abandoned cart in supermarket with goods inside it

How to send abandoned cart emails on Shopify?

Tim Khud
Shopify Tutorials

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What Is An Abandoned Cart Email?

A cart abandonment email is a pivotal component of e-commerce marketing, designed to re-engage potential customers who have added items to their online shopping carts but left the website without completing their purchase. These emails are strategically crafted and automated, leveraging specialized email marketing software plugins to be sent to individuals who have exhibited interest in products but did not finalize their transactions.

The purpose of these emails is clear: to remind customers about the products they left behind and to motivate them to complete the purchase. Typically, these emails contain personalized messages addressing the abandoned items, urging customers to return to the website and providing a convenient call-to-action button to resume the checkout process. Furthermore, these emails often incorporate incentives like discount codes or free shipping offers to sweeten the deal. Sent out immediately or after a specified delay, these messages serve as powerful tools to increase sales, reduce abandoned carts, and enhance the overall efficiency of an online store's marketing strategy.

Effective cart abandonment recovery tips that work best

  1. Utilize Shopify’s Abandoned Cart Recovery Feature: Shopify's built-in feature automatically sends recovery emails to customers who abandon checkouts and don't complete the purchase.
  2. Send Personalized Abandoned Cart Emails: In addition to Shopify's automated checkout emails, consider sending personalized abandoned cart emails. Utilize Shopify apps or third-party email marketing tools to create customized messages. Include a clear call-to-action and offer a discount or incentive to entice customers to finalize their purchase.
  3. Retarget Customers with Ads: Implement retargeting ads on social media platforms such as Meta and Google. These ads remind customers of the items they left in their cart, effectively bringing them back to your store. Retargeting is a powerful strategy, as it keeps your products fresh in the minds of potential buyers, encouraging them to complete their purchase.
  4. Optimize Your Checkout Process: Ensure your checkout process is user-friendly and straightforward. A complicated or lengthy checkout process can discourage customers from completing their purchases. Simplify the steps, minimize form fields, and offer guest checkout options to streamline the experience.
  5. Create Attractive Email Templates: Design visually appealing email templates that align with your brand's aesthetics. A well-designed email is more likely to capture the recipient's attention and encourage them to engage with the content. Use eye-catching visuals and a clear layout to guide customers back to their abandoned carts.
  6. Personalize Every Element: Beyond just the customer's name, personalize every element of your email. Tailor product recommendations based on their browsing history, include personalized subject lines, and create content that resonates with their interests and preferences. The more personalized your emails are, the more effective they will be in convincing customers to return to their carts.
  7. Write an Amazing Copy: Craft compelling and persuasive copy for your abandoned cart emails. Use persuasive language, highlight the benefits of the products, and address any concerns the customer might have. A well-written email copy can create a sense of urgency and excitement, motivating customers to complete their purchase promptly.
  8. Schedule Abandoned Cart Emails: Timing is crucial when it comes to abandoned cart emails. Schedule your emails strategically, considering the customer's time zone and their typical online behavior. Experiment with different sending times to find the optimal schedule that yields the highest response rates.
  9. A/B Test Email Campaigns: Conduct A/B testing on your email campaigns to identify what resonates best with your audience. Test different subject lines, email copy, visuals, and calls-to-action to determine which elements drive higher conversion rates. Use the insights gained from A/B testing to refine your email strategy for better results.
  10. Set Up Automation: Leverage automation tools to streamline your cart abandonment recovery process. Set up automated sequences that trigger emails at specific intervals after the cart is abandoned. Automation ensures that your recovery efforts are consistent and timely, increasing the chances of converting abandoned carts into completed purchases.

Ways to recover abandoned carts and checkouts on Shopify

Manual customer outreach

In the event that you prefer to handle abandoned cart recovery manually, Shopify provides a straightforward process to send cart abandonment emails directly to customers. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to manually send a cart abandonment email:

  • Access Abandoned Checkouts: Start by logging into your Shopify admin panel. From there, navigate to Orders and then select Abandoned Checkouts.
  • Choose the Checkout to Recover: Identify the specific checkout you wish to recover from the list of abandoned checkouts. Click on the corresponding number associated with that checkout to proceed.
  • Send a Cart Recovery Email: Within the selected checkout details, locate and click on the option that says Send a Cart Recovery Email. This action triggers the cart recovery email for that specific checkout. If you want to send a customized email independently, you can copy the recovery link provided and paste it into your own email template.
  • Optional: Add a Custom Message and Additional Recipients: If desired, you can include a custom message along with the recovery email. Additionally, you have the option to send copies of the email to multiple email addresses. Tick the box beside each email address you want to send a copy to.
  • Review and Send: Once you have composed your message and selected the recipients, review the email to ensure all the details are accurate. Click on Review Email to double-check your email content.
  • Send the Notification: After reviewing the email and making any necessary changes, click on Send Notification to dispatch the recovery email to the customer.
abandoned checkout recovery status interface in shopify admin panel

It's important to note that the Recovery status on the Abandoned Checkout page will only be updated to "recovered" if the customer completes their order using the link provided in the email. This manual approach allows you to personally engage with customers who abandoned their checkouts, giving you the flexibility to customize your communication and potentially recover lost sales effectively.

