How to Recover Lost Sales with Abandoned Cart Recovery Strategies


Every year, a staggering $18 billion in sales revenue slips through the fingers of ecommerce stores due to cart abandonment.

Sometimes people just like browsing and adding things to their cart without really planning to buy them. Cart abandonment often happens a lot in December because of Black Friday and holiday sales, tempting people to make impulse purchases.

According to research by an alarming 70% of desktop and 85% of mobile users abandon their carts before making a purchase. The good news? There are tested and proven strategies to help recover these seemingly lost sales, all on auto-pilot.

Leakages in an ecommerce purchase funnel

We must first understand the ecommerce purchase funnel to grasp the cart abandonment concept. The funnel consists of four main stages:

1. Browse : Customers discover and explore products.

2. Add to Cart: Interested products are added to the cart.

3. Checkout: Customers proceed to the checkout page for purchases.

4. Payment: Payment details are filled in, and the order is completed.

In ecommerce, leaks are the points in the purchase funnel where potential customers drop off. There are three main types of leaks:

1. Browse abandon: This occurs when a potential customer browses through products but needs to add something to the cart.

2. Cart abandon: This happens when customers add items to their cart but don't checkout.

3. Checkout abandon: This is when a customer proceeds to checkout but needs to complete the payment of purchases.

This definitive guide will primarily focus on cart abandonment and ways to recover these potential sales.

Why do buyers abandon carts?

The reasons for cart abandonment range from the absence of intent to purchase at the moment to UX issues in the purchase process. Let’s explore the major reasons why buyers abandon carts.

Reason 1: Difficulty in locating the cart

One of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment is the difficulty buyers need help locating the cart while browsing for more products.

Fix 1: Enhance cart accessibility

To address this, brands must make the cart easily accessible. Here are some strategies to do this:

  • Incorporate a drop-down or view-on-hover cart on product pages to show added items.

  • Allow customers to adjust items and quantities directly from the drop-down cart.

  • Ensure the cart can display multiple items without cutting off. If needed, use scrolling.

Brands doing it right-

Fashion brand Ayesha Accessories, for instance, has a drop-down cart that allows quick viewing and editing of product quantities, providing a seamless shopping experience.

Ayesha Accessories

Reason 2: Can't edit cart or save for later

Another reason buyers abandon their carts is the lack of any options to edit carts or save items for future purchases.

Fix 2: Allow cart editing and saving options for convenient purchase planning

To address this, businesses should:

  • Allow cart editing by adding or removing items directly from the cart.

  • Enable customers to set up alerts or notifications about the sales, discounts, or inventory status of wishlist items.

  • Create a 'Save for Later' or 'Wishlist' option on product pages and in the drop-down cart.

Brands doing it right–

Home decor brand Ritualistic, for example, has an 'Add to Wishlist' button on its product pages, enabling customers to plan their purchases.


Reason 3: Overwhelming cross-selling

Excessive product recommendations in the cart can overwhelm and deter even the most interested customers.

Fix 3: Simplify and personalize cross-selling

Businesses can overcome this challenge by providing a non-spammy and neat cart experience. Here's how:

  • Limit the number of product recommendations displayed in the cart.

  • Allow buyers to customize their cross-selling preferences or opt out of cross-selling suggestions altogether.

  • Experiment with different cross-selling strategies and monitor their impact on cart abandonment rates.

Brands doing it right–

For instance, the men's clothing brand Jimmy Luxury has a well-organized cart with limited recommendations, leading to a user-friendly interface.

Jimmy Luxury

How to recover abandoned carts

Even after implementing these fixes, some cart abandonment is inevitable. According to data from the Baymard Institute, 42.5% of US online shoppers abandon carts because they need more time to buy. This is where email marketing comes into play.

One of the most effective ways to recover abandoned carts is through a cart recovery email flow. This is a series of emails triggered after a customer abandons their cart. The flow should remind customers about the items left in their cart and offer discounts to nudge them to buy.

Setting up abandoned cart recovery flow

A typical cart recovery email flow look like this:


  • First email: Send an abandoned cart email immediately after the customer abandons their cart.

  • Reminder email: Send a reminder email after a few hours or a day.

  • Offer email: Send an email offering a discount or special offer to incentivize the customer to complete the purchase.

  • Last chance email: Send a final email notifying the customer that the items in their cart are selling fast.

A cart recovery email flow typically involves sending out 3-4 emails over a period of 4 days. These emails should remind buyers about the items left in their cart and provide offers & discounts to nudge them to complete their purchase.

You can use your Email Service Provider (ESP), such as Mailmodo, Klaviyo, or Omnisend, to set up this flow.

How to set up an abandoned cart recovery flow with Mailmodo

If you're a Mailmodo customer, you can easily build this flow with pre-built automation customised with your brand assets.


Cart abandonment is a common but solvable issue in e-commerce. You can significantly reduce cart abandonment rates by understanding why customers abandon their carts and implementing targeted strategies to address these reasons. Additionally, leveraging email marketing for cart recovery can help recover lost sales and turn abandoned carts into completed purchases. Happy recovery!

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