Email Templates)

A cart that is abandoned is lost forever if timely action is not initiated. The startling truth is that the customer is lost too. Using a strategic plan to get back customers to complete the purchase is crucial to retain them for a longer time and to recover lost sales.

In a nutshell, the seeds that you sow now (abandoned cart recovery campaign) will bear fruit in the future (money and loyal customers).

Be it Shopify or WooCommerce, this is the basis for all platforms.

For now, in this blog post, let’s address some crucial information regarding cart abandonment and then later, I will walk you through the process of recovering a WooCommerce abandoned cart.

What is cart abandonment?

Wife: “Honey, we are running out of pasta for tomorrow’s party. Can you please place an order that gets delivered by tomorrow morning?”

Husband: Okie dokie. I am doing it right away.

After 10 minutes.

Wife: “Oh wait. Did you finish the purchase?”

Husband: “I was about to make the payment.”

Wife: “Let that be. Luckily, I found some pasta in the pantry. We had actually bought some extra last week. This would be sufficient for the guests.”

Husband simply closes the tab where he had shopped for the pasta and goes on to browse something else.

The husband and wife have moved on but the cart with the pasta in it stays put without knowing what to do next. Sad.

This is cart abandonment. You shop for something online and leave it there without proceeding to the checkout.

This happens all over the world every single minute in the eCommerce sector. The scenario has to be different indeed.

This immediately gets you thinking.

What are the reasons for cart abandonment?

Ecommerce sites have turned into a place where people simply while away time. The old ways of spending time in a park during leisure can be equated with today’s habit of shopping without need and purpose.

Shopping without the need or ‘just browsing’ is one reason that most shoppers have to say for cart abandonment. Besides this, there are many others and the trend keeps changing from time to time.

The below image shows cart abandonment reasons for a group of consumers studied in 2022 by Baymard Institute.

Cart abandonment reason statistics
  • Extra costs too high

This reason stands at 55% – the one that has the most impact. Hidden charges that are levied on the consumer when shopping online sometimes literally double the actual price of the product bought. Hidden charges include shipping costs, tax, and others. This in fact comes as a shock when it is revealed at the time of checkout leading to cart abandonment.

  • Had to create account

There are eCommerce sites that make account creation mandatory to purchase their products. This is totally absurd because no consumer would like to be forced into doing something. Moreover, although the step takes hardly a minute they view it as a big hindrance to proceed further.

  • Long or complex process

The checkout has to be as simple as possible. If you make the customer traverse through more than a page with unnecessary details, he just skips the checkout and goes on to shop elsewhere. A single-click checkout is what people usually expect.

  • Can’t see total cost

With 21% of people agreeing to this, it stands in 4th place of cart abandonment reasons. It so happens that some eCommerce stores do not display the total cost of items bought, including extra costs, upfront. They simply deduct it when the payment is done. Consumers always expect to keep them informed.

  • Didn’t trust site

Security is an all-time concern in this age of the internet, especially when it comes to data theft and money transactions. A basic internet user goes by how the site looks and others look for trust badges and certificates in order to ensure safety. Consumers will never shop in a place where their data is at risk.

  • Website error or crashes

17% of people cite website crashes as a reason for cart abandonment. With the whole world dependable on machines, this is sometimes unavoidable. The only thing that you can do to overcome this issue is to ensure regular maintenance checks are done.

  • Delivery too slow

This is a fast-paced world and product delivery should be the same way too. When the delivery date mentioned at the checkout is later than expected, consumers start thinking twice to checkout.

  • Returns policy

Some will not be able to locate the returns policy and most others might not find it convincing. Either way, you lose a customer when you don’t have a returns policy that is concrete. A consumer always looks for this during checkout and so make sure that it is right in front of them.

  • Lack of payment options

Preferences vary from person to person and so does online payment option. The more number of options you provide, the lesser will be your cart abandonment rate.

  • Card declined

Technical errors lead to this issue. Since a third party, the banks, are involved here, you can never really point a finger. It just happens.

What is the average checkout abandonment rate?

Cart abandonment rate is the metric that depicts the number of abandoned carts in percentage. This is how it is calculated.

Cart abandonment rate = (Transactions initiated – Transactions completed) / Transactions initiated

The global average cart abandonment rate stands at 75.6%.

