If you run an e-commerce store such as WooCommerce, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen dozens, or even hundreds, depending on the size of your store, of instances of lost purchase due to a WooCommerce abandoned cart.
This is a pretty common occurrence, that people change their minds all the time, it’s natural - there’s nothing you can do about it. This is where you’re wrong. This is a very common mistake that not only beginners make but longtime online shop owners as well.
What if we were to tell you that one of our customers, saw a recovery of lost purchases of 35% simply by doing what we are going to recommend in this article?
WooCommerce abandoned carts can still be recovered!
You can still make a sale even after a customer left your site after adding items on their cart without placing an order. All you need is a little prompting, and maybe a bit of an incentive, to make it easier for the potential client to make their decision.
Recovering abandoned carts is actually very important and in fact, you can actually get sales from recovered carts. One case study revealed that you can recover 29% of abandoned carts.
Do some math in your head. Calculate all your abandoned purchases and now, add a third of that amount to the revenue of your business, without having to do any additional work!
One of our own customers, a store selling superfoods and health products, saw a recovery of even 35% of lost purchases. By simply activating a process which prompted their user to come back to the store and finalize the purchase, they saw an increase of 9% in bottom-line revenue, with zero manual intervention required.
But how do you recover abandoned carts?
The dead simple answer is this: by reminding your customers about their pending purchases and that you’ve kept their items in your cart.
This can be easily achieved by sending them an email notification about their last session on your site, urging them to continue shopping or to finish their orders. When this doesn’t work, you may need to offer incentives to reel them back in.
With that in mind, in this article, we’re going to see a powerful abandoned cart emailing solution for WooCommerce - Abandoned Cart Pro.
But before we get into that, let’s talk a little about abandoned carts first. This is important, especially if you didn’t know that there was a way and that you should try to recover abandoned carts.
We’ll also review the free version of Abandoned Cart (Lite) for those who are just getting started or who just want to take a look at how the plugin works.
We believe that Abandoned Cart Pro for WooCommerce by Tyche Softwares is hands down, the best plugin you can use to recover any order abandonment. Using this product and using a combination of tips we mention believe, you can easily recover up to 30% of lost sales and even more.
Our overall rating: (5 out of 5) - Excellent - highly recommended
What we Liked
While the features list is huge, there are a few key things worth recommending about this service:
Email notifications are free.
Facebook Messenger Notifications.
Easy, setup and excellent support.
What is An Abandoned Cart?
No, we're not talking about physical trolleys which have not been returned to their "parking" ;-)
When someone adds something to an online shopping cart and then leaves the site without making a purchase, that’s an abandoned cart.
Abandoned carts are very common. In fact, cart abandonment rate has been high since 2006, averaging by 66.7% from the past twelve years (2006-2017), as shown in the graph below (source: Statista).
On the first quarter of 2018, however, shopping cart abandonment rate reached a whopping record high of 75.6% according to new data from Statista. This means that online stores, in theory, could have made four times more sales if only they were able to prevent or recover all those abandoned carts.
Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
People don’t abandon a shopping cart for no reason. In fact, there are actually many different valid reasons why people do not complete a purchase.
Knowing and understanding these reasons will allow you to make informed decisions on what to do to recover abandoned carts and to prevent or reduce them.
While we can’t do much about some of the reasons, such as when they’re only conducting a research or trying things out, many of them can actually be prevented to reduce your cart abandonment rate.
Here are some of the most popular reasons why customers abandon their shopping cart and what you can do about each of them.
1. An unexpected increase in total price after adding shipping costs and taxes
You’ve also probably experienced this as well.
You go to an online store, pick some items you like and then when you’re about to check out, you see that the total price is very different from what you’ve expected. You see that the shipping costs and taxes added a significant increase to the total price.
What will you do? You’ll probably abandon the shopping and look for other online stores with cheaper shipping or more transparent pricing.
The solution? Be transparent and fully disclose everything from the start.
Perhaps add the tax to the listing price and be upfront about shipping costs.
Better yet, bundle the shipping cost to the items and then offer “free shipping” upon checkout. Believe it or not, that works very well. Free is a powerful word.
In fact, bundling the shipping cost on the product’s price and offering free shipping yields more sales than separating the product price and shipping costs.
2. Customers are concerned about security and trustworthiness
People see this in news every time. Online hacking, hijacking, etc. Malicious individuals stealing credit card information and more. It’s a big risk.
When your customers feel insecure about your site, they will most likely abandon their shopping cart, no matter how cheap or great your offer is.
