How to Create an Abandoned Cart Flow with Klaviyo
IntegrationJul 13, 2021

How to Create an Abandoned Cart Flow with Klaviyo

Does your eCommerce business have an abandoned cart flow?

Sometimes referred to as abandoned cart recovery, these workflows help your brand “recover” sales that it may have missed out on.

Klaviyo, an online marketing platform that helps grow your business, developed a powerful abandoned cart flow that does most of the heavy lifting for you here. 

So instead of building an entire abandoned cart flow from scratch, Klaviyo’s tool comes preloaded with the best filters and triggers to get you started right out of the box. All you have to do is customize a few areas -- such as your email subject line and messaging -- and Klaviyo handles the rest.

We’ll walk you through how to set up your abandoned cart flow using Klaviyo in this guide. But first, let’s break down why tackling this issue is worth your time and attention.

What is Cart Abandonment? Only One Of The Biggest Problems for Online Businesses… 

We shared all the ins and outs of cart abandonment in a previous guide, so we’ll only provide a brief summary here. 

Cart abandonment happens when online shoppers add items to their shopping carts, but never proceed to the checkout process.

Essentially, these shoppers “abandon” their cart and your brand loses the sale. Sometimes you may even experience inventory discrepancies if too many shoppers do this at once.

While cart abandonment may not seem like a huge problem, statistics on the topic say otherwise:

Researchers from the Baymard Institute analyzed 44 different eCommerce studies and learned the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is a staggering 69.80% [*]. 

But here's what’s even worse: the average cart abandonment rate for mobile users is a whopping 85.65%! Ouch!

This means your brand is failing to convert roughly 70% to 86% of your traffic, even though they actually seem interested in what you’re selling. 

Ignoring this issue means your brand will continually miss out on sales -- only capturing an estimated 15% to 30% of online shoppers -- and never grow.

So now for some good news: 

Abandoned cart rates are not an unavoidable reality of eCommerce business. You don’t have to chalk them up to an automatic loss.

In our cart abandonment guide, we discussed a few tips and best practices to shrink your cart abandonment rates (Psst! You should definitely read that guide when you’re done here).

Klaviyo’s cart abandonment flow can also help your brand try to capture these sales automatically.

How Klaviyo’s Cart Abandonment Flow Tackles This Issue

Klaviyo is an online marketing platform that helps your eCommerce business build its online brand, scale, and sell more. And their cart abandonment flow is one of the best ways to achieve all three goals simultaneously.

So what is a cart abandonment flow?

It’s a set of steps that triggers emails based on the actions your online shoppers take.

Let’s say one of your shoppers adds items to their cart, but never checks out.

Using Klaviyo, that shopper will later receive an email to remind or nudge them to continue with their purchase. If they were on the fence, this email gives them another chance to buy, sometimes with an added incentive (like free shipping or a discount code).

A cart abandonment flow does so well here because it works on the psychological principle known as FOMO, or fear of missing out.

These emails give people a sense that they may regret not buying from your brand.

As Klaviyo points out, these emails are one of the most valuable flows you can create because they give you another chance to close the deal instead of watching it slip away.

Capture more of these sales, and you’ll boost conversions, revenue, and your customer base. And you won’t have to lift a finger once you set up this automatic workflow.

Sounds great, right?

So let’s talk about how to do that.

How to Create an Abandoned Cart Flow With Klaviyo

Follow these steps to create your abandoned cart flow in just a few minutes. FYI, that means you could start capturing more sales as early as today.

First, Understand the Mechanics

Before you create your flow, it helps to understand what’s going on behind the scenes, so the process is less confusing and easier to update later.

First, two behaviors have to take place: 

  1. Online shoppers start the checkout process
  2. They will either complete or not complete the transaction

[Image Source]

If they don’t complete the transaction within a specific timeframe, that becomes the trigger to initiate the cart abandonment flow.

[Image Source]

Keep in mind, some customers may complete the purchase later in the same day. So you don’t want your trigger to initiate right away. Ideally, you want to strike the right balance between giving customers time and acting while they’re still interested.

Once your trigger engages, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to ask someone for their email (which is how they’ll be able to receive your flow). If they’re a current customer, this will be easy. But you may need to add a step here to make your unknown visitors known email recipients.

