How to recover abandoned carts

Abandoned carts is a real phenomenon – and a challenge for all online retailers. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, most shoppers in the US will add a product to their cart without going through with their purchase. The potential lifesaver to this problem is abandoned cart emails with Klaviyo.

Abandoned cart emails and Klaviyo email marketing can help you recover orders and make sure that you are closing more sales. 

Visitors that abandoned their cart added one of your products to their cart which indicates a real interest in what you have to offer. That’s the kind of potential customer you don’t want to let go without an effort. 

In this article, we’ll give you 5 tips to compose the perfect abandoned cart emails and go through 5 steps of how to use Klaviyo to create your abandoned cart flow. 

What are abandoned cart emails?

Abandoned cart emails are emails that target shoppers who added your product to their cart but didn’t go through with the checkout process. The email reminds the visitor about the product they have in their cart and encourages them to return to their abandoned cart and complete the purchase. 

If you’re using a bigger eCommerce platform, like Shopify or BigCommerce, your store might already have abandoned cart emails enabled. However, abandoned cart emails in Klaviyo allow you to really customize your email and have a higher chance of your visitor becoming a customer.

Why do visitors abandon their carts?

It’s common for shoppers to visit online shops and Shopify stores just to browse or before they are ready to make the purchase. They abandon the products in their cart, and if that’s where the story ends, that means a potentially lost sale for you. 

An abandoned cart email reengages that visitor and gives them a second chance to become your loyal customer.

Why do customers abandon their cart

Why are abandoned cart emails important?

Abandoned cart email flows are important because of one simple reason; they work. Abandoned cart flows is the single most profitable email series, generating an average revenue of $3.42 per recipient. The reason? Abandoned cart emails allow you to target customers who clearly have a desire to buy your products. 

A visitor who adds a product to their cart is “highly aware”, meaning that they know about your business and at least one of your products. More than that, they’re specifically interested in at least one of them.

That’s why reengaging these “almost-customers” is so effective and why this customer winback Klaviyo method can help you increase your sales. There could be several reasons why the visitor didn’t complete the Shopify purchase, but it is a distinct possibility that a gentle nudge can be all they need to go through with it. 

5 tips to compose the perfect abandoned cart Klaviyo email

Let’s go through the things you’ll have to keep in mind to create an abandoned cart email which will rekindle your future customer’s desire to buy your product.

1. Catch their attention with humour

Before you can do anything, you need to catch your reader’s attention with your subject line and make them click on your email. The best way to do this is to keep it short, personal, and catchy.

Using a light tone will make the customer feel like there’s a person behind the email. They’re not being spammed by a robot. They're just getting a brief reminder from someone who sounds like a friend.


  • Hey Sarah, where’d you go?
  • Oops, you forgot your shopping cart!
  • Phew, we saved your cart for you.
  • Your cart misses you!

When possible, adding the shopper’s name by personalizing subject lines is always a good start to the subject line. Mentioning the product in their cart is another way to make the subject line seem personal and enticing. If you have fewer products in your online store, try to find a humorous line that is specific to your product or brand.

Naturally, you don’t have to limit humour to your subject line. The best Klaviyo flows have emails that include humour in the rest of the email too, for example in the CTA (Call to action). Instead of a “Buy Now”-button, why not find a more unique spin?


  • Take me to my cart! 
  • Pick up where you left off
  • Find your way back to your cart


Abandoned cart email recovery

Source: Snuggle Puppy

2. Soothe their fears

Next, try to answer any potential objections the shopper might have. Perhaps the visitor didn’t have enough knowledge about or trust for your brand? 

Soothe their fears with social proof. Add short but eye-catching reviews, ratings, or testimonials from previous buyers. You can simply add a short “See what others have said” or something similar, followed by one or two testimonials that truly capture the magic of your product.

This uses UGC (user-generated content) to communicate your product’s value and your brand’s authenticity. 

UGC for Abandoned Cart Recovery

Source: Glow For It

3. Shine with your customer service

When customers lack knowledge of your brand, another thing that can calm their worries is the promise of fantastic customer care. Let your visitor know about your customer service being available for them any time they might need it. 

One way is to include a review which comments about your good customer care in your social proof. Another option is to really show them your commitment to customer care by inviting them to contact your customer service – maybe even inviting them to a 1:1 call to get their questions about the product answered. 

Klaviyo abandoned cart recovery email example

Source: The Oodie

4. Offer a small discount if possible

Another potential objection that might have caused friction and stopped your visitor from completing the purchase could have been the price tag. If you can, a personalized discount code can be the last push the shopper needs to take the leap. 