The solution? There are quite a few:
- Make sure you add an SSL certificate to your site.
- Provide your full name (and other owners’ and associates’ names if applicable) as well as you and your partners’ full address(es), contact details,
- Have clear terms and condition, and a clear refund and money-back guarantee policy,
- Allow customers to pay through Paypal so they don’t have to give you their credit card details
- Just make sure that your site appears trustworthy
Customers will feel more at ease if they know who owns and operates the site and that they are a legitimate company. But sometimes this isn’t enough.
You can further boost your trust rating by what is called social proof.
This can be achieved by using genuine user testimonials, establishing a strong social media presence, and by paying close attention to your website’s design and layout.
Sometimes that even means updating your design, to make it look professional.
Yes, your site’s appearance plays a major role, believe it or not. Not convinced?
Think about it, where would you buy the latest product, costing tens, hundreds of even thousands of dollars? From a site that's not responsive, has broken or hard to use navigations, full of broken links, and is badly designed, or from a site that utilizes a clean, responsive and modern design?
Just as an example, why do people shop at Amazon? Partly because they have good prices, but most importantly because they know the site, it has a great reputation for being 100% trustworthy - if you shop from Amazon, you are safe.
It’s the same if you were to go shopping at a physical store. A clean and well-organized shop will certainly get more foot traffic than a disorganized shop with an unsettling atmosphere.
3. The need to create accounts
Customers want convenience. Forcing customers to create an account in order to checkout increases the likelihood of cart abandonment. Once again, according to Statista, 21% of customers hate long processes, so they leave the site without purchasing.
The solution? Allow them to checkout without having to create an account.
Simply asking them for an email or phone number for order follow-ups should be enough. Of course, you can still try to get them to create an account by explaining how it could help them track their orders easier, but never force them to.
4. Customers suddenly have to attend to something
This happens all the time. Imagine, you’re browsing for new shoes on an online shop, then an unexpected visitor came in, a phone call, your kid suddenly needed attention, or another urgent matter requires your immediate attention.
Perhaps you’re waiting for a friend at a certain meeting place and while waiting, you decided to browse for products. You then proceeded to add a product on the cart, but suddenly your friend is here, so you don’t complete your purchase.
Life happens, it interrupts our shopping, we forget...and that purchase is abandoned in the process.
The solution? Send a reminder email or abandoned cart emails and follow-ups to the customer to remind them about their pending cart contents - this is the focus of the 2nd part of this article.
5. Customers are just browsing or researching
Online shoppers do a lot of research first before purchasing an item, particularly when they are making an important or expensive purchase.
They check the best brands or products based on their needs, budget, preferences and then they find the cheapest or most trustworthy place to purchase the product.
They may go to your online store, add the items they wanted on a cart to check the final price. They then don’t check out and go and check competitor sites.
Basically, they’re checking out where they can get the best bang for their buck. While the fact that they left your site is not great, it’s still a good sign that your company was a candidate.
More importantly, the customer is in researching mode, which is about to switch to buying mode. They are not yet ready to purchase, but they certainly will.
The solution? Send a reminder email, or an abandoned cart email to follow up. You can then offer coupons or discounts or slashed down shipping costs in order to entice them in purchasing the contents of their cart.
There are various other reasons why shoppers abandon their cart, but those are the most common ones.
Now that you know the most popular reasons why customers abandon their cart, it’s time to know why you should recover an abandoned cart.
If you’re thinking, that their decision can’t be helped, if they truly want to purchase from us, then they’ll come back later - but you can actually influence the decision.
You should give them a push to make this happen.
Let’s explore that topic in the next section.
Why Recover Abandoned Checkouts?
One of the obvious reasons why you need to recover abandoned carts is the increased sales. By recovering them, you will be able to boost your sales, revenue and bottom-line profitability.
Remember that trying to reach a new customer is much more expensive than getting one that already showed interest.
Abandoned cart emails are also inexpensive to implement (especially in WordPress and WooCommerce) compared to other forms of advertisement and promotions.
Have a look at the following infographic from SaleCycle:
Aside from that, you will be able to determine the best courses of actions to increase your sales by analyzing how your customers engage with your recovery emails.
Did your cart recovery emails get the most response when you included a product discount?
Then, maybe your pricing is a little steep for the average customer. Or perhaps you recovered the most carts when you offered free shipping, which means that your shipping costs are a bit high.
Overall, putting effort on analyzing and creating your abandoned cart email campaigns can help make you a better online store owner.