Then you’ll need to consider how many emails you want to send someone. You’ll also need to decide whether you’ll throw in a discount or incentive to nudge your shopper along.

The Klaviyo team suggests you:

  • Send no more than 2-3 emails
  • Space your emails a few hours and days apart
  • Only add a discount to the final email (if people haven’t made a purchase by then)

Adding a coupon too early, like in the first email, may give shoppers a discount when they would have paid full price. You want your first email to kick off that touch of FOMO and reignite the feelings they had when they first added those items to their cart.

Plus, early discounts teach people that they’ll snag coupons in the future by simply adding items to their cart and leaving before purchasing. You definitely don’t want to make that a habit.

So what should these cart abandonment flow emails contain?

The Klaviyo team learned that mentioning the words “left something behind” and using emojis helped improve open rates, or how many people opened the abandoned cart emails.

They also found that adding percentages, dollar signs, the hint of a discount, and free shipping led to a slight uptick in open rates too.

This means you’ll want to draft up a subject line and message that contains a few of these ingredients. Remember, your subject line has a direct impact on open rates, and your email message directly affects your click-through rates.

Now that you understand the mechanics:

Next, Create Your Flow

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll create your cart abandonment flow in a few minutes:

  1. Connect your eCommerce platform (Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, etc.).
  2. Check whether your eCommerce platform has a default abandoned cart email, which you’ll want to turn off so you can use this simple Klaviyo one.
  3. Hop in Klaviyo to see the default abandoned cart flow in your dashboard. This dynamic flow pulls in the actual item(s) your potential customer had in their cart. Shoppers can see what they’re missing out on and quickly place the sale. Klaviyo comes preloaded with these filters so you don’t have to spend time creating them.
  4. Save this flow as a template, so you can update it while keeping the original intact.
  5. Add a time delay, so your cart abandonment emails don’t trigger too early, such as when someone immediately adds an item to their cart. 

Klaviyo’s team recommends sending the first email 2 to 4 hours after the items have been added. However, you’ll want to use longer delays for big-ticket items (like mattresses, electronics, etc.). Then, your second email should follow 1 to 2 days later if your shopper hasn’t made a purchase yet.

  1. Determine how many messages you’ll send. Klaviyo’s team recommends 2 to 3 messages. This gives your brand time to fine-tune the messaging to evoke those FOMO feelings and capture the sale. 
  2. Help your shoppers make an easy decision. It’s a good idea to only show the items someone already had in their cart instead of showing them new products to add. You don’t want your shoppers overwhelmed with another decision and walk away. 

Try to include additional product information about the items they seemed interested in and let them know where they can ask questions if they need further help. These should nudge shoppers who were on the fence. 

  1. Launch your flow live, sit back, and watch the sales roll in!

See how easy that was?

[Image Source]

From here, you’ll want to monitor your abandoned cart email rates over the next few weeks

Consider running some tests to see how different subject lines/messages affect or improve performance after 30 days (or when you’ve gathered enough data and a sufficient average of how your emails are doing).

[Image Source]

You can tweak your subject line if your open rates aren’t high, your internal messaging if click-through rates are low, and your timing if people aren’t even paying attention to your emails.

To spur people into taking action, you may want to add a discount, increase the deal, or provide another incentive, such as free shipping or shipping at a lower price threshold.

Keep in mind, you don’t want to change and test all of these variables at once. Otherwise, you won’t know which ones led to the difference in action. So test one at a time and see how your audience reacts.

Final Thoughts on Creating an Abandoned Cart Flow in Klaviyo

We hope you found this guide helpful for understanding why it pays to give your abandoned carts more time, effort, and attention.

Thankfully, Klaviyo makes this task easier with their simple abandoned cart flow, which can be set up within minutes (or less, if you’re familiar with flows).

As soon as you do that, you’ll score an uptick in sales and expand your customer base just as quickly. You’ll probably also wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

Did you know that Klaviyo and work seamlessly together? It’s true! 
When you integrate Klaviyo with, you’ll be able to create powered-up campaigns using automated emails that leverage social proof and target customers better. Learn more about this powerful integration designed to improve your close rates by visiting this link.

Get Started with Stamped for Free!

Get Started

We use cookies

Our website uses cookies to provide and improve our services, mainly through 3rd parties. You can find out more about our Privacy Policy / GDPR .

Allow all cookies