The best 3 methods for recovering abandoned carts, and why you can’t afford to ignore Messenger.

For eCommerce brands, cart abandonment is one of their main areas of concern.

According to research carried out by Barilliance, with more than 70% of online shoppers abandoning their carts (which may be 80% or more on mobile devices), a lot of unclaimed revenue is left on the table every single day. More precisely, the average online store loses over 75% of its sales this way.

Cart abandonment rates by device, according to Barilliance


It’s only natural that companies are looking for the most efficient ways to try and claim this lost revenue back. The good news is that you have a few options from which to pick the combination that works for your store.


The most effective tools for cart recovery

Retargeting with ads.
Following up with an email.
Communicating through Facebook Messenger.

There is no doubt that these three are the most popular methods for recovering abandoned carts. Most marketing professionals will agree that you will find the best performing method for your store to be one (or a combination) of these.

But how can each of them work to bring you more sales?


I am proud to be leading the amazing team that created Flashchat, a plug & play Conversational Platform that helps you recover abandoned carts in Shopify and other ecommerce solutions. As you would expect, it’s in my best interest to explain to you why Facebook Messenger is the most effective channel for claiming back abandoned cart revenue.


But it really is.


The numbers leave no room for doubt:
Apparel & Sportswear retailer Toll Wear used Flashchat and saw a 40% increase in online sales within two months, and cosmetics retailer MyAroma increased sales by 13% and made their first extra sale through the app within the first 24 hours.

So, keep reading to see how ads remarketing, email and Facebook Messenger can work together to increase your revenue. If you haven’t tried a Messenger app yet, you’re truly missing out.


Cart recovery with ads retargeting

The most popular advertising platforms, such as Google and Facebook, offer ways for dynamically retargeting website visitors who add products to their cart and leave your store, never to be seen again.

These are indeed highly effective, and there are no ecommerce retailers who can survive without them.


How it works:

As soon as a user leaves your website, they come across products they have added to their cart, either while they browse the web, or in their Facebook newsfeed, Instagram newsfeed and in stories.

This is a highly contextual method of reminding them to go back and complete their order, especially because you can customize the message they see along with each product, depending on the placement, to make the ad more appealing and relevant.



Retargeting ads are 76% more likely to be clicked on than non-dynamic ads, and consistently have a much lower cost per conversion, usually more than 60% lower than any type of non-dynamic advertising.

It takes a little bit of technical work before you start running your dynamic ads, but the result really pays off. Before you start:

  • You need a product feed, which is essentially a system for telling Google or Facebook what products you have available on your store. Check out Google’s and Facebook’s documentation on how to go about setting this up.
  • Make sure you have created an audience of people who have added products to the cart but didn’t purchase. Google and Facebook do this in different ways, but again, if you go through their documentation you should be able to set everything up fairly quickly.
  • You need to think through your ad creative quite thoroughly. Create as much context as possible for your target audience – just showing them the products doesn’t cut it.
    • Think about their mindset while they’re doing their research, and adjust your message accordingly. For example: “Haven’t made up your mind yet? These shoes look fantastic. Click here to complete your purchase.”
    • Consider including the concept of urgency (“Grab it while stocks last”), discount coupons, or free shipping, to encourage them to make a decision to purchase.

There are, of course, a few drawbacks with this type of advertising.

  • You can’t avoid the clutter.
    By nature, both Facebook and Google adverts interrupt the user’s experience: they are delivered to the targeted audiences while these people are doing something else. This makes it harder for them to notice your remarketing and take the desired action.
  • You can’t control exactly when your customer will see the ad.
    Obviously you want them to be reminded as soon as possible after they have left your store, but you cannot define the exact time.
  • It’s still one-way communication.
    You trust that your ad creative has been set up so a good percentage of people who see it will respond, but they are not given the opportunity to ask questions, unless they switch to another app such as their email client or Facebook Messenger. This means more friction and a smaller probability of a purchase.

Things improve slightly, though, when you start considering native communication tools for cart recovery.



Dynamic retargeting through Google and Facebook ensures that prospects
are automatically reminded of their abandoned cart while they browse the web,
with a 76% higher click-through probability than conventional ads.


Cart recovery via email

An automated email reminder system will do wonders for your cart recovery.


How it works:

As soon as a user leaves your website, they get an automated email reminding them of the products they have added to their cart.

The big advantage of an email message is that it goes straight into the recipient’s inbox. On top of that, especially in the case of cart abandonment, it has context: You talk to them about the products in their cart, so this is far more interesting to them than the average email marketing blast, and consequently they are far more likely to respond.

That’s why cart abandonment emails usually have a massive 40-50% open rate. Of the people who read them, between 10-25% will click through to their cart, and the conversion rate of this last group, in most cases, is above 30%.

To maximize these numbers, make sure you have set up your email automation and content following a few basic rules, and let it do what it does best.