Statistics show that the cart abandonment rate has only increased gradually over the years even when different types of marketing strategies are implemented.

It is vital to calculate the cart abandonment rate for your store and to know in general the scenario your competitors are going through. This will help you to plan better to face reality.

Take a look at the industry-specific cart abandonment rates collected by Statista.

Cart abandonment rate by industry

The cart abandonment rates vary across industries with the highest for Travel and the lowest for Fashion. This shows that no one is spared. Cart abandonment rate haunts every industry and you are not alone.

How important is Abandoned Cart Recovery?

There is no use in keeping abandoned carts at bay. If done so, they simply rust and become useless, neither helping themselves nor others.

On the other hand, if you take the stand to deal with them intelligently, you get dual benefits.

  1. Recover pots of gold, not just carts

For example, say your store makes a revenue of $500 on an average per day and $300 worth of cart is abandoned on a daily basis. You have planned to put in some effort to retrieve the carts. Let’s say the recovery campaign has not been successful as expected but could recover a meager $100 every day.

Revenue for a month = $15,000.

Revenue from abandoned carts/per month = $3000 (a week’s revenue)

So, even with the small number of recovered carts, the overall impact is positive and you will definitely want to do better with the abandoned carts.

  1. Strengthen customer relationships

You are in fact lending the customer a helping hand to complete the purchase by using cart recovery techniques. It turns out that he might notice the sincere effort that you put in to win him back.

Make the customer realize his worth through your cart recovery campaign and get a loyal customer in turn. By this, you pave the way for a long-term relationship with him.

There is only one thing I wish to tell you, my friend.

You are leaving some money on the table and compromising on retaining your customer if you hesitate to take the reins now.

How do you improve Abandoned Checkouts?

There are numerous ways in which a cart can be recovered. With improving technology, many other ways are being invented.

Do you know which one to opt for to get optimum results? This section will give you an insight.

Exit-intent popups

Popups have gained so much popularity from the time it was first implemented. A message pops up to entice you back into finishing the purchase when you are about to leave the page. There can be a special discount for you too. It does work for many businesses. It allows you to retrieve the cart without much delay.

Exit-intent popups have a downside that nothing can be done if the customer ignores it and closes the page. Another exit-intent cannot be shown. The effectiveness of the popup has its virtual limits.

Retargeting ads

This is quite common nowadays. You add a product to the cart and carry on with some other work. You might have definitely noticed the advertisement of the abandoned product coming up in all the pages you browse. It is usually accompanied by a discount in the form of a WooCommerce abandoned cart coupon.

The problem here is that firstly, no other exquisite details can be included here to convince the customer genuinely. Secondly, what if you are not browsing? Will someone knock at your door with the ad material of the product?

Push notifications

Push notifications are of two types – web and app. It is a concise but effective way of delivering cart abandonment reminders. A variety of content can be included and browser activity is not mandatory to receive push notifications. This is, without doubt, an advantage compared to retargeting ads and exit-intent popups.

The problem is that the future of push notifications is uncertain. It cannot be used by everyone like emails. Imagine if all the sites that you have shopped with start sending push notifications. There would not be anything more annoying than this. So, push notifications will exist but with limited reach for usage. It will never take the top spot.

Cart abandonment emails

Emails have existed right from the start of the computer revolution. They are still going strong. The fact that there are 3.9 billion active email users worldwide seconds this. Social media users take the next place at 3.5 billion.

Advantages of using cart abandonment email

  • Can be sent when there is no browser activity.
  • It is not restricted to a particular device.
  • An unlimited number of emails can be sent out.
  • It does not annoy the recipient as the message can be viewed at a later time, unlike other forms of cart recovery.
  • A personal connection can be established with the customer with the help of content that empathizes, promotes, gives an offer, and convinces them to purchase again.
  • The number of elements that can be used in an email to entice the customer is more in number than other methods of cart recovery.
  • The future is bright as the number of email users by 2023 is estimated to touch 4.3 billion.

This confirms that of all the four methods of cart recovery, email is the best because it will stand the test of time. Moreover, the advantages of email clearly outweigh the advantages of others.

Why is email still preferred by a majority of businesses?

