Create an abandoned cart program

Learn how to set up an automated program for your abandoned carts. 

Overview

An abandoned cart is an event that is triggered when:

  • Subscribers who click through from a Dotdigital email campaign add items to their cart and then leave the store without completing an order.
  • Visitors submit their email addresses, add items to their cart, and then leave the store without completing an order.
  • Logged-in customers or new account creators add items to their cart and then leave the store without completing an order.

When an abandoned cart is triggered, the details of the cart are stored as a record in the contact's CartInsight data collection in Dotdigital. This CartInsight data includes items such as the URL of the cart, the products in the cart, and the total price of the cart.

Before you start

Things you need to know:

  • You must be syncing your order and cart insight data to Dotdigital, either using one of our ecommerce connectors, or using a custom integration.

Build an abandoned cart program

Contacts are enrolled into an abandoned cart program when they abandon items in their shopping cart while browsing your site. The enrolment into the program will be configured in your ecommerce integration, but in order to do this you need to create and activate an abandoned cart program in Dotdigital.

You can either create an abandoned cart program from scratch or use the prebuilt Abandoned Cart program template:

  1. Go to Email > Automation > All programs.
  2. Select New program.
  3. Select either the Blank template or Abandoned Cart template under E-commerce.

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

To learn more about using the Program builder, you can take a look at the Getting started with the program builder and Working with the program builder articles.

Watch the video

Start node

Set the Start node to No scheduled enrolment, as contacts are enrolled on the program based on the settings in your ecommerce integration.

start_node.png

Decision node

It’s a good idea to use a Decision node to check three things:

  • If the contact has completed their order before sending the abandoned cart email. This is determined by looking at the cartPhase. If cartPhase is equal to ORDER_COMPLETE the contact has placed the order.
  • If the contact has made a different purchase before sending the abandoned cart email. This is determined by looking at the purchase_date. If purchase_date occurs in the last one day, the contact has purchased an item from your store very recently.
  • If the contact has removed all items from the cart. This is determined by looking at the subTotal. If subTotal is equal to 0 then the contents of the cart have been emptied.

Drag a Decision node onto the canvas immediately after the Start node. In the Decision node, create a condition that includes only contacts who:

  • have a cartPhase value of ORDER_COMPLETE and ModifiedDate occurs today
    OR
  • contacts who have a subTotal value equal to 0 and ModifiedDate occurs today
    OR
  • contacts who have a purchase_date which occurs in the last one day.

    cartPhase and subTotal are found in the CartInsight data collection when building the segment, while purchase_date is found in the OrderInsight data collection.

Use the Decision node to guide contacts through the program:

  • YES path - Attach an End node to the YES path of the Decision node. Contacts will exit the program if they meet the conditions of the Decision node.
  • NO path - Attach a Campaign node to the NO path of the Decision node. In the Campaign node, select your abandoned cart email.

The program will look something like this:

ac_program_1.png

Additional campaigns

If you want to send more than one abandoned cart email, you can do so by repeating the above process, with the addition of a Delay node following the campaign send, for each additional email you want to send. The condition of the Decision nodes should follow the same logic used previously but should look for items created after the time period specified in the preceding Delay node.

Example
Your second email campaign will be sent 3 days after the first campaign. The rules in your second Decision node should identify contacts who

  • have a cartPhase value of ORDER_COMPLETE and ModifiedDate occurs in the last 3 days
    OR
  • contacts who have a subTotal equal to 0 and ModifiedDate occurs in the last last 3 days
    OR
  • contacts who have a purchase_date which occurs in the last three days

and remove them from the program.

ac_program_2.png

Test the abandoned cart process

Once you are happy with the program you have built, you must thoroughly test the process before finalising your changes:

  1. In your abandoned cart program, attach an additional Decision node to the Start node (before the Decision node which checks whether your contacts have made a purchase or emptied their cart). This new Decision node should be configured to remove contacts from the program if their Email Contact data field doesn't match your test email addresses.
    1. YES path - Contacts will continue through the rest of the program if their Email Contact data field is equal to the email addresses that you're testing with.
    2. NO path - Contacts will exit the program if their email address does not match a test email address.
      ac_program_test.png
  2. Once the abandoned cart module has been configured on your store, log in with the email address you’re using for testing and add some items to your cart, then log out.
  3. Wait a few minutes, then, in Dotdigital, go to the Single customer view for your test contact, select the Insight data tab and check that the CartInsight record has been added.

    To access the Single customer view for a contact, go to Contacts > All contacts and then use the search field to locate and select the email address. Find out more by checking out our Single customer view article.

  4. Wait a few more minutes, depending on the length of the cartDelay that you set in your store settings, and check that your contact has successfully been enrolled on the program.

After testing, remember to remove the extra Decision node from the program.

See also

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