Let’s now see how to recover some of those lost sales.
Best Way to Recover Carts
One of the best ways to recover carts is by sending an abandoned cart email to the customer. Other ways are by sending browser notifications, Facebook message notification, text messages, and many more.
We’re going to tackle the email recovery method in this section.
The standard way of doing abandoned cart emails is by sending a wave of three emails:
- The first one is sent within an hour after cart abandonment.
- The second one is within 24 hours of cart abandonment and
- the final one is sent within 3-5 days of cart abandonment.
Let’s take brief a look at each phase.
1. The First Email
The first email is crucial. It should be sent within an hour after cart abandonment. Any longer would drastically decrease the conversion rate.
The first e-mail should simply contain a friendly reminder about the customer’s pending order. The message’s tone should be customer service oriented.
Ask them if they had difficulty placing an order and put resources such as links and FAQs about ordering as well as details on how to reach your customer support to assist them in completing their purchase, if applicable.
Most of the people that you’ll be able to capture back in the first email are those who are ready to purchase your products but are suddenly interrupted by something.
Remind them to complete their purchase within a short amount of time so that they don’t forget about it, potentially leading them to a competitor if they try to shop again later.
The notification should be a summary of their shopping cart contents including the quantity and price as well as a link to take them back to their shopping cart containing the exact products they left.
2. The Second Email
If they didn’t reclaim their cart on the first email, there’s a good chance they didn’t just have to leave your site to attend to something - they’re probably researching or perhaps even taken aback by your price/shipping costs.
That’s what the second email will take care of.
This email should be sent within 24 hours of cart abandonment. In this second mail, you will try to persuade your customer by offering incentives and by creating a sense of urgency / scarcity.
If the product is popular, you can try using a subject line like “Hurry, items in your cart will be sold out soon!”. You can do shipping discounts if you have flat shipping rates, but make sure you make the discount limited to 24 hours or so, to ramp up the scarcity.
3. The Third and Final E-mail
This is your last chance and final attempt to recover your lost customer.
This is typically where discount and coupons are used - the ultimate weapon in an abandoned checkout recovery attempts. Other ways include offering discounts on their next purchase or by providing bonus loyalty points, where applicable.
The discount trick, however, is usually used for first-time buyers or first purchases. This is to prevent repeat offenders (people who abandon their carts to get discounts).
You can use something in the lines of “We’ll give you 15% discount on your first purchase valid for 3 days! Don't miss out!”.
Don’t forget to let the customer know that this will be the last time you’ll be emailing them about their abandoned carts.
4. Final tricks
On every email, try putting a link to a survey asking your customers why they didn’t complete their purchase.
This will allow you to understand what made them change their mind at the last minute. This way, you will be able to find out what made them back out. Whatever it was, you’ll be able to adjust the experience based on the feedback of your clients.
It’s now time to learn how to send cart recovery emails on a WooCommerce powered WordPress ecommerce site.
Send Recovery Emails for Free using WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Lite
Now that you know the importance of abandoned cart recovery and the ways to recover them, we’re going to check out a plugin for WordPress that helps you do just that. This is Abandoned Cart plugin by Tyche Softwares.
There are two versions of the plugin:
- one is the free version available in the WordPress repository called Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce and
- the pro version available from Tyche Software’s website.
In this section, we’re going to discover how to use the free version.
Abandoned Cart Lite is an excellent plugin that’ll help you recover lost purchases. To begin, install and activate Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce from your WordPress dashboard.
Once activated, you can find it under WooCommerce > Abandoned Carts.
Upon clicking the menu, you will be taken to the dashboard, which looks like this:
Here, you can view the list of abandoned orders. You’ll find information about them such as the email address of the customer, the customer name, the total price of the order, the date they stopped making the purchase and the current status.
You can now decide to view the order or delete it. Clicking “View order” will enable you to view more information such as the address and the contents which were added.
Creating Email Templates
Under the Email Templates tab, you will find your notification email templates. In the screenshot below, we have three templates and they were set to be sent at set intervals which follows the tricks we discussed earlier:
If you wish to create a new template, click the “Add New Template” button.
The “Template Name” is private and is used for organizing purposes. You can name it anything you want. In the earlier screenshot, you can see that our Template Names were “Initial, Secondary”, and “Final” which allows us to easily determine which email is which.
The “Subject” is your email’s subject line. Here is where you’d place an eye-catching subject like “10% off your pending order” to entice your customer to open the email.