As of 2022, 81% of SMBs rely on emails to acquire customers and 80% for customer retention. There you go. There cannot be any better proof which points out that email marketing is still the first choice for many businesses to grow their eCommerce empire.

This shows the importance of sending out WooCommerce abandoned cart emails.

Now that you have realized the importance of abandoned cart recovery emails, let’s move on to the next question.

How many abandoned cart emails would be ideal to bring back a customer?

This, in fact, must be decided on at the initial stages itself for a smoother workflow. The choice is up to you but experts say that 3 abandoned cart emails can create magic compared to one or two emails.

A study conducted by Omnisend has proven this. The study revealed that 3 abandoned cart emails resulted in 69% more orders than a single email.

How to recover WooCommerce abandoned carts with Retainful?

Recover abandoned cart WooCommerce plugin, Retainful, can be downloaded for FREE from here.

To make things easier and more understandable, the whole process of dealing with abandoned checkouts with Retainful for WooCommerce by sending emails can be broadly divided into five sections.

  • Installation
  • Checking for abandoned carts
  • Configuration
  • The cart recovery process
  • Monitoring


Download the recover abandoned cart WooCommerce plugin, Retainful, for FREE.

  • On your WordPress page, choose the Plugins tab.
  • Search for Retainful plugin.
  • Click ‘Install now’
  • Click ‘Activate’

You can also download Retainful manually from the WordPress plugin repository here.

Then, upload the plugin and activate it on your WordPress website.

Plugin search

Data is prime when it comes to email marketing and it is the same for abandoned cart recovery too. Before devising a strategic plan to recover the WooCommerce abandoned cart, one must know the exact number and the potential revenue lost in addition to other related data.

The data is essential to knock at the doors of customers again and will give an insight into the gravity of the situation.

But where will you find it? Retainful has the answer to it.

Connecting your store with Retainful

Before you head to the Retainful dashboard. You need to integrate your WordPress store with Retainful.

This process can be split into two simple steps,

Get API keys from Retainful

1. Login to Retainful. (Don’t have an account? Sign up here)

2. Go to Settings

3. Copy App ID and Secret Key

Retainful API

Connect your store with Retainful

1. Return to your WordPress Dashboard → Retainful

2. Under Connection tab, enter API keys in the respective field.

3. Click “Connect”

4. A message will be displayed once the connection is initiated

Wordpress dashboard

Now that you have integrated your store with Retainful, you can easily check your abandoned cart details in one click.

Checking for WooCommerce abandoned carts

An overview of the WooCommerce abandoned cart details can be seen on the dashboard of Retainful.

You can find the following details.

The total (number of)

  • Abandoned Carts
  • Abandoned Amount
  • Recovered Carts
  • Recovered Revenue
  • Recoverable Carts
  • Recoverable Amount
Retainful dashboard

Some data that are specific to carts are displayed too. They include

  • Status
  • Date
  • Cart ID
  • Customer
  • Total

Retainful also allows to view and segment carts into three categories – abandoned, recovered, and, live carts. The plugin also allows you to view each cart separately and delete it if unnecessary.

This ‘Metrics & Cart Activity’ page of Retainful will tell you what the current situation is and will give you an idea of how to take things forward.

Retainful cart activity page

There are some settings that need to be finalized prior to starting the cart recovery. This is mandatory, without which the Retainful plugin will not keep a tab on the abandoned/recovered carts.


Choose the ‘Settings’ page of Retainful from the menu.

Let’s divide the page into three portions – basic, main, and secondary settings.

Basic Settings

Retainful Basic Settings

App ID and Secret Key

This will be provided once the Retainful plugin is installed.

Domain name, Time Zone, and Currency Code

The details of your WooCommerce store must be given here. The domain name, the geographical region from where the online store operates, and the corresponding currency.

Email Properties

Email properties

Your customer needs to know who they are receiving their emails from. So, enter your From name and email address. Also, mention your ‘Repy to’ email address if it is different from your ‘From’ email address.

Main Settings

Retainful settings

The following details must be given importance.

Time after which the cart is considered abandoned

This is of most importance to consider a cart as abandoned. The cart will be considered abandoned if it is inactive after the time mentioned in this field. Here the example is given as 15 minutes.

