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How to win back 32% of Lost Customers

You’re just about to complete the order for that snazzy new top, and your phone buzzes; it’s a message on the family WhatsApp group, and you need to reply immediately. While on your phone, you quickly sneak a look at Instagram and get distracted by a yummy-looking video recipe. Next thing you know, you’re carrying on with your day, and you’ve completely forgotten about that top you so desperately wanted.

We’ve all done it, and for e-commerce businesses, basket abandonment represents a massive amount of lost business.

Should I Worry About Basket Abandonment?

Baymard collected the data from 46 different basket abandonment studies and concluded that the average basket abandonment rate is currently around. 69.82%

Shopify reports similar abandonment rates, with mobile seeing an even higher abandonment rate. 

  • Desktop: 69.75%
  • Mobile: 85.65%
  • Tablets: 80.74%

Let’s just put this into context for a moment. If we take the 69.82% stat, for every 100 users who place an item in their shopping basket and head to the checkout, 70 will give up!

This stat is crazy; there was clearly an intent to buy. The user puts the item in their basket and then proceeds to the basket/checkout. 

Out of the last 100 times you were in the supermarket queue, how many times did you just give up, put your shopping down and walk out? I bet it wasn’t 70 out of the last 100!

One of the most lucrative quick wins for e-commerce

For sites where basket abandonment is an issue – for me, that’s anything over 50% – addressing these issues is by far the most effective thing they can do to improve their site’s performance.

Sending a simple email sequence to remind users that they have abandoned their basket can instantly deliver some remarkable results. Based on our own experiences, we’ve implemented abandonment sequences that have converted at an enormous 32%.

How to implement basket abandonment

The best way to implement basket abandonment sequences will depend on the platform you are running, their ‘out the box’ offering, and what platform you use for your email marketing. 

Many platforms like Shopify will have a basic abandonment email within the shop’s settings. These are often restricted to one email and have basic functionality, so you may want to look beyond this at a 3rd party platform. 

If you use a 3rd party platform like MailChimp or Klaviyo to manage your email marketing, there will most likely be a pre-built sequence that you can easily modify. 

Alternatively, if you use a popular webshop platform like Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento, you find lots of suitable apps on the platform’s marketplace.

ProTip: For Shopify sites, we recommend Recapture. It's simple to use, pricing is based on how much revenue you win back, and their support is excellent. 

Best practices for an abandonment sequence

We’ve run lots of tests on these sequences for clients and collected a lot of data. 

Based on our findings, we’ve put together a simple three-email sequence for you to use as a starting point. 

Email 1: The first email would be a gentle reminder that the user has left something in their basket. Something like, “Did you forget something?”

There is no need to offer the user a discount at this point. It may well be that they just got distracted, so you may be selling yourself short by discounting this early in the sequence. 

Send this email an hour after the user has abandoned. 

Email 2: For this email, aim to create some urgency. You can do this by offering a discount code valid for just 24 hours. If you’re not a fan of discounting – maybe your brand is exclusive – you can create urgency by suggesting the user will miss out. “We’ve reserved your basket, but we can only hold it for 24 hours”. 

Send this email 24 hours after the last one. 

Email 3: This email aims to increase the urgency to buy, and we can do this by stating that this is the user’s “last chance” before the offer expires, or we have to let someone else access the item/s you reserved for them. 

Send this email 23 hours after the previous one.

The optimum sequence will vary from site to site, so you may need to play around with some variations to find out what works best for you. 

Pro Tip: Personalise where possible. If your platform supports Merge Tags, use these to personalise the email and increase click-through rates. e.g. In Mailchimp," *|FNAME|*, did you forget something?" becomes " Robert, did you forget something?". 


Here are some great examples if you need some inspiration for what to include in your abandonment emails. 

This sequence will need some fine-tuning. A 3-email sequence like the one above will be a great starting point for you to win back some of those lost orders and increase sales. 

Want to find out more?

To learn more about how conversion rate optimisation (CRO) can help you, visit our CRO services page. Or to speak to an expert about how to improve your basket abandonment rates, hit the contact button below and get in touch today!