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Reduce cart abandonment rate

February 10, 2023

Optimizing the conversion of your website is the key to success in e-commerce. And the shopping cart is one of the crucial steps before converting. 7 out of 10 consumers abandon their carts before finalizing their order/purchase. This figure is not a fatality, but rather an opportunity. Yes, there are many ways to reduce the rate of abandoned carts, and even capitalize on it with SMS! SMS can make all the difference, both in the conversion process as well as for the follow-up after an abandonment. Follow the guide.

relaunch of abandoned cart

Definition and estimation of cart abandonment

What is cart abandonment?

Shopping cart abandonment is a phenomenon specific to e-commerce. A customer adds items to his shopping cart on an online store, but leaves the site without finalizing the transaction. This can be due to various external or internal factors.

Internet users sometimes use the basket as a wishlist. A shopping list to save for a more convenient time. Consumers may also compare your offer with other sites simultaneously and decide to finalize their purchase elsewhere. Otherwise, certain elements of the online experience have turned the prospect off, such as high delivery costs, lack of flexibility, payment issues, overly complex customer journey and navigation, security concerns, etc.

How to calculate the abandonment rate?

If the fineness of the data collected depends a lot on your e-commerce solution (level of tracking, GTM and GA settings...), the calculation of the cart abandonment rate among your visitors is quite simple. It is the number of shopping carts created that did not lead to a transaction.

The calculation is as follows:

100- [Number of transactions / number of basket creations X 100].

Example: Yesterday, I had 20 basket creations for 5 transactions. 100- [20/5X100] =75. The cart abandonment rate is 75%.

You can calculate this ratio using the data collected by your web analytics solution. Depending on the level of tracking and the payment module you have set up, the denominator of the number of transactions carried out can be different: it is either the number of "shopping cart creation" events, or the number of visits to the summary URL of the added products.

What are the main causes of shopping cart abandonment?

According to a study conducted by the independent American institute Baymard on shopping cart abandonment in 2023, Internet users abandon their shopping carts more than 69% of the time (average based on 48 different studies, conducted between 2012 and 2023).

Here are the Top 10 reasons for dropping out:

  • 48% Adding extra costs or fees that are too high (shipping, taxes, miscellaneous fees...)
  • 24% Mandatory account creation
  • 22% Delivery time too slow
  • 18% Confidence in the site - Fear of using a credit card on the site (mainly outside the EU)
  • 17% Payment process too long / complicated / unique
  • 16% I could not see/calculate the total cost of the order in advance
  • 13% Website had errors / crashed
  • 12% The return policy was not satisfactory
  • 9% Little diversity in payment methods
  • 4% Credit card refusal

If these statistics can indeed be frightening, they are however the proof that a huge opportunity is offered to e-merchants. 69% of abandonment rate, that's as many percent that leave room for optimization and ROI gain.

Putting an item in a shopping cart expresses an intention to buy. There may not be much missing for the simple visitor to take action and become a buyer.

Moreover, 3 of the top 10 reasons for shopping cart abandonment are avoidable thanks to SMS!

7 tips to reduce cart abandonment with SMS

Offer delivery costs / be clear about delivery times

If you practice this policy, indicate it near your CTAs! Offering delivery for the purchase of several products or from a certain amount allows you to boost your sales, but also to promote cross selling.

Also, the wait always seems longer when you don't know how long it will last. An order reminder SMS with a tracking URL can improve the customer experience.

Don't impose the creation of customer accounts / optimize the recovery of an account

24% of abandonments you can say goodbye to, thanks to SMS! You can authenticate the user's phone number using SMS OTP, and generate a secure customer account seamlessly. Also, the OTP avoids churn due to forgotten logins by allowing recovery from the verified number.

Add elements to make your site trustworthy

Another major cause of abandonment (18%) avoidable with SMS! Improve public confidence in your site with an additional security element(2FA) and reinforce the "forgotten password" function with a quick check. And don't forget to add a reassurance banner that remains visible at every stage of the customer journey, bringing together all the reassurance criteria (guarantees, free returns, 3-D secure, ethical values, etc.).