A limited-time discount in your abandoned cart email will also create a sense of urgency, and make the customer feel like this is an opportunity they can’t miss. 

The plus of offering this type of discount code to cart abandoners is that the value of your brand doesn’t feel reduced. However, you might want to consider not including a discount code in the first abandoned cart email and saving it for one of the follow-up emails. 

Discount on Abandoned Cart Email

Source: Luxury Yoni

5. Don’t “spam”, but insist

Nobody likes to feel spammed. Try not to annoy your potential customers with too many follow-up emails. That said, multiple abandoned cart emails generally have better results than just one. 

Where’s the balance? According to Klaviyo’s abandoned cart benchmark report, having an abandoned cart email flow with 2–3 emails will lead to optimal performance.

So, a few emails are enough. An example of how to design your email sequence is:

  1. The reminder: The first email catches their attention with a personalized, humorous subject line, reminding them of the product they didn’t buy
  2. The discount: The second email follows up with a limited discount code for the product
  3. The feedback: The third and last follow-up email asks the visitor for customer feedback, making them contemplate if they really have a reason for not buying the product, and giving you a chance to understand their potential objections

The first email should be sent not too long after the cart was abandoned; for example, 3–4 hours after the visitor left the cart. The last email shouldn’t be sent too soon nor too late; a week is a reasonable last follow-up. 

How to create your abandoned cart flow – Step by step

Finally, let’s go through how to set up your abandoned cart email flow in Klaviyo. You might wonder: How do I use Klaviyo in Shopify? 

The following steps are based on the eCommerce platform Shopify, as it is the platform with the best integration with Klaviyo. However, the same general process will work for other platforms as well. 

Step 1: Integrate your platform to Klaviyo

First, you have to connect Klaviyo to your eCommerce platform, for example Shopify. You do this by going to Integrations in Klaviyo.

Step 2: Create the flow

Next, you need to create the abandoned cart email flow, by going to “Flows” and clicking on “Create a flow”. 

An easy way to create your flow is by starting with the default flow for an abandoned cart email Klaviyo provides. This way, a placeholder email is already built for you, and all you need to do is adjust it. The best Klaviyo email flows don’t have to be created from scratch.

Abandoned cart flow klaviyo

Step 3: Build the abandoned cart email

As you open the email, don’t be frightened by the code (also called merge tags) that you’ll see at first. Click “preview” and then “show directly in Klaviyo” to get the view that the customer will get when they receive the message. 

The metrics need to be activated in your eCommerce store before the merge tags are visible, so activate them before you keep going with the design. 

Don’t edit the code in the block, but apart from that, you can now start editing the styling and the email to tailor it to your brand. Remember to add the time delay between the emails in your series, or your visitor might be bombarded with messages. 

Step 4: Add splits into the flow

Klaviyo also allows you to add splits into your abandoned cart email flow. This is a kind of conditional logic that can be applied to decide who gets which emails. 

For example, you can add a conditional split for new versus returning customers. If you add the rule “has placed order zero times over all time”, you can make sure only first-time cart abandoners receive a follow-up email with a discount code.

You can also use splits to split customers by where they live or which products they have in their cart. 

Klaviyo flow split

Step 5: Activate your abandoned cart flow

Lastly, if you had a default platform abandoned cart email enabled previously, don’t forget to turn it off before activating your flow. This ensures that your customers won’t receive double batches of emails. 

In Shopify, this is done by going to Settings > Notification Settings > Abandoned checkout settings, and unchecking “Automatically send abandoned checkout emails”. 

Now, you can finally activate your new abandoned cart flow. Go into the flow in Klaviyo and switch all the flows from the status “Draft” to “Live”. 

If you wish to make sure that the flow is working the way you want it to, simply abandon a cart yourself and check out the results!

Activate Klaviyo abandoned cart email

Key takeaway: Why you need Klaviyo’s abandoned cart emails for Shopify

Klaviyo’s abandoned cart emails can help you recover orders, increase your conversion rate, and sell more. Just follow our 5 tips, and you’ll be on your way to recover orders with the email marketing Klaviyo provides.

Remember to use humour, soothe your visitors’ fears, impress them with your customer service, offer a small discount when possible, and send the right number of emails.

You can also easily create an abandoned cart flow by integrating your platform to Klaviyo, creating the flow, building the email, adding splits, and activating the flow.

You’re now well on your way to recovering as many cart abandoners as possible and optimizing your Shopify sales.

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