With the volume of digital noise fully amped up during the holiday season, your prospective customers will be easily distracted. They may be excited about your product one moment but clicking on a rival’s offerings the next after searching for a cheaper price tag, or they may use carts to hold products that they may gift, but never pull the trigger. The tactics that you test now to counteract abandonment and promote recovery may make all the difference this coming November and December.

Cart recovery strategies that work are not limited to programmatic media and web retargeting; instead the best practices are to optimize the entire purchase journey to mitigate abandonment while at the same time allowing you to cull valuable information that will support your ability to communicate with these customers moving forward.

To counteract abandonment and boost recovery this holiday we recommend that you focus on focus on three phases of the customer journey: onsite browsing, checkout and post-abandonment. Test these approaches now to determine how to best adopt and adapt for your specific brand and customers:

Onsite Browsing

Providing engaging content, including well-designed product pages, as well as reviews, articles videos and case studies, can help nudge your customers toward a purchase, but the true driver in the holiday season is urgency. Throughout your site – at least once at every step in the purchase process – highlight messages of urgency relating to both stock and shipping. “Only 10 days left for holiday delivery!” or “Only 10 available!” will enable you to take advantage of the fear of missing out that customers face during the holiday shopping experience.


Before your customer completes a single form field that is required for checkout, like Name, Address, Shipment Method, etc – get her email address. While your site is most likely already optimized to get this key identifier at every turn, smart retailers like Alex and Ani request this information as the first step of the purchase process. The value of doing this in a single screen is that you now have the sole piece of information needed to retarget this specific customer via email. Keep this form is as streamlined as possible; completely unencumbered by additional asks and calls to action. This increases the likelihood that customers will complete at this this portion of the checkout process.


The most effective way to increase cart recovery post abandonment is through a well tested email series. Within hours of the cart’s abandonment, send out a message that compels the customer to act urgently by reinforcing time and inventory limitations. If that first message doesn’t do the trick, follow up a few days later with another email, starting to integrate recommended products based on either your customer’s known interests or products that other customers have recently purchased. As a last resort, offer a discount to clear out the car.

There are many elements to test leading up to high volume holidays. One approach that has been particularly effective for Sailthru clients is to alternate the order of products mentioned in the cart abandonment emails, leading in one case perhaps with the most expensive item and in another with the least expensive. Providing links to positive reviews from other users can make a big difference, too: 90% of consumers say positive online reviews spurred them to make a purchase.

Using these tactics and ensuring that their omnichannel abandonment messaging is personalized is what continues to enable Alex and Ani to be a leader in cart recovery. Start testing these approaches now to ensure that your strategy is sound for this holiday season.

To find out more about how to use discounts and optimize for mobile conversion, see our complete guide – available for free download now!

— Neil Capel, CEO & Founder, Marigold Engage by Sailthru