Automated checkout recovery emails on Shopify

To automatically send abandoned checkout recovery emails on Shopify, follow these steps:

  • Access Your Shopify Settings: Log in to your Shopify admin panel and navigate to Settings.
  • Configure Abandoned Checkout Emails:I n the Settings menu, click on Checkout.
  • Enable Automatic Email Sending: Within the Abandoned Checkouts section, locate the option that says Automatically send abandoned checkout emails. Check this option to enable automatic sending of recovery emails.
  • Specify Recipients: Under the Send to section, you can choose the recipients for the recovery emails, Anyone who abandons a checkout or Email subscribers who abandon a checkout.
  • Set Sending Time Delay: Determine when Shopify should send the abandoned checkout email under Send after, Shopify recommends sending abandoned checkout emails 10 hours later by default. If you chose to send abandoned checkout emails manually, then you can pick Never as an option.
  • Save Your Settings: Once you've configured the options according to your preferences, click Save to apply the changes.

By enabling this automatic feature, Shopify will send recovery emails to customers who have abandoned their checkouts based on the specified criteria and time delay you've set. This automation helps streamline the process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business while effectively recovering potentially lost sales.

Customization options within Shopify

Customize email button within the Abandoned checkout emails interface on shopify
  • Access the Abandoned Checkout Email Template: To start customizing, navigate to the abandoned checkout section and click on ‘Customize email’ in the menu. Here, you'll find the abandoned checkout email template.
  • Edit the Template with HTML and Variables: In the template editor, you have the freedom to modify both the subject line and the email body using HTML. Additionally, you can use variables to incorporate accent colors, logos, and other dynamic content, enhancing the visual appeal and personalization of your emails.
  • Save Your Customizations: Once you’ve fine-tuned the email template to align with your brand identity and messaging strategy, simply click ‘Save’ to apply your customizations.

By customizing your abandoned checkout emails, you ensure that they reflect your brand's unique style and effectively resonate with your target audience. However, it's important to note that this level of customization requires coding knowledge, which might be a challenge for some merchants.

Considering these limitations, many store owners opt for a Shopify Abandoned Cart email app. These apps provide user-friendly interfaces, eliminating the need for extensive coding expertise. With these apps, you can easily customize your email templates, implement follow-up sequences, and track the effectiveness of your campaigns, all without delving into complex code.

Optimizing Abandoned Cart Recovery: Choosing the Right Shopify App for Seamless Automation

Setting up automation with a Shopify app can significantly streamline the process of recovering abandoned carts, especially for growing businesses. Manually sending abandoned cart emails can be time-consuming and might not yield the desired results. When choosing an app, look for one that offers the following features:

cart recovery apps on Shopify
  1. Automated Workflows: The app should allow you to automate abandoned cart emails by creating workflows or recipes. These automated sequences ensure timely and consistent follow-ups with potential customers who have abandoned their carts.
  2. Workflow Management: Ensure that you can end the workflow once the customer makes the desired action, such as completing the purchase. Additionally, set specific time intervals between emails, as discussed earlier, to effectively re-engage customers.
  3. Restart Conditions: The app should provide options to set conditions to restart the workflow if the cart is abandoned again. This flexibility ensures that your recovery efforts are ongoing and adaptive to customer behavior.
  4. Template Customization: Look for an app with a wide range of email templates and extensive customization options. Drag-and-drop features within the template allow you to adjust the content according to your specific needs. Ensuring that the emails are visually appealing and responsive on various devices, including mobile phones, is crucial.
  5. Workflow Conditions: Check the conditions the app provides for constructing workflows. Having multiple conditions at your disposal allows you to create a well-optimized abandoned cart recovery sequence. This ensures a smooth flow within each step of the customer's journey when they do not complete a purchase.
  6. Incentives and Discounts: Incorporate discount codes or incentives in your emails. These offers encourage potential customers to reconsider and complete their purchase. Such incentives can significantly increase the chances of successful cart recovery.
  7. A/B Testing: After setting up your automated workflow, conduct A/B tests to understand your audience's behavior better. Constantly optimize your email content based on the results of these tests. By understanding what resonates best with your customers, you can implement strategies that yield the best outcomes.

In essence, the key is to continuously optimize your abandoned cart recovery strategy. Understanding your audience and their preferences through A/B testing allows you to make informed decisions. By implementing what works best, you can create a highly effective abandoned cart recovery system that not only saves time but also maximizes your chances of recovering lost sales and engaging potential customers effectively.


Recovering abandoned carts on Shopify requires a blend of timely automation and personalized engagement. Automated recovery emails, coupled with incentives and retargeting ads, encourage customers to complete purchases. Customization, from templates to persuasive copy, enhances the impact of these efforts. Utilizing Shopify apps automates the process, freeing up time for other tasks. Continuous optimization through A/B testing ensures your strategies align with customer preferences, maximizing conversions and revenue. Remember, a strategic and personalized approach is the key to successful cart recovery on Shopify.