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4 Abandonment Flows Every Ecommerce Merchant Needs to Be Using
4 Abandonment Flows Every Ecommerce Merchant Needs to Be Using
John Hogan avatar
Written by John Hogan
Updated over a week ago

Abandoned checkout. Abandoned cart. Abandoned browse. Somebody left without buying, but what’s the difference?

Abandonment flows are critical for ecommerce merchants. According to Baymard, 70% of all carts will be abandoned. After auditing hundreds of Klaviyo, Shopify Email, and MailChimp accounts, I can say with confidence that the majority of merchants deploy one or two abandonment flows at most. There are actually four types of abandonment flows, and any merchant who isn’t taking advantage of all four is leaving money on the table.

What are the abandoned cart flows?

  1. Abandoned Checkout

  2. Abandoned Cart - Added to Cart

  3. Abandoned Browse

  4. Abandoned Site

High Intent/Low Reach

Abandoned Checkout

Abandoned Checkout is the highest converting abandonment flow, but also represents the lowest number of potential customers in your abandonment pool since these recipients are at the very bottom of the marketing funnel.

Because the potential customer has both added an item to their cart and viewed the cart, you’re able to link them directly to the checkout page. Two mistakes I see frequently with this flow are linking to the product page and not using a dynamic checkout link. If you link the product page as opposed to the checkout page, the potential customer has to go through multiple clicks and pages to complete the purchase, adding more friction than is necessary.

If you don’t use a dynamic link and instead use a permalink (e.g., and the recipient isn’t on the same device when they click on your email, Shopify will redirect to your home page, which also adds more friction than is necessary. Make sure you always use this dynamic checkout link variable:

{{ event.extra.checkout_url|default:'' }}

Abandoned Cart - Added to Cart

Abandoned Cart - Added to Cart means a potential customer added an item to the shopping cart, but didn’t view the cart. The difference between Abandoned Checkout and this flow is that you can’t link to the checkout page because it doesn’t exist yet. Shopify only creates the checkout page when the potential customer has VIEWED the cart.

The best destination link for this flow is the product page of the product added to cart. The potential customer will see an item in the shopping cart in the upper right corner and be able to begin the checkout process with one click. The biggest mistake I see here: not having this flow turned on. It’s not a simple toggle like many Klaviyo and Mailchimp flows, so most merchants tend to overlook it. It only takes five minutes to set up though. Check out our instructions here.

Medium Intent/Medium Reach

Abandoned Browse

Abandoned Browse triggers when a potential customer views a product but doesn’t add it to cart. The intent to purchase here won’t be as high as the former two flows, but the pool of potential customers will be much bigger. The best destination to link the customer to is the product page of the product viewed. This is a simple toggle in Klaviyo and if you don’t have it turned on (a lot of merchants don’t), do so immediately.

Side note: You might think that this flow negates the need for Abandoned Cart - Added to Cart, but that’s not the case. In the Added to Cart flow, you can deliver the potential customer to the product page with their cart saved. This won’t be the case if you deliver them to the product page via an Abandoned Browse flow. Additionally, some potential customers will get the Abandoned Browse, Added to Cart, and then Abandoned Checkout. This flow gives you an additional touch point to push them further down the funnel.

Low Intent/High Reach

Abandoned Site

Abandoned Site triggers when a potential customer visits your site, but doesn’t view any products or add any items to the cart. These customers have a lower intent to purchase, but, according to Baymard, 86% of your site visitors will never view a product before leaving.

The size of this pool means the opportunity is too large to pass up. This is also a simple toggle in Klaviyo. In terms of where to send the potential customer, I’d recommend making the destination a best sellers page or current promotional offer. If you want to get better results, use Grid and Pixel’s AI product recommendation engine to make dynamic recommendations for each recipient based on prior purchases, site behavior, demographics, and more.

If you’re still unsure about abandonment flows and if you’re using them correctly, sign up for a Grid & Pixel plan. If you become a Full Service subscriber, I'll spend a few hours auditing your customer engagement platform and implementing our best-in-class recommendations. Shopify stores often pay hundreds of dollars for these kinds of audits, so a free audit is a steal. Plus, your subscription will give you access to hundreds of gorgeous, personalized graphics that will make ALL of your flows and campaigns perform better.

If you're interested, don't wait too long. I've already started several audits, and we'll have to end this offer when demand gets too high.

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