Things to bear in mind:

  • Include the customer’s abandoned cart content in your email, as well as a link to their cart (Shopify does that automatically for you, if you check “Automatically send abandoned checkout emails” on your Checkout Settings).
  • Timing is crucial, and Shopify conveniently allows you to schedule emails in response to customer actions. To optimize the results you get, you can send one reminder an hour after your visitor has left your store, and one more 24 hours later. Shopify recommends just one reminder, 10 hours after abandoning their cart. In any case, it’s a good idea to experiment with timing, as the ideal times will vary for different products and audiences.
  • Use appropriate copy and get creative with the email’s subject. Remember: Less boring, more interesting, more conversions.
  • Test different layouts for the email’s content, and include a clearly visible call-to-action button.

With email, there are a couple of drawbacks you should be aware of:

  • The Spam folder
    You can’t avoid messages ending up in spam, or the “promotions” tab in services such as Gmail, which means they are quite likely to be overlooked and never opened.
  • Frequency of use
    There are always those who don’t check their emails very often. Some people even go as far as making email accounts they never check, for use specifically with online purchases and subscriptions, to avoid being spammed.

Which brings us to the app that nearly everyone carries with them 24/7, uses every single day, and checks their new messages with every single notification they get.



Spend some time setting up your cart abandonment emails,
and recipients are expected to convert at a rate of 7% according to Shopify.



Cart recovery through Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has a huge advantage, compared to both ads retargeting and email: It’s a native mobile app made for conversation, and is fast becoming the default way consumers communicate. Chatbots have become so successful in driving sales, because they’re the closest thing to making conversation with another person.

According to a Facebook survey, close to 60 percent of people feel more confident messaging a business than they do talking on the phone, filling out a form on a website, or emailing them.


Why chat messages work better when it comes to cart recovery

Messaging is really not just a better method for recovering abandoned carts – it’s a totally different experience that significantly helps revenue increase.


How it works:

When a potential customer leaves products in their cart, they get an automated reminder through Messenger. They are engaged in a brief conversation about their cart, during which they are encouraged to complete their order.



This has been proven to be hands down the most effective method for claiming back your lost revenue from abandoned carts. Here’s some impressive data:

  • 80% open rate
    The results in sales attributed to Facebook Messenger conversations are impressive (more statistics on this in a minute). This is due to the insanely high open rate of messages through chat which, most of the time, is 80% or more. When you get your message in front of so many of your intended recipients, your overall increase in revenue is naturally much higher than any other method.
  • Trustworthiness
    When communicating with a retailer via chat, people are far more likely to trust the brand. The communication becomes personal and customers always appreciate the attention. It is then much easier for them to make purchasing decisions faster.
  • Frictionless subscription
    Signing up to receive communication in Facebook Messenger with an app such as Flashchat is literally a matter of clicking a button. Brands very often decide to offer some incentive for the sign-up, such as a discount for example. The user then clicks a button, they go into Flashchat’s audience, and next time they abandon their cart you get to have an automated one-on-one conversation with them. No emails being sent, no verification, zero friction.
  • Increase in revenue
    We have seen that brands who use Flashchat, consistently see a 15% increase in sales – and this is only through Messenger, from recovered carts alone.



When it comes to cart abandoners, Facebook Messenger not only converts better, very often customers will choose to keep contacting your store via Messenger even after that first interaction.


So, which of the three methods is the best for recovering your abandoned carts?

When you look at the numbers it becomes quite clear that all three methods are highly effective in increasing your revenue. We can say, from experience, that there’s no merchant who implemented one or more of the three approaches and didn’t improve their sales.


Combining all three methods ensures an amazing return in terms of recovering lost purchases.

That’s because email or ads retargeting alone will unavoidably miss some prospective customers, thus losing revenue that could have otherwise been recovered. Especially if you’re emailing prospects in Europe, recent GDPR legislation has been quite an obstacle in the whole process, dramatically reducing subscriber numbers across industries.

What Facebook Messenger offers is the certainty that the vast majority of your subscribed users will end up seeing the message you want them to see, and interact with it at a remarkably high rate.

What is more, it’s highly unlikely that they will feel annoyed by it. And if they happen to need help, they are already engaged in a conversation with you, so they will ask right there and then!

Bottom line, through Messenger you will engage the prospective customer in an automated conversation about the products they intend to purchase, and most likely close the sale too. The advantage you gain by incorporating such a tool in your marketing efforts is huge.

Surveys have shown that any retailer using Facebook Messenger to send abandoned cart messages, will see up to a 250% increase in abandoned cart revenue versus using only email or ads retargeting.

You definitely don’t want to miss such an opportunity!

Happy selling! 🙂


Vaios Gkitsas
Founder & CEO, Flashchat



If you’re interested in a free trial of Flashchat, please visit Shopify’s app store.
Setup only takes a few minutes. No credit card, no strings attached,
and you will see new sales coming in straight away.


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