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3 proven ways to recover abandoned carts and boost your conversion rates

Updated: Apr 23

Your prospect has had their eye on the product for several weeks now after having visited the product page a solid dozen times. Finally, the day has come. They carefully choose the size and color and add the item to the cart, only to disappear before completing the checkout. MIA. What has just happened?

According to research from the Baymard Institute, almost 70% of online shopping carts end up abandoned. Do not worry - you are not alone. Annually, cart abandonment costs e-commerce brands $18 billion in sales revenue. Luckily, there are several ways to cope with this problem. This article will show you how to efficiently prevent the client from dropping out at the checkout and recover abandoned carts. Let’s get started!

How to Prevent Cart Abandonment?

As we all know, prevention is better than cure. It is important first to understand what causes the problem. Here is the list of the most common reasons for cart abandonment:

As you can see, unpreviewed additional costs, unsatisfactory customer experience, or poor website design are the main causes of cart abandonment. A lengthy, complex checkout process leaves customers enough time to question their purchase. Here are some proven tips to prevent that:

  • Do not oblige the first-time buyer to create an account,

  • Make sure your checkout process is clear and simple,

  • Make sure the website loads quickly and correctly on both mobile and desktop devices,

  • Offer promo or discount codes for first-time buyers,

  • Be transparent about your shipping fees; provide this information as soon as the customer fills in their localization,

  • Make sure the information about shipping time, return and refund policies is clear,

  • Provide several secured payment options; consider adding a pay-later service to your list,

  • Be transparent about the remaining stock.

How to Recover Abandoned Carts?

So it happened. A prospect ghosted you right before checking out. There are three most effective and cost-efficient ways to address the problem: cart abandonment recovery e-mails, retargeting ads, and push notifications. Let us walk you through the process.

Cart Abandonment Recovery E-mails

Abandonment Recovery E-mails are messages sent out automatically to shoppers who did not complete their checkout after adding an item to the cart. This method is quite cost-effective. E-mail automation requires an initial investment, yet it truly pays off, generating an ROI of a whopping $36 for every $1 spent. According to research, the open rate for cart recovery e-mail hovers around 48%, significantly higher than other e-mail communications. How do you win back a customer with automated cart recovery e-mails? Here is all you need to know!

Timing is everything

When a shopper abandons their cart, there is no time to lose! Your first e-mail should be sent out within an hour. It is crucial to act quickly to reignite the customer’s interest. Send a follow-up within 48 hours and a third message three days later.


According to McKinsey & Company’s report, 71% of consumers expect personalized service, and 76% get frustrated when the companies do not deliver. Furthermore, 49% of online shoppers declare they would likely become repeat buyers after receiving a personalized experience. In your message, remember to address the customer by their first name. Also, include a customized list of items from their cart with clickable links. It is a great opportunity to offer free suggestions and recommendations for accessories or the same product in a multipack.


Your messages should be kind, clear, and direct. Ideally, try to convey a sense of urgency. The first e-mail should be focused on the product to rekindle the customer’s initial interest in the product. Mention the product’s full name and details, and feature a compelling photo. The buyer should have enough time to decide by the time your second message arrives. The third e-mail is your last resort. Try offering a limited-in-time discount code.

Clear CTA

Do not leave the customer extra time to question their purchase. A clear call to action should guide them to their next action.

Social Proof

Some customers hesitate due to a lack of trust. In this case, using social proof will be the best practice. Feature user-generated content, tell them how many other customers have ordered the same product in the past hour, and quote reviews.

Offer an incentive

You already know the prospect is interested in the item and is considering buying it. Use an additional incentive to stack the odds in your favor! Offer a discount code or free shipping.

A/B Testing

Testing several versions of preheaders, subject lines, and layouts is important to see which option generates a better open rate or more interaction.

Retargeting Ads

This type of ad campaign is designed to reach customers who have previously browsed your e-commerce site. In case of cart abandonment, they can be personalized only to show the items the customer intended to buy. The main advantage of this type of advertisement is targeting directly those who have already shown interest in the product. Retargeting ads can appear on Social Media Platforms such as Meta Ads or Google Display Network. Although other platforms exist, those two are by far the most popular.

Google Ads

Google Ads will be diffused in the Display Network that covers millions of websites, apps, and Google properties, i.e., Gmail and YouTube. Although the cost-per-click will be higher than Meta Ads, Google offers a broader reach. Thanks to over 246 million unique monthly users, Google Display Network remains the largest online advertising platform.

Google Ads Tag

Google Ads Tag is a unique snippet of code that needs to be implemented on your website. Where can you find it?

  • Open your Google Ads account and go to Tools&Settings > Setup > Google Tag,

  • The tag needs to be placed directly after the <head> tag on every page of your website,

  • Install the code in your website container in Google Tag Manager.

Google Analytics Tag

To set up the audience for your remarketing campaign, you will also need to implement a Google Analytics tag for tracking.

  • Open your Google Analytics account and go to Admin > Property View > Tracking Info > Tracking Code,

  • Paste the code after <head> of every page of your website,

  • Install the code in your website container in Google Tag Manager.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Checking For Tag Implementation

So, now that you have installed both tags, it is time to check if they are working properly. You can do it with the help of the Chrome browser extension “Tag Assistant for Conversions.”

