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Abandoned checkout with Shopify

Remind your Shopify customers' of the items they left in their cart at the checkout of your store.

Gareth Burroughes avatar
Written by Gareth Burroughes
Updated over a week ago

The Shopify connector allows you to send abandoned checkout emails to visitors of your website.

An abandoned checkout is an event where:

  • A potential customer provides their contact information on the checkout page but doesn't complete the order. (Guest)

  • A logged-in customer abandons the shopping cart on the checkout page and doesn't complete the order. (Customer)

At this point, the checkout details are stored as a record in that contact's CartInsight data collection. This CartInsight data includes items such as the URL of the cart, the products in the cart and the price of the cart.

Abandoned cart vs Abandoned checkout

An abandoned checkout is not the same as an abandoned cart. With abandoned cart, the visitor can abandon your site from any page. Abandoned cart requires custom code to be added to your store, and may include additional charges.

Create an abandoned checkout email

An abandoned checkout email contains the latest contents of a contact's cart in a pre-built layout, which is populated with CartInsight data. Abandoned checkout emails are sent automatically through programs. So, you must create an abandoned checkout email as a triggered email campaign.

Create an abandoned checkout program

While you have full creative control and can build the program any way you like, there are certain program nodes that should be included. We’d suggest that your abandoned checkout program include at least one delay node and one decision node to look for purchases within the duration of the program. This ensures that you remove contacts who have already made a purchase.

You can create a program from scratch or use the prebuilt Abandoned Cart program by going to Automation > Programs > NEW PROGRAM. Select either the Blank template, or the Abandoned Cart template under E-commerce.

Example program

Let’s look at an example of a simple program that can be used to send your abandoned checkout emails.

Learn more about using the Program builder in Getting started with the program builder and Working with the program builder articles.

Start node

You can set the Start node to No scheduled enrolment, as contacts will be enrolled on the program based on the mapping set in your store settings.

Delay node

Attach a Delay node immediately following the Start node. This gives contacts a chance to complete their order. We suggest waiting one day before sending an abandoned checkout email.

Decision node

Follow the Delay node with a Decision node. In the Decision node, use a segment to create a condition which includes only contacts who have a purchase_date value that occurs in the last one day. You can use Orders insight data in your segment to check this.

  • No Path - Attach a Campaign node to the NO path of the Decision node. In the Campaign node, select your abandoned checkout email.

  • Yes Path - Add an End node so that contacts exit the program if they have completed their order in the last one day.

The entire program will look something like this:

Additional campaigns

If you would like to send more then one abandoned checkout email, you can repeat the decision and delay node loop until you have sent the desired amount of campaigns.

You just need to adjust the purchase_date length for each subsequent delay node. For example, you want your second email to be sent three days after the first. To do this, set the purchase_date for your second Decision node to occurs in the last three days.

When you’re happy with your program, select ACTIVATE.

Map program enrolment

The abandoned checkout program you have built can be mapped from the Shopify store settings in Dotdigital. To do this, go to Connect and select the Shopify tile under Installed integrations and extensions.

Scroll down to the Abandoned checkout section and select your program from the Enrol Abandoned checkouts to drop-down menu. Choose the wait time to enrol contacts into the abandoned checkout program. The minimum wait time is 30 minutes and the maximum is 12 hours.


The abandoned checkout program must be set to Active for enrolment to begin.

Test the abandoned checkout process

We recommend thoroughly testing the abandoned checkout process before finalising your changes. The easiest method to test the program is to attach an additional Decision node to the Start node. Set a rule in this Decision node to exit any contacts whose Email address Contact data field does not match your test email address.

  • Yes Path - The email address is equal to the test email address, so the contact continues through the program.

  • No Path - The email address does not match the test email address you have set, so the contact exits the program.

When your testing is complete and you’re happy that everything is working correctly you just need to remove the additional Decision node from the program.

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