As an ecommerce business owner or marketer, you know that roughly 60% of carts will be abandoned. That’s the truth. Don’t believe me? Check out the data from Baymard Institute.

To combat abandonment, here’s what the ecommerce industry has been doing for the last 5-10 years.

  1. Set up abandoned cart emails that get sent to a visitor after they abandon cart.
  2. Include a coupon code in abandoned cart emails to incentivize purchase completion.

That’s what most ecommerce brands try to do — win potential customers back through an email, AFTER they’ve already left your site.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s a reason SO many brands run this playbook. It works well enough. And it’s actually not that difficult to accomplish.

Limitations with today’s abandoned cart marketing efforts

Sending abandoned cart emails assumes that you have that customer’s email address on file.

According to Bigcommerce, the average ecommerce conversion rate is 2-3%. That means that of all the visitors to your site every month, you only actually have 2% or 3% of those visitors in your email database. Of course this will vary based on the average number of purchases a customer will make per month, per year, etc. But you get the idea.

OK, OK, you may be saying, “but I use a great popup tool to convert more visitors into email subscribers. Fine. According to a data set of hundreds of millions of popup views, the best email capture marketers will convert 15% of site traffic into subscribers. But the average popup will convert 1% – 5% of traffic into subscribers.

Bring it all together now. If you qualify as one of the absolute best ecommerce marketers out there, you might actually have 18% of your site traffic in your email database. But, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re here to become a better marketer yourself. So it may be a bit more realistic to assume you only have 3% – 5% of traffic as known, subscribed members of your email database.

Regardless, you’re realistically talking about at least 82% – 97% of site visitors who are COMPLETELY unknown. So, even if those people add products to cart, and abandon cart or checkout, you’re out of luck trying to win them back through the recovery email tactic.

Targeted, abandoned cart popups can save 15% of carts

There is a ton of new technology available at your fingertips. The type of stuff that can help you use browser behavior to target users, even if you do not know who they are and do not have their emails on file.

Even without knowing a thing about technology, you can use detected browser attributes like location, the current page of your visitor, number of times they’ve visited your site and far more.

When it comes to abandoned carts, you should do EVERYTHING you can to keep the user on your site before resorting to other abandonment methods.


You’ve probably heard of “exit targeting” as a trigger for popups.


And that’s great, but you can take things a step further. You can even use URL targeting in combination with triggers like exit intent to present a popup ONLY to a customer who has added products to a cart, and is about to abandon it by leaving the site before reaching a purchase confirmation page. This should be separate than any other popup you have, targeted only to this subset of users who meet the abandoned cart conditions. This abandoned cart popup can recover up to 15% of abandoned carts, encouraging the visitor to finish the current purchase process with a coupon code valid for THIS purchase.

The early data on these targeted abandoned popups is saving an average of 15% of carts.

Here’s a case study on how Project Repat uses abandoned cart popups to save thousands of transactions.

5 tips for crafting the perfect abandoned cart popup promotion:

  1. Think about what offer makes sense for you. Is free shipping an option? Perhaps 20% off if you complete the purchase right now?
  2. Think about who should be eligible for this offer. If it’s an international customer, is free shipping really appropriate? If a customer’s current cart value is under $20, can your margins really support a 20% discount?
  3. Make sure that you’re using proper targeting techniques to present the correct abandoned cart offer to the right audience.
  4. Decide on whether you want to ask for email submission to unlock the offer, or just display the offer outright.holsted-cart-saver  
  5. Experiment with multiple offers, measure performance, then choose a winner.


About the author:

This is a guest post written by Ben Jabbawy, the founder of Privy. Privy’s suite of conversion tools helps 30,000 ecommerce brands grow their email lists and drive more revenue.