Next is the “Email Body” section.
As you can see from the screenshot above, you can use built-in variables to help you craft your notification email.
Below the Email Body editor, you’ll find additional important settings.
The first option, “Use WooCommerce Template Style” will make use of WooCommerce’s design in your email formatting. Unchecking it may result in your emails being sent in plain HTML.
The next one, “Email Template Header Text” is what appears at the header of your emails, as shown below. This email sample uses WooCommerce style.
The next option, “Send this email” allows you to choose when the email should be sent. You can choose to send the email either 1, 2 or 3 days or 1, 2, or 3 hours after the cart was abandoned.
The settings page will allow you to adjust various options regarding the behavior of the plugin:
The “Cart abandoned cut-off time” defines how long the plugin will wait before marking an order as abandoned. If a customer adds items to their shopping cart and has not proceeded to checkout after the number of minutes you defined here, then this will be marked as abandoned.
The next option is fairly straightforward which allows you to define how long such items should remain in the database before deleting them.
The next option, “Email admin On Order Recovery” is another straightforward one, which notifies you or another admin whenever a sale was recovered. This could be useful if you want to send a personal message to your recovered customers, etc.
If you enable the “Start tracking from Cart Page” option, then once a customer adds an item to their cart, the plugin will automatically start tracking the cart even if the customer doesn’t visit the checkout page.
The problem here is that you won’t be able to capture the customer’s email, so there will be no way for you to send them an abandoned cart email reminder. This can be solved, however, by using the Pro version of the plugin, which will tackle later on.
The remaining options from this settings page are for privacy purposes, which should be fairly straightforward.
On to the next settings!
Email Sending Settings
This page helps you configure sending settings, the options are fairly straightforward. The plugin does a good job of explaining their uses. It can be accessed by clicking the “Email sending settings” besides the “General settings” as shown below:
In this tab, you can view a report of your recovered orders within a selected date range. You’ll be able to check how many orders you recovered as well as the total amount you recovered from them along with other details.
In this tab, you can view what products were abandoned, how many times this happened and how many times they were recovered.
FAQs and Support
The final tab contains frequently asked questions about the plugin as well as Tyche Softwares contact details.
And that’s it how to send notification emails for free thanks to the Abandoned Cart Lite plugin from Tyche Softwares. It’s a powerful free tool that will help you recover potentially lost sales with ease - and for free! It also includes some valuable tools that can help you in tracking abandoned carts and products.
While this functionality is great, there are much better ways to boost your recovery rates. Limited functions such as the inability to capture the customer’s email as soon as possible to make sure that you can send them an abandoned cart email are solved in the Pro version of the plugin, but there’s so much more than that!
Let’s check it out next.
WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Pro
While the Lite version of the plugin offers basic recovery tools, the WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Pro offers a complete set of features that will allow you to try to recover 100% of all abandoned carts. The pro version includes all the features of the free version, plus many more. Some of the free features were extended to allow for more customization.
The PRO version has undergone a lot of changes over the past year. Tyche Softwares added new features and improvements such as Facebook and Twilio integration allowing you to send abandoned cart messages to your customer’s Facebook accounts or to their mobile phone numbers. We’re going to see these features as we go on a tour of the plugin.
Keep in mind that we’re not going to explain in detail all of the features of the plugin, we’re just going to check them out and compare them to the free version, if applicable. Some of the features of the Pro version requires advanced setup and the new Email Body Template editor has a lot more to offer. Fortunately, there’s exhaustive documentation available on Tyche Software’s website to help you.
Let’s start the tour!
The dashboard alone instantly shows the difference between the free and the pro version, with the latter greeting you with a pretty looking graph about your store’s cart abandonment statistics.
In the screenshot above, you can see the number of abandoned orders and the collected email from the “Add To Cart Popup” setting, also presented via a nice circle graph.
Further down the main dashboard, you’ll see more information which displays your email and campaign stats.
This feature allows you to effectively measure the effectiveness of your recovery campaigns to help you make informed decisions on what to change or improve for better results.
The Abandoned Orders tab looks similar to the free version. The pro version, however, shows you more details and you have more options at your disposal, with more columns in the list.
You can see that the “Status of Cart” column is now also color coded. Furthermore, you can now instantly send a custom email to the customer, which could be useful if they have tons of products in their cart - you wouldn’t want to miss that!
Instead of “Email templates”, the pro version now calls this just “Templates” tab. The reason is that aside from abandoned recovery emails, you can now send SMS notifications and Facebook Messenger messages as well.
