You’ve built a great online store — sourced stock, set up product pages, analysed your checkout flow and the list goes on. You’ve done everything right. However, so many potential customers are abandoning their cart.


Here’s the hot tip. Driving traffic to your store is important, but getting customers to convert is another ball game. Cart abandonment is frustratingly common in online retail — see stats below.

Luckily, there are proven strategies to recover abandoned carts. You can start winning back online sales with this guide to shopping cart recovery.

Abandoned cart SMS is a powerful marketing tool that can boost your conversions. And help you reclaim revenue that would otherwise be left in your customers basket.

So what is an abandoned cart?

An abandoned cart is when a user adds a product to a digital shopping cart on an online retailer’s website but does not finalise the purchase.

When you sell online, the abandoned cart rate is an important metric. It’s simply the proportion of carts that did not get finalised divided by the number of carts created.

A cart is ‘created’ when at least one item was added to the shopping cart by a user.

Graphic of a customer abandoning a shopping cart with a sad face emoji with rain falling from a cloud above it

Why use abandoned cart SMS?

Using SMS in your cart abandonment marketing strategy can benefit your business in several ways. Here’s why:

  • Cost-effective: SMS marketing is more cost-effective than other remarketing strategies like Facebook or Google. Thanks to this benefit, you will boost your ROI.
  • High reach: Almost everyone has a cellphone, making SMS a very accessible communication tool. They can be received and read without an internet connection and don’t require downloading or using any particular apps.
  • High engagement: Compared to other communication methods, an SMS is more likely to be read in the first minutes of receipt, which provides a better chance of catching your audiences’ attention and getting them to return to their transaction.
  • Customisable: SMS allows you to create personalised messages to address customers with specific information – name, items with purchase intent, etc – which increases the likelihood of conversion.

Unlock higher conversion rates and capture lost sales with abandoned cart SMS – sign up now.

Shopping cart abandonment rate statistics

The results are in. Market research shows that customers drop off far more frequently than purchase. Here are some rates by industry:

  • 76% for general retail
  • 89% for fashion
  • 76% for utilities
  • 89% for travel

And a whopping 81% across all sectors.

Yet 75% of customers who abandon their carts have, at that moment, every intention of later completing their purchase. So why do customers leave their virtual shopping carts? To win them back, we need to understand why they’re are leaving.

But first – how do I find my abandoned cart rate?

Some eCommerce platforms make it easy to find shopping cart data. We’ve included how to find this data on 3 of the most popular platforms.

Shopify abandoned cart report

With 26% of online retailers using Shopify to power their store, Shopify is currently the most popular platform to build online stores.

And they make it easy to find abandonment rates. Simply log in, click orders and then click abandoned checkouts. Here you will be able to see all your abandoned carts for the past three months (anything older will be automatically removed). It’s also helpful to check payment events (in behaviour reports). If an online shopper’s payment fails, they’re more likely to abandon their cart.

WooCommerce abandoned carts

If your website is hosted on WordPress, chances are that WooCommerce is powering your online store. If this is the case, it’s a little trickier to find abandoned cart data.

Here are some options:

  • Install a cart report plugin
  • Use Google Analytics to see checkout behaviour. In GA4, you’ll need to set up a funnel-type report.

Magento abandoned cart report

Good news for stores on Magento – there’s a standard marketing report for abandoned cart. Just log in, click Reports in the left side menu and click Abandoned Carts under the Marketing section.

Now once you see how many customers are leaving your site, you can delve into what’s causing it. And why.

Why DO customers abandon their carts?

For many reasons. Customers could be looking for information, get distracted or something wasn’t right during the buying experience.

Here are common reasons why shoppers abandon their baskets.

Full shopping cart graphic with confused face emoji under a spotlight

Fees. Shipping. Returns.

Three major reasons why shopping carts get abandoned:

  • Hidden fees: the total cost of the basket is more than the customer expected (whether from added taxes or fees).
  • Shipping cost: the fee for delivery was more than the customer expected or was willing to pay.
  • Lack of returns policy: 91% of consumers said return policy is a crucial factor when buying online (as customers don’t get to hold and see the physical product).

How to reduce drop-off: have a transparent returns policy and make sure pricing is clear during checkout. This includes all applicable taxes, discount codes and shipping fees. We also suggest including returns information on the checkout page so customers don’t have to leave the page to find it.

Customers didn’t like the checkout experience

And this could be for any number of reasons:

  • Checkout was too complex or had too many steps
  • They did not want to create an account
  • Website was too slow
  • Difficulty navigating your store on mobile
  • No express shipping options available
  • Limited payment options

How to combat these issues: try to make the checkout process as simple as possible. Page speed is super important, so is mobile experience. Offer guest checkout. Consider adding shipping options. Accept standard payment types (major credit cards and Paypal), and maybe even new options like Google Pay or Afterpay.

The customer doesn’t know or trust you

You must earn the trust of your customers — most consumers are uncomfortable sharing personal and credit card information online. If the consumer doubts your integrity as a vendor, they won’t commit to the purchase.