Notification for WooCommerce abandoned cart recovery

It is obvious that you might want to know when a cart is recovered. This feature does this work. When enabled ‘yes’, you will get notified of a recovered cart.

Point out duplicate carts

This helps to identify users who have shopped online from two or more devices during a period of time.

Alright, now that we have seen the settings. Let’s get right away to the cart recovery process. Let see how to create and launch your automated cart recovery emails.

The WooCommerce abandoned cart recovery process

Retainful is an automated plugin, the ultimate goal is to save time. So, we have already included pre-built workflow templates for WooCommerce Abandoned cart recovery.

All you have to do is, select the workflow and make a few configurations and set it live. Retainful will automatically start sending Abandoned cart emails at regular intervals.

Alright, let’s get started with the process,

  1. Login to Retainful dashboard. Hope you are logged in already.
  2. Click ‘Automations’ on left menu of the Retainful dashboard

3. ‘Workflows’ page will open. Click ‘Create Workflow’

Create Workflow
  1. In Create Workflow page, Choose ‘Abandoned Cart Recovery with Dynamic Coupon’.
  2. Or click ‘Abandoned Cart’ under the ‘Type’ section to open the Abandoned Cart Workflows.
Create Abandoned cart workflow

6. Once the workflow is chosen, you will be asked to name it. For this guide, we have selected the ‘Abandoned Cart Recovery with dynamic coupon’ workflow.

Workflow name

7. After naming it, click ‘Continue’. The Abandoned cart recovery workflow will be displayed in The Customer journey builder. You can configure your campaign here.

8. In the Abandoned cart recovery workflow, you can find,

  • Triggers – Select the trigger that initiates automation
  • Wait action – Choose the time interval to send your automated emails
  • Email – Configure & Customize your email. You can customize it using a Drag & Drop email editor.
  • Coupon – Add a dynamic coupon to your workflow from the Customer journey builder.
Abandoned cart workflow

The workflow is ready-made for you. We have included emails that can be sent in desired time intervals.

  • Click on a element to open its editing options
  • If you want to add more elements to your workflow, click the green ‘+’ button.

9. To edit Abandoned cart emails, click on the email element,

Email options

When you click Email 1, its editing options will be displayed on the right side.

Under the editing section, you can edit subject line and preview text. To customize your email, click ‘Edit Email Content’

Click here to see how to edit Abandoned cart emails. No matter the platform, Retainful has the same interface.

10. Alright, your email is configured. Once you have made necessary changes to your Abandoned cart recovery workflow, it is time to set it live.

Start workflow

Click ‘Start Workflow’ to set your Abandoned cart recovery campaign live.

Now Retainful will send cart recovery emails at regular intervals until the customer recovers his cart. This is how you recover abandoned carts in WooCommerce.

By default, Retainful will include three emails in a Cart recovery workflow. But you can add unlimited emails as per your preference.

All these three emails must serve different purposes.

The First Abandoned Cart Email Template

Enter the email subject before entering the Email editor.

Email subject – Where have you been?

Send this email in – 1 hour after abandonment

Email body

Keep it simple for the first email. Just plain text with an enticing image – all of this without using a template. Use clear the canvas option. Opt for 1 column, image, and text as the components of the email from the blocks.

Welcome back email

Things to take note of in the email

  • The image

It is so colorful and welcoming. The chosen image is in sync with the subject line ‘Where have you been?’

  • Personalization

Personalization takes your email a notch higher because it indicates friendliness and concern. This email uses ‘Ryan’ as the customer name. When the email is automated to be sent to multiple people, {{customer_name}} – a short code can be used. This will automatically include the customer name from the cart details.

  • Cart details

This is just a reminder for the reader to reignite the spark to complete the checkout.

  • Link to cart

The hyperlink is highlighted in contrasting color so that it gets noticed similar to a CTA.

The Second Abandoned Cart Email Template

The details of the WooCommerce follow email template are given below.

Email Subject – {{customer_name}}, your cart is still waiting.

Send this email in – 1 day after cart abandonment

You left something behind email

Email Body

This second email is drafted with the help of an email template available in Retainful. This is the next level after just plain content in the first email.

Things to take note of in the second email

  • Logo

There is a provision in this template to include the company logo. The size can be adjusted.

  • Chat option

The availability of the live chat option will make the customer react instantly by connecting to the chat if there is any issue.

