Recovering abandoned checkouts

An abandoned checkout refers to a checkout process that remains incomplete, even though the customer has provided their email information. This occurs when the customer doesn't proceed with payment to finalize their order. A checkout is considered abandoned if it remains incomplete for more than ten minutes after the customer has provided their email information.

Items in a customers cart at the time that they abandoned the checkout aren't saved.

Abandoned checkout recovery is available only for the Online Store sales channel, the Buy Button sales channel, and the Plus Wholesale Channel. Abandoned checkouts on Shopify POS or third-party sales channels won't receive a checkout recovery email.

Review your abandoned checkouts

You can review your abandoned checkouts to find patterns that might suggest why your customers aren't completing orders.

Abandoned checkouts are removed from the Shopify admin on the following Monday in cases where the following is true:

  • created more than 3 months ago
  • not updated in 1 month
  • no transaction or completed order attached to them

If there's a particular abandoned checkout you want to retain, then you can create a draft order with the same details and leave it open in your Shopify admin.

There is no way to delete a specific abandoned checkout.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders.

  2. Click Abandoned checkouts.

View payment events from an abandoned checkout

Each time a customer tries to pay for their order, a payment event is noted in the Timeline of the abandoned checkout. You can expand payment events for more details.

Payment events can be helpful if a customer is trying to place an order and their payment fails. If a customer contacts you because their payment doesn't work at checkout, then you can view the details of the payment event, and use the information to help your customer.

If your customer successfully paid at checkout, then instead go to the order's timeline to view payment events.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Orders > Abandoned checkouts.

  2. Click an abandoned checkout.

  3. On the abandoned checkout details page, go to Timeline.

  4. Click a payment event.

You can automatically send an email to customers after they have abandoned their checkout. Each email contains a link to the customer's abandoned cart, allowing them to complete their checkout if they choose. You can edit the email template by adding a logo or changing the color scheme.

A recovery email is not sent for an abandoned checkout in the following circumstances:

  • If a potential customer creates one or more abandoned checkouts and then completes a sale before the recovery email gets sent, then the email won't be sent.
  • If a payment processing error occurred when the customer tried to complete their checkout, then the email won't be sent.
  • If your shop does not support shipping to the customer's address, then the email won't be sent.
  • If you allow customers to enter a phone number instead of an email address at checkout, and the customer chooses to enter a phone number, then the email can't be sent.
  • If none of the products in the checkout are available for purchase (empty inventory, for example), then the email won't be sent.
  • If all the products in the checkout are free, and the customer does not visit the shipping page to add a shipping fee or the shipping fee is also free, then the email won't be sent.

If you have configured your shop to automatically send recovery emails, then the Abandoned checkouts page will contain tooltips explaining why recovery emails were not delivered.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Marketing > Automations.
  2. Click View templates, and then click the Abandoned checkout automation template.
  3. Optional: Click Edit to edit the email content or to make changes to the automation’s workflow.
  4. Click Turn on automation.
  5. Review the information, and then click Continue.

After the new automation is turned on, you can edit and manage the automation, including turning it off and on.

You can review the status of each abandoned order email by going to Orders > Abandoned checkouts. The status of each recovery email is found under the Email status column. The status of the abandoned checkout can be found under Recovery status.

After an email is sent, the checkout is considered recovered after the customer completes the order. A customer can either click the recovery link in the email or complete the checkout on their own.

You can choose to manually send an abandoned checkout email to a customer. The email contains a link to the customer's abandoned cart, allowing them to complete their checkout. You might want to send the abandoned checkout email manually when you haven't set up the automation, or when your customer requests the abandoned checkout link.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Orders > Abandoned checkouts.
  2. Click the number of the abandoned checkout that you want to recover.
  3. Click the customer’s email under the customer information.

Your email client launches with the abandoned checkout link in the email body.

If the customer completes their order using that link, then the Recovery status on the Abandoned checkout page updates to display as recovered.

Abandoned checkouts email report

The Abandoned checkouts emails report by Shopify helps you better understand how effective those emails are at bringing your customers back to finish a transaction. It's available in the Marketing section of Shopify.

The report tells you how many sessions and completed orders have resulted from the reminder emails. You can also review information such as conversion rates, total amount of sales, average order value, average number of products sold, and how many customers were first-time customers.

The report displays data only from November 18, 2019 onwards.

Abandoned checkouts from third-party payment gateways

If your store accepts payments through a third-party external provider, then you might encounter an issue where a customer's payment is captured externally but the order doesn't display in your Shopify admin.

If the customer closes the external checkout dialog too soon, leaves the website too soon, or otherwise fails to reach the Shopify thank you page after making their payment on the external gateway, then the order isn't captured and an abandoned checkout is created instead.

You might also get an abandoned checkout in the following circumstances:

  • The payment is captured on the third-party gateway, but the information doesn't get sent back to Shopify in the required time window.
  • The third-party payment gateway requires you to manually set up a return URL for the customer to be redirected to after the offsite payment's been captured, but the URL is incorrect.

If you get an abandoned checkout for an order where the payment was successfully captured by a third-party external provider, then you can recreate the abandoned checkout as a draft order, and then mark the order as paid before you fufill the items.

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