September 15, 2021

WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Email Strategies to Recover More Orders

Reading time about 10 min

WooCommerce abandoned cart emails should be among your top priorities when setting up your WooCommerce store or WordPress site. If you’re just starting on the platform, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to WooCommerce email marketing

The problem is, WooCommerce doesn’t have a built-in feature that lets you send abandoned cart recovery emails right away. Given that 23% of all ecommerce shops worldwide are on WooCommerce, it’s a mystery why the platform doesn’t provide such an option. 

In any case, you’ll need to add an email marketing plugin. Let’s go over your options and the best practices for sending abandoned cart emails on WooCommerce.

Why Recovering Abandoned Carts on WooCommerce is Essential

69.8% of shopping carts end up abandoned. That’s close to 70% of sales that could’ve happened but didn’t. 

So the average online store gets only about a third of the sales that it could’ve had. Can you imagine what your business would look like if you managed to plug the money-leaking hole called cart abandonment?

Even if you don’t do any other kind of ecommerce email marketing, just setting up WooCommerce abandoned cart emails could double or triple your sales. It’s the simplest, most effective campaign you can run.

Related: The Best Free and Paid WooCommerce/WordPress Newsletter Plugins

The Cart Recovery Process

How do you actually recover abandoned carts on WooCommerce? Here’s what should happen.

First, connect your store to an email service that has the capability to track abandoned carts. Again, WooCommerce doesn’t do this for you. Then, enable this plugin to sync with your WooCommerce admin, track carts, and send email.

Then, set up signup forms to gather email addresses. At the checkout page, add a checkbox asking people to agree to marketing emails so you can legally send them promotional emails. 

Add signup forms to other pages as well to get visitors who haven’t purchased anything yet to register. This way, you’ll have their email if they abandon their cart even before placing their first order.

Next comes setting up the abandoned cart recovery. It can be one email, a series of emails, or a multi-channel campaign with both email and SMS. Essentially, it’s a marketing automation sequence that should trigger when a cart gets abandoned. 

You choose the delay (how long to wait) and what to say in order to make people come back. Don’t forget an exit rule — the campaign should stop if the order is completed.

Top Strategies for WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails

While shoppers understand and expect abandoned cart emails, there are certain best practices that guarantee a maximum number of orders recovered.

  • Stimulate account creation (registration) with exit intent popups or newsletter signups even before the first order. This way, you’ll be able to identify registered users by their email addresses later when they abandon their cart. Unfortunately, you can’t recover the carts of guest users.
  • Put signup forms on product pages to get potential customers with higher purchase intent to subscribe even if they don’t buy anything there and then..
  • Use live chat to answer questions in real time and convert customers, mimicking brick-and-mortar sales assistants. A chat popup on the cart page might get people talking and buying more.
  • Offer a wishlist option. People will be able to save their items of interest for later without having to add to cart anything and skewing your cart abandonment rate.
  • Enable WooCommerce guest checkout so it’s easier for customers to complete an order. You’d still get their email address at the end for shipping updates so you can ask for their consent to marketing emails as well (don’t forget GDPR!).
  • Include related product recommendations in cart recovery emails. This way, hesitant shoppers might complete the order with something else that catches their eye.
  • Use creative subject lines to get opens because there’s little use for a WooCommerce abandoned cart email that doesn’t get opened.
  • Use eye-catching templates so your brand stands out and people trust the links back to the store.
  • Spice up your CTA with words other than buy, order, and check out because they might sound too salesy. Try Back to my cart or Take another look.
  • Hold off discounts until the follow-up to try and save your profit margins. Only if the customer doesn’t convert after the first abandoned cart reminder, give them coupon codes to motivate them further.
  • Don’t overdo it so as not to alienate your customers and make them unsubscribe.

WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Recovery with Brevo

Brevo offers the full range of email marketing capabilities: transactional, personalized, automated, newsletter, and one-off emails. It’s more than just a cart recovery plugin, you can use it as such for your WooCommerce store. There’s a free version available to small ecommerce businesses just getting started. 

