Chapter 7: Generate More Revenue from Abandoned Carts


In the typical store, more than half of shoppers walk away from their cart during checkout. I know how painful it is to get someone on your site, see them shopping, and then they walk away just before the finish line. Abandoned cart flows are your best tool in preventing these losses.

Because abandoned cart flows are so closely associated with buying behavior, they typically have the highest conversion rates and associated revenue of any flow in your account – I see a lot of people who pay for their Klaviyo account just off of the value generated by their abandoned cart flow.

Some people treat add-to-cart abandonment and checkout abandonment separately. In this Chapter, we’re just going to talk about checkout abandonment. In Chapter 8 we’ll talk about browse and add to cart abandonment.

Setting Up Your Flow

Your basic abandoned checkout flow looks like this, it’s the one that came set up in your account. One email after a few hours, and then another one a day after initial checkout. The Flow Filter automatically removes anyone who purchases.


TIP: In Klaviyo, all Flow Filters are checked at each action step (an email, an SMS, or a profile property change), so you do not need to add additional filters or splits at each step to remove people who buy. Those extra splits will become visually confusing and won’t actually do anything.

If your Abandoned Cart flow already looks like this and is doing well, I strongly recommend that you instead create a version with a split in it to vary the messages customers get. This is one of the best places to start adding personalization to your email marketing.

There are two easy ways to split your flow when you’re getting started, depending on your business model:

  • Split by high/low value
  • Split by returning customer vs new customer.

If you have high ticket items and repeat customers are infrequent, or have a long pause between purchases, splitting your flow by high/low cart value is probably the right choice.

If you have one “hero” product and then add-ons or refills that go with it, splitting on new & returning customers is probably the best way to go. Returning customers will have different incentives and are more likely to buy something that’s enhancing or refilling what they already have.

Split Option #1: High vs Low Value Cart

This is easy to do – the high vs low value type is even available as a pre-built example in the Klaviyo flow library.


When added, it looks like this:


That $value variable comes from your ecommerce integration – it’s the total value of their cart. You can customize it to split at whatever makes sense for you.

Generally, I’d say any cart that’s valued greater than your normal AOV is a good target. Down the high value path, you can offer things you might not offer to most customers, like hands-on customer service, special discounts, and so on.

Split Option #2: New vs. Returning Customers

For the new/returning customer split, it may take a couple forms.

For example, here’s a shaving brand. Returning customers (People who are more likely buying an add-on like more razors, shaving gel, etc.) get one email, while new customers are split out by which product they had in their cart. That split sends one set of emails to people who abandon a checkout for the razor handle / base product, vs another email for the cosmetic products.


The other thing you’ll notice about these emails is that they always include a dynamic table and information, showing the contents of their cart. If you’re not comfortable with editing these kinds of tables and tags, it’s perfectly fine to leave them alone and just style the email around them.


Should I offer a discount?

This is up to you and how you handle your brand. It’s not a requirement. In a lot of customer audiences, especially tech-savvy ones, they’ve gotten used to abandoning carts to see if they get a discount email right away. Our behavior to drive a quick sale has trained people that they can often save 10-15% just by trying.

For that reason, I really encourage you to stay away from additional discounts in the first message. They are often just prowling for discounts. It’s usually unnecessary in reclaiming those sales, and just a reminder works well.

If you do want to offer an additional discount, I usually suggest stores discount for new customers only – use the new customer split and include a 10% off or free shipping code in your second and/or third email.

Abandoned Cart Examples

No discounts:


Chewy positions their discount for autoship, rather than just offering a coupon-based discount:


Dyson positions customer service via live chat in their email, to help answer questions about a high-ticket item. I love how Dyson also positions a lot of their value-adds of why to buy directly from them instead of another retailer that carries their products. If a common reason for cart abandonment is people shopping around for the best price on a product, offering those incentives is a great way to help retain that shopper.


Jeff at Ugmonk is a master of the plain-text email, and uses it well here:


Finally, you can also consider using reviews or social proof to help encourage a reticent buyer, which can help cover for common questions or concerns buyers have. Casper pulls in their awards to do this well:


Other thoughts / next steps:
I know a lot of you have already gone through the basics of abandoned carts, and are thinking about what else is beyond the email flow. Here are some more ideas:

Try other channels than email
Email is the first and easiest place to go with this, but there are more options.

Beyond Klaviyo’s SMS support, providers like PostScript, LiveRecover, SaveMySales, and others make it easy to trigger SMS flows to customers and recover abandoned carts there. Most of these platforms are relatively nascent, and I suggest them as an addition to, not a replacement for, an email abandoned cart series. Try them and let us know how it performs.
TRAINING: How to Sell $100K+ Per Month With SMS Marketing

Facebook / Instagram
Build a Klaviyo Segment of recent abandoned carts, and message them via Facebook ads. You may also be doing this through a retargeting platform or other options – but consider it as a potential low-CPC channel. The costs should be fairly low compared to new acquisition because you’re reaching engaged shoppers, who are much more likely to respond to an ad.

If your abandoned cart flow is doing well, you should be able to contrast your results here for revenue by recipient:

You can get your Revenue per Recipient numbers for comparison off of the Klaviyo Performance Dashboard, where it shows this number under Flows:


In terms of overall conversion rate, I generally look for a flow to have a total conversion rate of over 10% or so. Higher is better obviously, but 10% is a good baseline expectation. I very rarely see anything over 15-18%, but it does happen.

A recovery rate that’s 18% or more may also point to other conversion problems on your site – for that many people to stop checking out and then return suggests something else might be challenging them, or they’re looking for an easy discount at checkout and then buying anyway.