What to do: use secure payment partners. Include options to contact you, including address, phone and email contacts. Check your social media and directory sites for any negative reviews that might be lurking on the web.

Expecting cart items to be discounted

Then there are the customers who add items to cart when expecting you’ll offer a discount – maybe ahead of a special online shopping day or seasonal events like Cyber Monday. The shopper may even check their cart two or three times in anticipation of a sale.

Tip: check your analytics to see whether cart abandonment rates increase ahead of these sale days. This is an excellent opportunity to send an SMS to alert the consumer of a sale.

Customers simply got distracted

People are busy. We get so many notifications during the day, it’s easy to get distracted. These are the people who are most likely to engage with your abandoned cart recovery strategy.

So let’s continue – how to recover your abandoned carts.

Cart recovery: getting customers to commit

Full shopping cart graphic with smiley face emoji and a customer in the cart clutching shopping bags

As frustrating as it can be to see abandoned carts for your online store, there are ways to encourage customers to complete their purchases and win back these sales.

Abandoned cart recovery email

Email is a popular solution to improve cart abandonment rates. Almost half of cart abandonment emails are opened, and half of those who click through end up converting. But email can lack immediacy, and deliverability issues can have an impact. The success of these emails rely on captivating subject lines, great copy and a clear call to action.

Enable web-based push notifications

Enable push notifications on your website so that you can send reminders as notifications on your customers handset. Push notifications drive significantly higher click-through rates than email. There are plenty of plugins that allow eCommerce stores to add push notification functionality to their store. Note that customers have to opt-in to receiving notifications this way.

Show customers their cart items wherever they browse

Thanks to retargeting you can remind customers of their cart items on their social media or around the web, wherever they browse. The best retargeting ads usually show the items in the cart, which is great for being top of mind. However, retargeting ads only work if users are not using ad blockers.

Cart abandonment SMS

Use the easiest, most cost-effective way to communicate for recovering shopping carts. Most consumers have a mobile phone and SMS delivery requires no internet connection. With near-perfect delivery and open rates, and 90% of messages opened within less than 3 minutes, text messaging is incredibly effective.

Abandoned cart SMS best practices and tips

Get the most out of your messaging with these tips.

  • Timing: send text messages an hour after the customer abandons their cart.
  • Friendly reminder: for example, you’re “saving” items in their cart – did they still want them?
  • Create urgency: for example, the selected item will not be available for much longer.
  • Personalisation: use their name, list the items in their cart, and use your brand tone of voice to speak to them. You can even recommend other products – but make sure it’s about the customer and not a hard sell.
  • Automation: trigger messages in response to inaction of the customer. We’ll show you how below.
  • Added incentive: if the gentle reminder didn’t work, it might be time to sweeten the deal. This could be a discount on the product or free shipping/express shipping upgrade.

Elements of an abandoned cart SMS

Remember to include the following essentials:

  • Your store name
  • The recipient’s name
  • Link to your store
  • A clear call to action
  • Opt-out/unsubscribe option

Or better yet, why not try using MMS to send your customers an image of the product to remind them of what they could miss out on.

Example abandoned cart text message graphic showing best practices for messaging

Copy-and-paste these cart abandonment message templates

Here are a couple of templates to get you started.

Copy to clipboard
Hi, (First. name), it’s [brand name]. We’ve noticed that you forgot a few items in your cart. We look after our customers, so use [discount code name] for 15% off your order! Today only. Shop [Link]. Opt out reply stop.
Copy to clipboard
Hey (First. name), great choice of [product category] at [store name]. It’s so close to being yours but there’s one more step. Get it here [Link]. Opt out reply stop.

Don’t forget to edit the placeholders in square brackets to be relevant to your business.

How to send automated abandoned cart SMS on Shopify

Using an integration platform like Zapier, you can add SMS ability to almost any eCommerce platform. (Or check out our direct integrations for WooCommerceMagento or Zoho users).

In this example we are setting up automated abandoned cart messages from Shopify. Here’s how to create your abandoned cart SMS Zap.

Screenshot of Zapier connecting Shopify with ClickSend
  1. Head to the Shopify and ClickSend integration page on Zapier.
  2. Choose abandoned cart as your trigger from Shopify. Follow the prompts to verify your account.
  3. Add SMS as the action. Verify your ClickSend account with your username and API key, then save and continue.
  4. Write your abandoned cart message, using the tips above.
  5. Test your Zap – make sure that it works as expected!
  6. Turn your Zap on. Voila 🎉

Then just sit back and watch your customers return, thanks to your new message automation.

Turn carts into conversions

Including abandoned cart SMS in your marketing strategy can impact your business significantly.

Taking advantage of the accessibility and engagement SMS provide will help you reconnect with customers and drive them back toward completing their purchases. SMS offers immediate and personalised communication and automation capabilities that can lead to higher conversion rates and increased revenue for your eCommerce store. Don’t overlook the potential of abandoned cart SMS, it’s a valuable addition to your marketing toolbox.

Ready to convert more customers?

(Of course you are.)

Get started with abandoned cart text messaging with us. Sign up today and start turning more abandoned carts into sales.