The BEST Cart Recovery Emails

Cart Recovery - if you get it right, it’s a gold mine.  


According to SaleCycle, 84.3% of overall website visitors abandoned a purchase, quote or booking in 2019. That’s such a high percentage of website visitors, it’s obvious why Cart Recovery emails are one of the most popular and powerful triggered communications to be implemented. The conversion rates are some of the highest, with the average conversion rate for Travel at 25.3%, 28.1% for Retail and 31.1% for Fashion according to SaleCycle. 


Brands should take steps to ensure cart abandonment email content is relevant, the creative should grab the openers attention and above all, the messaging should encourage the would-be-customer to return to their cart to complete that purchase / booking. 


However, achieving that best-in-class cart abandonment email that will break all the records can be a challenge.


Over the last couple of years, not much has changed in the standard email template seen for an abandonment email. But technology has moved forwards and has unlocked further opportunities. We can now see our prospective product worn by other customers in UGC, see how many other people have viewed / bought that product recently and read reviews left by happy as well as unhappy customers. 


Use this technology within your abandonment emails to elevate them to the next level. Ensure you’re being relevant at the individual customer level. And overall, be effective in any targeting by using abandonment data or data already available within the CRM to personalize. 


My wish list for Cart Abandonment emails is as follows

  • CHOOSE SELECTIVE PRODUCTS - Focus on showcasing 1 or 2 products rather than the entire basket. Prioritise by the product / deals with the highest margin. 

  • USE PRODUCT STOCK DATA - Show how many products are left in stock to drive urgency. 

  • ADD LIVE REVIEWS - Give the user social approval by pulling in the latest dynamic reviews 

  • SHOW RELATABLE USER GENERATED CONTENT - Pull in UCG associated with that product to give that final stamp of approval. 


I have seen some great strategies in abandonment emails over the past few weeks whilst researching this blog - here are my top three: 

#1 - John Lewis

SL: Take another look


What stood out? The recommended products

The John Lewis email incorporates the exact product I left in my basket and adds in useful recommended products to complement the original product. The gin I was eyeing up (and thoroughly recommend) was perfectly paired with recommendations of gin glasses, nudging me towards a cross-sell. These are relevant recommendations based on my shopping behaviour. 


#2 -

SL: Still thinking it over?


What stood out? The strong brand positioning

The clear CTA and overall fun branding in this email makes me love Notonthehighstreet (owned by the amazing Holly Tucker) even more. Showcasing their latest promotion, it’s the customer service options that stood out, enticing you to complete your order with the help of their team. 




#3 - Kate Spade New York

SL: forgotten something?


What stood out? Live product stock callouts

For my #FeatureFriday, I chose Kate Spade because of their fantastic use of live product callouts, creating the urgency you need in Cart Recovery emails. By using a product's unique ID, the product's live quantity levels are surfaced so an 'Almost Gone' banner is displayed when a popular product is selling fast. 

Check out the video below 👇



#4 - Ted Baker

SL: Ted’s not forgotten! Complete your order


What stood out? Clear product layout plus recommended products

Sometimes simplicity is key - Ted Baker lay out the abandoned product details with their fantastic studio imagery forefront. The recommendations are relevant to the abandoned product, with other dressing up attire and the offer banner reflects the current onsite promotion. 



With the adoption of live content tech becoming more prevalent with the major high street retailers, it will be interesting to see how companies innovate cart abandonment emails over the next 6-12 months. There’s so much potential to decrease these heartbreaking 84.3% cart abandonment rates with just having more relevant content. 



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