Increase conversions with abandoned cart campaigns using Engage

Abandoned shopping carts might look like a failure to convert, but have you ever thought of them as a buying signal? Building a campaign to target abandoned carts and nudge the shopper into completing the purchase have a great track record of increasing conversions.

Made by Stitch

What do you need?

  • Segment (with Engage)

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Abandoned Cart campaigns are an effective way to capture revenue from users that start to shop on your website and add items to their cart, but ultimately leave without completing a purchase. Studies show that over 69% of online shoppers abandon their cart, and that abandoned cart campaigns have over a 10% conversion rate in getting those shoppers back to complete their transactions. Abandoned cart messaging can be versatile and varying, and they don’t have to take a huge amount of effort to configure once the tracking calls are in place to support it.


To complete this recipe in its entirety, you will need Segment with a license for Engage Premier. Your instance of Engage Premier should be configured and working. As a note, if you leverage a different platform for activation you could simply create the audiences through the steps below and send that data to the activation platform of your choice.

As another prerequisite, you must have already configured your event tracking. This is a step you will need to complete even outside of an abandoned cart for a complete implementation of the platform. You’ll need to configure a source as well (likely a JavaScript source so you can start with your website for this one). Source documentation can be found here. With a Source created, it’s time to start putting together events that allow Segment to understand all of the engagement with the site. The events created should be based on the V2 Ecommerce spec and should include the below events at an absolute minimum for this exercise:

  1. Product Clicked

  2. Product Added

  3. Product Removed

  4. Cart Viewed

  5. Checkout Started

  6. Payment Info Entered

  7. Order Completed

Note: In building for a live production instance, the spec should be followed as closely as possible and should include all of the events available. 

We will also assume that we have the appropriate tracking calls (page, identify, track, screen) configured for your website. Further, you’ll need a production Space for this campaign and your account will need Identity Resolution configured.

In summary:

  • Licenses to Segment and Engage Premier

  • Tracking required includes:

    • Identify calls 

    • Tracking calls for: shopping cart purchase, items added to the shopping cart, items removed from shopping cart

  • Website (including shopping cart) is required for tracking

  • Production Space configured

  • Identity Resolution configured

Step 1: Create your first Audience.

Now that we have data flowing into your Abandoned Cart space, the next step is to create an audience within Engage Premier that allows us to determine when someone creates a cart or places something in their cart, but does not complete a purchase within a set timeframe. We’ll use 4 hours for this example, which would allow an individual enough time to come back to their cart that day if they were simply interrupted or switched devices during their purchase.

We will do this by navigating to the Engage section on the left side of the application, and then select “Audiences.” Once there, you should see you do not yet have any audiences, and we’ll get one started by selecting “Create.” 


Here you can add the various conditions you expect to use to build the audience for your campaign.The conditions may vary based on your website, event tracking, and business objectives. Our audience will include any users that 1) have added something to their cart, 2) have not removed it, and 3) have not made a purchase at all within the last 24 hours.


Step 2: Preview and save your Audience.

Once you have the desired logic in place, you can then select the “Preview” button on the right side of the window to preview the audience that this would include. If you don’t have any individuals that qualify for the audience yet, it may come back with no results. After previewing the audience, if it matches your expected results, select “Save audience.” The next screen will allow you to send the audience to a destination (if you are not leveraging Engage Premier, you likely want to send your target audience to the desired activation platform), but we are going to skip this step and simply select ‘Next.’

The following screen allows you to set the name of your audience and determine if you want to use historical data, or only new data going forward. In our case we will leave the default state of gathering historical data and click “Done.” This will automatically trigger the building of the audience.

Step 3: Create your content.

As the audience goes through the build process, navigate into Engage on the left side of the tool again, and select “Content.” From here you should be able to select either the “Email” or “SMS” tab, and create a template message for use in a campaign.

These templates can include references to the products that were abandoned, incentives to come back and complete the purchase (free shipping, coupons, etc.), and product recommendations for similar items to those they abandoned. 

Further information on creating templates can be found here:



Step 4: Create your Journey.

Once your templates are ready, navigate to the “Journey” menu item on the left. Here, you can either explore existing journeys, or create a new journey depending on whether you have been through this before. In creating a journey, you will need to give it a name, and set some basic configuration, including if users can re enter, and when they should be ejected from the journey.

For this example we will eject users 4 days after entering when all messaging is completed, and they can re enter up to every 2 weeks.


It's time to build out your journey. You will need to have an entry step that retrieves everyone from the audience previously built, followed by an email activity for that initial abandoned cart message.


After the initial message, you can wait a couple of days and then confirm they haven’t purchased yet, and if appropriate, send a second message.


When completed, your journey flow may look something like this. You can change it as you do more testing. For example, based on test results you may add a 3rd email message, include text messages, or potentially send audiences to ad platforms when appropriate.


When you’re happy with your journey configuration, select “Save as draft,” and then you’ll be able to publish your journey, turning it into a live campaign. 

Wrapping up

Here’s what we’ve done in this growth recipe:

  • Created an audience of users who abandoned their cart on the website

  • Built a journey that sends users in the created audience emails reminding them to complete their purchase

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