Here’s how to set up WooCommerce abandoned cart automation in Brevo so you don’t lose sales.

enabling event tracking by Brevo in the WooCommerce admin

  1. Download and install the Brevo’s Abandoned Cart Plugin for WooCommerce
  2. Make sure you turn tracking on from the WooCommerce admin (image above). This will allow Brevo to track your customers’ activity and catch the cart abandonment event.
  3. Your customer and order data will be synced.
  4. Design your abandoned cart email in Brevo. Go to Automation >> Email Templates and choose the “New Template” button in the top right. Here’s a more detailed guide to this step. There are also ready email templates available in the Template Gallery for you to use if you wish.
  5. Add dynamic personalization to the email template. This is done with special tags that show individual information to each recipient of the automated message. People only see their abandoned cart details and the cart link takes them back directly. You can customize for SKU, variant, price, category, quantity, image, cart value, discount, shipping cost, etc. 
  6. Create your WooCommerce abandoned cart automation flow. From the Automation tab in Brevo, choose “Create a workflow”. There’s a ready-made workflow template you can use — “Abandoned Cart”. Click “Create” to start customizing it. Here’s more information.
  7. Choose how long after the customer abandons the cart the email should trigger. We recommend a first touch within a few hours on the same day. 
  8. Then, choose to load the email template you created in step 4-5.
  9. The ready-made workflow has the exit and restart conditions in place so just follow the on-screen prompts.
  10. When you’re happy with the sequence you created, hit “Activate the workflow”.
  11. If you want to add another step to your WooCommerce abandoned cart workflow, click the plus sign. You’ll see this screen:
Workflow updates for email automation with Brevo.

You can add some or all of these steps to your workflow:

  • Add an SMS as a follow-up to the abandoned cart email. Input the text directly into the window.
  • Send another email with a different message. Create the template just like the other one, name it so you can find it easily, and load it on this step. This email can offer a discount if the first one doesn’t.
  • Or start another workflow. For example, you might want to educate your cart abandoners about your brand values or new products. So if they don’t react to your cart recovery attempts, get them started on another flow with content and new product suggestions to try and convert them. You’ll have to create that workflow separately and load it in the window here.

Timing Your Abandoned Cart Emails

Timing is very important for recovering WooCommerce abandoned carts. If you miss the window of opportunity, the customer would go to a competitor. If you flood them with too many emails too soon, they might get creeped out and unsubscribe from your marketing.

We recommend the following sequence:

  1. A quick reminder without discount 2 to 5 hours after abandonment;
  2. A follow-up email or a SMS with free shipping 24 hours later;
  3. A last try offering related products and a discount on a category, for example (because the specific product might be out of stock already) two days later.

adding conditions to an abandoned cart event in Brevo when creating an automated workflow

Examples of WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails

Recovering abandoned carts is a pretty standard procedure.You might even feel such campaigns are boring and lack imagination. But let’s look at some examples of WooCommerce abandoned cart emails that are anything but!


LOFT and Adidas both use humor in their copy to catch the attention of the recipient. 

a cart abandonment email by loft in which they use humor


a cart abandonment email by adidas in which they jokingly assume the reason for the abandonment is the wifi not working


#True to brand

Adidas aligns its message with its brand voice perfectly.

a cart abandonment email by adidas



Banana Republic packs its cart reminder emails with free shipping, urgency, and a price drop to make people complete their order.


#Adding more options

WORX suggests related products to choose from in case the customer is not interested in the abandoned one anymore.

a cart abandonment email by worx with related products

source: Really Good Emails

#Talking about values

The Sunday Collective tries to convince the cart abandoner by restating their brand values.

a cart abandonment email by The Sunday Collective where they talk about their values

source: Really Good Emails

Supercharge Your WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Emails with Brevo

Recover lost sales with personalized, automated emails and SMS. Beautiful templates available. WooCommerce plugin for fast and easy integration.

Open my free Brevo account now >>

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