Once you have installed the extension, go to your website and activate the Tag Assistant. When a green check mark appears, no issues have been detected, and you are good to go!

Set Up Cart Abandoners Audience in GA4

It is time to set up the right audience for your retargeting campaign. Make sure your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts are linked.

  • Open your Google Analytics Account,

  • Go to Admin > Audiences > New Audience > Suggested Audiences > Shopping > Cart Abandonners,

  • If your industry category is set to Jobs & Education, Real Estate, or Travel, the category's name will replace the word Shopping,

  • Click Save,

  • If everything goes correctly, the new audience should appear at the top of the management table,

  • Choose the Google Ads account with which you want to share the list. 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Now, open Google Ads and import the audience from GA4.  Keep in mind that the GA4 audience list can not be populated retroactively. 

Create a Retargeting Ad

  • Open Google Ads and click Create > Campaign,

  • Select Create a Campaign without Guidance,

  • Choose a campaign type, for example, Display,

  • Check if the goals align with the objectives of your campaign and click Continue,

  • Name the campaign,

  • Select your geographic targeting and daily budget,

  • Choose a bidding strategy > Conversions,

  • In targetting settings, choose Add targeting > Audience segments,

  • You can now search for the audience list you imported from GA4,

  • Unselect Use optimized targeting and click next. Make sure to keep the ad frequency at a moderate level per user,

  • It is time to create your ad. Ensure the ad is tailored to the customers in your audience list. In this case, the viewers are already familiar with the product. Once again, a time-limited offer or free shipping can be a good move,

  • Include the URL of the campaign landing page, fill in the headlines, upload images or videos, and write descriptions with a clear call to action,

  • Publish the ad.

Meta Ads

Meta Ads is known for its low cost-per-click rate. However, it provides less coverage than Google Ads and only reaches users currently logged in to their Facebook accounts.

To create a retargeting ad on Meta Ads, you must set up a Custom Audience of people who added products to the cart, excluding those who have completed the checkout process.

Meta Pixel

You should start by installing the Meta Pixel on your website. A Meta Pixel is a unique snippet of code that should be inserted into your website's HTML to allow tracking that will be the foundation of your retargeting campaign. It can be installed in the header of your website or the footer of each page.

The Pixel is triggered whenever a new user visits your website, the Pixel is triggered, leaving a cookie in their browser’s cache memory. Similarly to Google Display Ads, Meta uses cookies to track users’ behavior and retarget them later.

How to install the Meta Pixel?

  • Go to Meta Events Manager,

  • Click on the green plus symbol Connect Data Sources, then select Web,

  • Click Connect,

  • It is time to choose a name for your Pixel, enter it, and click Create Pixel. Here it is, your new Pixel ID, the same as the new dataset ID,

  • Enter your website’s URL to see if the simplified partner integration is available, and click Check. If so, click Next and follow the onscreen instructions to integrate the Pixel and set up Events. If not, click Next,

  • Now set Conversions API and Meta Pixel or Meta Pixel only and click Next,

  • Once you are all set, do not forget to check if your Pixel is working properly. Download a Chrome extension called Meta Pixel Helper.

Define Your Audience

  • Go to your Meta Ads Manager > Tools > Audience,

  • Once on the Audience page, click Create Audience > Custom Audience and select Website,

  • Now select the right Pixel and include people who meet ALL of the following criteria:

People who visited specific web pages in the past 30 days:

  • Contains /checkout,

  • Doesn’t contain /complete,

  • Name your audience.

Create the Ad

Remember that it takes 24 hours to populate your audience. After that time, you can proceed to create the Ad. Simply create a conversion ad campaign. Set the objective, Select your Pixel, the Conversion Event, and the budget. It is time to build an audience. You are going to use the audience you made earlier. Go for the automatic placement.

What next? Well, the customer is already familiar with your product. Your goal is not to inform them but to swing the odds in your favor. Try using an incentive, such as a unique time-limited offer on the product they are interested in. Write a compelling copy with a clear call to action, and double-check whether the URL leads to the right landing page. Ready, set, publish!

A/B Tests

No matter which platform you use to set up your remarketing campaign, remember to conduct A/B tests to optimize them. Test different ad visuals, copy variations, and CTAs to identify the most effective combinations. Continuously refine your campaign based on test results.

Push Notifications

A push notification is a message “pushed” from the application or a back-end server to the user interface. When visiting a website, customers get a pop-up asking whether they want to subscribe to push-up notifications. Their consent is necessary - without it, you can not target them in your remarketing campaigns.

With the help of a push notification app or plugin, you can increase your cart abandonment recovery rate by sending personalized push messages. Push notifications should remind the customer about the items they’d forgotten and provide an incentive and a sense of urgency. Try to send a few reminders within the first 24 hours.

What are the main advantages of push notifications? Well, in addition to recovering abandoned carts, you can turn website visitors into subscribers without asking them for personal information such as e-mail or phone number, which many are reluctant to share. Thanks to the subscription, you can send them regular offers, new product alerts, and personalized recommendations.


As you can see, there are many efficient ways to deal with cart abandonment and increase your cart recovery rate! If you do not know how to choose and set up a remarketing channel that fits your goals and budget, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help!


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