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Abandoned Cart Email Offers: What We Learned from 1,000 Ecommerce Brands

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Cart abandonment is a huge issue in ecommerce. So cart abandonment emails are often a top revenue generator. And discounts and offers within those emails are proven tactics for increasing conversions.

All standard wisdom. But we wanted to see how ecommerce brands deployed their offers. Are “best practices” for offers prevailing? Which strategies are brands using—or neglecting?

Here’s what we did:

  • We chose 1,000 direct-to-consumer ecommerce brands.
  • We abandoned 1,000 carts.
  • 68% of those brands sent cart abandonment emails.
  • We received a total of 1,233 individual cart abandonment emails.

We assessed these brands’ offers and compiled the data. Here’s what we found, and what we think about it.

1. Most brands don’t include offers in abandoned cart emails.

percentage of brands that send cart abandonment email offers.

Nearly two-thirds of ecommerce brands don’t include offers in their abandoned cart emails. Why?

Many customers will return and complete their purchase without the incentive of an offer. So, simply sending an abandoned cart email (without an offer) may increase your revenue. Some companies may have found that fewer full-price cart recoveries generated more revenue than a higher volume of discounted sales.

It’s also possible that brands that do send abandoned cart emails have measured their performance only with or without a generic email, never optimizing the abandoned cart emails themselves—a pretty limited approach to “testing.”

Either way, you should run your own tests and find out if offers are the most profitable way to go. If including an offer reliably increases conversions, you can always tailor your offer to fit your profit margin and maximize ROI.

2. Companies backload offers in abandoned cart email series.

abandoned cart offer timing.

The general trend toward using offers as you get deeper into the cart abandonment series reflects companies’ belief (or, hopefully, data) that many of the “easy” recoveries will occur without an offer. Some customers need only a reminder, not a discount.

The later emails target the most stubborn cart abandoners, operating under the logic that an incentive is necessary to get the sale. If you send a reminder email without an offer as your first cart abandonment email, you save your discounts for customers who need the incentive.

The nearly 50-50 split between brands that do or don’t send an offer in every cart abandonment email is skewed lower by the first email, for which only 18% of companies include an offer. – Read more


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