Adding New Templates
Let’s see what’s new in the “Add New Templates” section:
We now have more control over the email templates. We can fine-tune the number of minutes before sending the email after cart abandonment. In the free version, we can only choose from either 1-3 days or hours, now we have more granular options, giving us more customization options.
The “Send to selected Segment(s)” option allows you to choose whether you’ll want to send the email to a guest user, a registered user, a cart with a single product, etc. This offers fine-grained control over which email to send to whom.
Up next is the “Send the Abandoned cart emails to” which allows you to choose if you want to send the email to customers, to admins, or to both or even to custom email addresses.
The Email Body section remains largely the same, but now you have more options to choose from especially in the variables and there’s also the new buttons variables.
Here is a full list of items you can actually use as variables for your template:
The bottom part remains largely the same, except for the additional ability to add coupon codes.
One of the notable features of the Pro version is the ability to send SMS notifications to your customers. This feature requires you to have a Twilio account.
You can make use of tags to further customize your text messages, as you can see from above.
Facebook Messenger Templates
Aside from emails and SMS, you also have to option to send abandoned cart reminders to your customers through Facebook. It requires some additional setup to work. Thankfully, there’s an excellent guide on Tyche Software’s website to help you with that.
Just like in the free version, the settings tab allows you to configure the plugin’s settings and behavior. Of course, to reflect the additional features of the Pro version, the settings tab contains more options to configure as well as additional sub-pages. One of the most prominent new settings that you can configure in this page is the “Add to Cart Popup Editor” which will prompt users to enter their email address before they can add a product in the cart.
In addition to that, further below the page, you can find additional advanced settings for WP-cron as well as e-mail and IP exclusion.
Add to Cart Pop Up Editor
This powerful feature exclusive in the Pro version will allow you to capture the email address of anyone adding items to their cart. The default configuration of the pop-up modal will reveal a prompt that asks users to enter their email address once they click “Add to cart” anywhere on your site.
The users will just have to enter their email address in the box and the process is done, which doesn’t interrupt the buying process by a lot. Of course, you can also configure it to allow users to continue without entering their email address. In this case, you may want to put a strategy to ensure that they’ll give their email address to you.
Below you can see the default settings of the Cart Popup modal.
Facebook Messenger Settings
Up next is the page where you can configure Facebook messenger reminder settings. Follow the documentation in the Tyche Software’s website to find out how you can utilize this feature.
The SMS settings page is fairly straightforward. Remember that you need a Twilio account for this to work. Here’s what the SMS settings page looks like:
You can see your recovered carts in this tab. Remains similar to the free version.
This is another feature not present in the free version. In this tab, you can view the list of emails and SMS messages sent, the time they were opened and whether the links were clicked or not.
Just like in the free version, you can see what items were abandoned, the number of times they were abandoned as well as the number of times they were recovered.
Alright! We’ve covered about 90% of what the plugin offers and that should give you an idea about the difference between the free and the pro version as well as the notable features the latter has to offer.
The next question is, is it affordable?
WooCommerce abandoned cart Pro comes with three pricing plans. The first license is for a single store, which costs $119. Then the next option is for up to five stores which costs $199 and the final option is for unlimited stores which cost $249. This is for a 1-year license. Renewals come at a discount.
Overall, the maximum price is as little as $20.75 a month for an unlimited site license and less than $10 a month for a single site license.
We think this is ridiculously cheap. If you think about it, recover just one or two orders per month is already a good return on the price of the purchase.
If you have a lot of abandoned carts, then the pro version will certainly be worth your investment.
There are many satisfied users of Abandoned Cart Pro. On their website, people say that the plugin works great and that their customer support is excellent. And if you’re wondering if they’re genuine, they’ve got links to some of the user testimonials pointing to social media accounts.
Even the free version has a rating of 4.5 stars in the WordPress repository.
The plugin also got a shoutout from Chris Lema:
Colin Newcomer and ThemeIsle have also written a great article, using this plugin as the centerpiece.
Really and truly, this is the best WooCommerce plugin to recover any abandoned orders.
WooCommerce Abandoned Cart Pro offers tons of features to help you recover your abandoned carts and it comes with flexible pricing and extensive documentation. Overall, it’s worth the purchase if you’re seeing tons of abandoned checkouts in your site, the investment you’ll have to pay can easily be recovered by a couple of recovered carts especially if you do it right since you’d be able to recover around 12% of abandoned checkouts!