Email Marketing

Abandoned Cart Emails Reality. SendPulse Research

2 minutes

Abandoned Cart Emails Reality. SendPulse Research

In real life, leaving a shopping cart full at the checkout seems a bit strange, doesn’t it? Yet in the world of online shopping, it’s a common practice — customers abandon 69.89% of their carts.

Here arises the question: “How do brands deal with abandoned carts?” We decided to find the answer and carried out a research on how e-commerce companies use abandoned cart emails. In this article, we will share the results with you.


We chose 70 brands covering different industries — clothes, footwear, electronics, homeware, beauty products, books — and added them to an Excel spreadsheet.

Our Excel file contained the following fields:

  • name of the company;
  • date the cart was abandoned;
  • date and time of received emails;
  • cart total.

cart research before

After that we created a separate mailbox and followed these steps:

  1. Signed up on a website and filled in all necessary fields.
  2. Added items to the cart with $100+ overall cost.
  3. Left the cart without completing the order.

For the next three weeks, we opened every email we received to the ‘Abandoned Cart’ mailbox and wrote the data to the Excel file. Naturally, we clicked on the links inside the email, but never finalized our purchase orders.

Check out how the spreadsheet looked at the end of our research:

cart research after


The results we got were far from what we had expected to see. It turned out that an astonishing 55.8% of companies, both premium and middle-market, don’t even bother to send abandoned cart emails.

Companies that do remind about abandoned carts commonly send no more than two emails, while only 11.4% of brands fight to the end with more than three reminders:

abandoned cart email series

We have also found out that companies set more or less the same time for their abandoned cart campaigns, sending emails one-two days apart. The first email is usually sent 24 to 72 hours after the items were left in the cart.

abandoned cart email sending time

However, sending an email to remind about the abandoned cart is half the battle. The thing is what a potential customer is going to see inside the email, and most importantly, whether it will motivate them to complete the purchase afterward.

Guidelines suggest that reminding about the abandoned items with their images and offering a discount or complementary shipping motivates users to take action, but do the companies use these practices to the full? The research reveals that the most frequently used strategy among brands is cross-selling, while only a few companies include images or propose free shipping in their abandoned cart emails:

abandoned cart email content

Final words

The data we collected during this research has shown that only 44.2% of companies send abandoned cart emails. On top of that, only 21% of these companies motivate a potential customer to take action by offering a discount or free shipping.

We hope you found our research useful for planning your marketing strategy. Start creating abandoned cart emails, and SendPulse will help you with their automation!

Date of publication:

July 24, 2018

Anya Brui

Hi, fellow marketer! I'm Anya and I love good design, travels, and rock. I'm here to share my insights with...

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