  • Headline

The headline poses a question that sets the customer thinking. It is also personalized with the short code.

  • Image

The image is that of the product in the cart with the mention of the price. The star rating can also be added to remind the customer of the quality of the product chosen and to assure that he has made the right choice.

  • Incentive

An offer is always irresistible. So, give one when you want your customer to check out the abandoned carts.

The Third Abandoned Cart Email Template

Here are the details.

Email Subject – The sale is coming to a close {{customer_name}}. Not much time left to save your cart.

Send this email in – 3 days

Clock is ticking email

Things to note in the third WooCommerce follow email template

  • Content

The content creates a sense of urgency to act fast. It also mentions the time left to save the cart & use the coupon. Short codes are also used in 3 to 4 places which helps in delivering dynamic content.

  • CTA

There are two CTAs if you have noticed just like the previous email. it sends out a message to the customer to act fast immediately.

  • Social & Unsubscribe buttons

The social logos can be included in the email which prompts the customer to be a part of the community and the unsubscribe button can be used by the customer to stop receiving emails.

How to write abandoned cart recovery emails

Drafting cart recovery emails is an art. It is not just the content that matters. There are various other aspects to it. Take a look.

The prime elements for a winning WooCommerce abandoned cart email strategy are:

  • Subject line

A study says that 35% of people open emails based on the subject line. There are different types of subject lines like FOMO, scarcity, emoji, and many others. This has to interest the email recipient to take things forward from thereon.

Eg: Did you leave something behind?

Your bottle of wine is waiting in the cart!

Would you like an offer?

  • Product image

It is always a wise decision to include the image of the product in the cart details. This is to remind the potential buyer about the abandoned product. Pictures stay in memory than names.

  • A clear CTA

The CTA button must be highlighted in the cart abandonment email because ultimately, you want the reader to proceed to checkout. It should also be linked directly to the cart. If the CTA is not visible and hard to spot, the very purpose it is lost.

  • Pleasing design

The aesthetic aspect of an email is also a very important factor. You will never feel like going through an email that is crammed in. There must be enough white space in the background. When there are splendid colors in there, they must blend in very well and make it visually pleasing.

  • Enticing copy

The writing in the email is sometimes overlooked. Sometimes, writing alone has the power to recover a cart when done the right way. Use a language style that your customer base connects with very easily. You can also project the characteristics of your brand through writing.

  • Contact details

You must be around within the customer’s reach. The details of your contact must be mentioned so that the customer can get in touch in case of any issues or queries. Give a live chat option if available or display a toll-free number.

Secondary elements that make the WooCommerce abandoned cart email strategy worthy of conversion are:

  • A discount

This is what people want to be exact. This does not mean that you need to include the offer in all your WooCommerce abandoned cart emails. Adding the offer to the second email in the sequence is the best idea ever. This is a sure-fire method to get back to the customer.

  • Product recommendations

You have the liberty to recommend other products in the email. They can be either complementary or products of the same category. This will ensure that the potential customer will resume shopping if he is uninterested in the abandoned product.

  • Social proof

People are always interested to know about product reviews and testimonials. Cart abandonment emails can be used as a platform to showcase them in order to build confidence to make a purchase.

Take a look at some abandoned cart email examples.

  1. Email from Kate Spade
Kate spade email

Though having a monochrome tone, Kate Spade has nailed the email with few but essential elements. It has two links to the cart, an image, and incentives. It is so simple and neat that you will for sure take your time to read it.

  1. Email from Chubbies Shorts

Here comes an email from Chubbies Shorts. They exhibit exquisite talent in crafting cart recovery emails, especially with their copy.

“Lemme Teleport You Back To Your Cart. Free Of Charge.

Allow me to transport you back to your internet shopping cart.

Teleport To Your Cart.”

All of the phrases above are the ones that catch the attention. One aspect to be noted here is that the intention of the copy throughout the email is the same – to take the customer back to the cart. The gentle request manifests as an order in the readers’ mind when repeated thrice. You must be an alien if you hesitate to click the CTA in this email.

Chubbies email

Best sequence for abandoned cart email campaigns

Do you have a preconceived notion that there is just one time sequence that works for all cart recovery campaigns?