Be fully transparent about additional fees

Delivery costs play a major role in the purchase decision (48%), so it is better to be very clear from the start. Thinking that the consumer who arrives at the shopping cart is committed enough to the purchase process to accept important fees is a mistake on the web. Competition is fierce and the Internet user is volatile.

Put forward a favourable return policy

Many brands have made sales using this technique. A long withdrawal period, free returns, a clear and advantageous refund or voucher policy... It's a great way to let consumers know they can take action without consequence.

Provide a simple navigation and payment experience

Avoid unnecessary steps at all costs, to reduce the number of clicks between item selection and transaction. You can also remove the navigation header at the entrance of the funnel to help focus on the purchase and/or possibly offer information on the name and number of steps remaining at the top of the page. If possible, also be sure to provide multiple payment methods.

Set up an automatic basket backup

Maybe it wasn't the right time, give your customer a chance to come back, and be reminded by SMS!

SMS reminder after an abandoned cart: The key to boosting your e-commerce sales.

To relaunch a customer after an abandoned cart, we naturally think first of email. This is a use case in which it proves to be rather efficient, according to skeerel, abandonment emails reach a success rate of 29%.

The same is true of the study conducted by SaleCycle, which found that :

  • 1% of cart reminder emails are opened.
  • 6% of them are clicked.
  • And 29.9% of these clicks result in a purchase.

However, as the SMS vs email KPIs comparison reveals, SMS shows performances that make the competition pale in comparison:

  • 95% opening rate (compared to 20% for email)
  • Read within 4min (compared to 90min for email)
  • 0% SPAM (compared to 80% for email)
  • 29% conversion rate (compared to 3.26% for email)

So imagine what SMS can do for your abandoned cart re-launch strategy.

Moreover, SMS and email can also be used together in a marketing automation strategy. We can imagine, for example, that follow-up emails that are not opened trigger the sending of SMS, thus maximizing your chances of return.

SMS marketing offers you many possibilities for your retargeting! It offers you the quasi-certainty of being read, it is customizable and universal. Here are some tips to make it even more effective.

The key elements of an SMS reminder :


1. Name of the buyer

As in mailing, variables exist in SMS. Address buyers by their first name to start a personalized experience.

2. Name of the product

Abandoned cart SMS are sent 30 minutes to a few hours after a customer leaves a website. This can be a long time, so customers may have forgotten the contents of the cart. Make sure the product name is included for an effective reminder!


The link directs customers to the checkout page, often with their products in the cart. Tip: Use a custom link. Using branded links or custom URLs can increase brand visibility and boost CTRs by 39% (Zipwhip).

4. Discount

Discount codes can make a difference, especially for customers who have abandoned their shopping carts due to unexpected charges. Not a fan of discounts? Offer free shipping or exclusive gifts.

5. Incentive for action

The call to action (CTA) pushes customers to act immediately, especially when it plays on the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). This fear of missing out affects 52.9% of people under 25 and nearly a third of those between 25 and 45 (SpotPink). In your abandoned cart text messages, combine your incentives with a short expiration date to encourage action.

Example of an SMS reminder: Abandoned shopping carts

To help you get your relaunch strategy right, we've decided to provide you with some examples of abandoned cart SMS. Discover the 6 perfect examples to get started:

(read also: the regulation around the SMS marketing and the STOP SMS)

[Brand name] : It seems you forgot something! Your cart is still waiting for payment. Use code [code name] to get 10% off the entire order. [link to abandoned cart]

STOP 36123

Hello [Name],

Get [Product] today before it's out of stock.


STOP 36123

Hey, [Name], this is [Brand Name].

We've noticed that you haven't finished shopping. We're looking out for you - use [code name] to get X% off your order! [URL].

STOP 36123

[Name], [brand name]'s great products are about to be yours. Just a few clicks away! Get your products here [URL].

STOP 36123

[Brand Name]: Hello [Name], you left a few items unattended! Use code [code] to get a [%] off your order! [URL].

STOP 36123

Hey, [Name], maybe you missed out! There are some great items in your cart. It's time to get them!

Click here to complete your order [URL].


STOP 36123


These examples and the tips above should be more than enough to get started with abandoned cart SMS messages. These SMS messages are customizable from Shopify, WooCommerce or other vendor plugins. Just remember to set the right triggers and automate the process and get ready to see your sales climb!


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