Your mind is traversing the wrong path if you think so.

You can choose the best time sequence for your eCommerce store but not for the sector as a whole. This is because each store is unique in the way it functions and deals with things.

Nevertheless, there is a consensus that the best time to send the first abandoned cart email is 1hour after abandonment.

A study by Rejoiner has proved this.

The graph below shows that the conversion rate is the highest when the first emails are sent after an hour of abandonment.

Most people do follow this because sending the first email any sooner might irk the customer.

Rejoiner conversion rate

Even so,Recart had managed to get an open rate of 61% by sending the first email just 10 minutes after abandonment.

Let’s look at it briefly.

Example 1:

Recart was experimenting with abandoned cart emails and tried various email sequences. They found out that the best sequence that worked for them was 10minutes-24hours-72hours. They reported that they could make $103, 271 with this method in a year.

Here is another success story.

Example 2:

BOOM By Cindy Joseph too did something different. They sent out their first email 4 hours after cart abandonment and made a revenue of $19.6k in one month. The email sequence was 4 hours – 24 hours – 2 days – 4 days – 5 days – 6 days.

Oh, yes. They managed to send 6 emails rather than the usual 3. This is very rare to find and these were the revenue for the emails per month

Email 1 – $19.6K, Email 2 – $9.02k, Email 3 – $1.19k, Email 4 – $5k, Email 5 – $784.32, Email 6 – $3.25k

I personally feel 4 emails would suffice looking at the revenue recovered. 6 emails is a lot to handle.

Example 3:

Mark D. Hall, a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) professional, when working on projects concluded the following to be the best email sequence of the lot.

Immediately after abandonment – 24 hours – 7 days. The timing of all the emails is as close enough to the time the abandonment took place. This is completely different from the above two examples.

With this, it can be concluded that the sequences vary a lot depending on the businesses. To generalize, one can choose to abide by the time sequence given below.

1st email – immediately to 4 hours after abandonment
2nd email – 24 hours after abandonment
3rd email – 3 days to 7 days

Do you think you are done with the abandoned cart recovery process? If so, this is just for the time being. More carts to be abandoned are on the way and the best way to know about them is to keep yourself informed.


How do you know that carts have been abandoned and some have been recovered?

This is where monitoring comes into play.

Here, you have to use the ‘Dashboard’ page to look at information related to abandoned carts.

When there is cart abandonment activity, the related numbers will keep increasing.


A comprehensive dashboard like this allows you, as the WooCommerce store owner, to decide on how to take the cart abandonment campaign forward and bring about changes in due course to get better results.

Points to remember

Put into practice the following points to get good cart recovery campaign results.

  • Act immediately when a cart is abandoned

Do not keep things for tomorrow when you see an abandoned cart. Implement the planned strategy right away else you will lose your customer in no time.

  • Don’t force it

Cart abandonment emails must act as a gentle reminder and not as an order to which the customer must respond. Things might slip out of your hands if you are being compulsive.

  • Concentrate on guest-users too

Guest users must never be ignored because they too hold back more revenue just like users with accounts. It is also a chance to grow the email list.

  • Use data wisely to send out emails

Emails work better when they are sent at a particular time and day of the week. There are various other parameters too based on which data can be collected like repeat buyers and location. Of course, this varies for different businesses. So, this must be monitored closely and the data must be put to use the right way to reap benefits.

  • Segment the user base

If you are dealing with cart recovery for the first time, it is advised to divide your user base so as to test different strategies. This saves time and will help you choose the best idea.

  • Think out of the box

Conventional ways of thinking sometimes hit a roadblock. Dare to be different to stand out from the crowd. Break the rules and go out of the way to reach out to your customer base.

  • Test..test…test

This is the most important of all. Never mind if you are a start-up or a company with offices all over the globe, you have to keep experimenting and testing what works and what doesn’t. This is a continual process that helps uncover some mind-blowing ways to retain a customer.

Closing thoughts…

Cart abandonment issues must be addressed without much delay. The earlier the better. Don’t forget the fact that you can still rely on emails for cart recovery.

So, get down to the business of creating abandoned cart recovery emails that convert.

There are more supporting features in Retainful that allows you to make WooCommerce abandoned cart recovery much better and easier.

Stay tuned and keep checking this space for more.

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