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Jan 19, 2021

How To Create An Abandoned Cart Flow In Klaviyo (Step By Step Tutorial)

By Jared Chuah

In this blog, we will show you how to recover lost sales with an Abandoned Cart flow in Klaviyo. This tutorial is most applicable for Shopify or BigCommerce stores but it should work for other platforms too.

The video below goes through this tutorial with a screen recording, so I recommend checking that out as well.

What is an Abandoned Cart Flow?

The abandoned cart flow is a series of emails that are triggered when someone has not completed their purchase at the checkout. The goal of this flow is to get the customer to return to finish their purchase. The abandoned cart flow is effective in bringing a customer back because the contents of their cart are populated into the email. This makes it quick and easy for them to complete their purchase with a click of a button.

STEP 1: Connect Klaviyo to your ecommerce platform
Within Klaviyo, go to Integrations: https://www.klaviyo.com/integrations, and connect to your store. When you connect it, Klaviyo will add a lot of great features to your account, including pre-populating your flow library.

STEP 2: Create the Abandoned Cart Flow
At Email Experts, we recommend starting with Klaviyo’s default abandoned cart flow.

Go to Flows, click on create a flow (click “Create a flow”), and choose a standard Abandoned cart flow. This creates a placeholder flow, and it should work exactly as you expect; once a customer abandons, the email will be sent to the customer with their products populated and linked to the cart.

Klayvio flows screenshot

So, how does it work?
Klaviyo tracks events happening on your site and calls them “Metrics”. When someone starts a checkout, they trigger the “Started checkout” metric. When they place an order, it triggers the “Placed Order” metric – these and other metrics are what makes Klaviyo’s Flows and Segments so powerful. So the Abandoned Cart is sent to anyone who “Starts checkout” but doesn’t place an order; in Klaviyo terminology, they “Place an order” zero times Since starting the flow. As a “Flow filter” this filter is checked before any email is sent, ensuring customers stop receiving the abandoned cart email as soon as they complete the checkout.

What’s more, the metadata in the Metric can populate the contents of the email – which is how the contents of the cart are populated into the email.

Klayvio abandoned cart screenshot

Luckily, you don’t need to worry about the technicalities because Klaviyo has already set up the rules and built the placeholder email for you. So, it’s time to build your first email.

STEP 3: Building Abandoned Cart Emails
When you open the email you will see some code, also called merge tags, that might look a bit strange. This is the code that will be replaced with the contents of the cart the customer has abandoned.

Clicking “preview” and “show directly in Klaviyo” allows you to see what the merge tags will look like on the customer’s end. If your store is new or the metrics are yet to be triggered, the merge tags will not be visible. We recommend you activate the metrics in your e-commerce store first before proceeding with the design.

Klayvio abandonded cart email template

You can edit the styling, but don’t edit the code of the block or the cart contents might not work. Now you can edit the email to make it match your brand!

Always remember to preview your email after designing, to ensure the merge tags are correct and were not corrupted during the process of design. If you are happy with the email, remember to press “save and return” or “save content”.

Pro Tip: Rather than editing each email, you can just duplicate this new beautified email at the flow level, and drag it into place, rename it, and delete the old placeholder. Then, you can just edit the message in each email and still show the cart contents.

Abandoned cart email flow 1Abandonded cart email flow 2

Don’t forget to add or change the time delay between each email! You don’t want your customers to be bombarded with a series of emails all at once.

STEP 4: Splits in flows
In Klaviyo, you can also add splits into flows, including the abandoned cart flows. For the purpose of this article, we will explain the different ways you can use the conditional split.

Conditional Split: New and Returning Customers

If we wanted our first-time and return customers to receive different emails, we can add a conditional split, and set up the rule of “has placed order zero times over all time”. This means, new customers will go down the “yes” path and the rest will be returning customers going down the “no” path.

flow split

This way, you can offer a discount to first-time abandoners only, without giving one to returning customers. Using a conditional split prevents returning customers from “gaming” your abandoned cart flow for discounts. To learn how to add an auto-apply discount code in your abandoned cart email, watch our other video or read our blog post on how to do that.

Conditional Split: Customer Properties

Alternatively, you may want to split customers by country or state, to showcase different shipping policies. To do this, edit your split to “Properties about someone” “Country” “is in” and then select the countries you want in your split. This can be a great way to promote your shipping policies.

Properties about someone

There are other ways to split your abandoned cart flow for different strategic purposes, such as splitting the flow based on the products in their cart, high or low value carts, or the assumed gender of the customer based on their name.

STEP 5: Activate the flow
Now that the emails are designed, we’re nearly ready to activate the flows. But before we do, make sure that any existing abandoned cart emails in your e-commerce platform are turned off so customers don’t receive 2 batches of emails.

For the purpose of the article, we will illustrate the process via Shopify, but you should check your own e-commerce platform since it might send Abandoned Cart emails too.

In Shopify, go to Settings > Notification settings > Abandoned checkouts settings, and turn them off.

Activate flow checkout settingsAutomatically send out abandoned checkout emails

Now we’re ready to turn on your abandoned cart flow in Klaviyo. To do so, go into your flow, and switch all the flows from Draft to Live. Now Klaviyo will start sending as soon as people abandon their cart. We recommend that you abandon a cart yourself to make sure it’s working properly!

Check out our YouTube channel, where we have tutorials on how to build up your email marketing. Please subscribe to be notified when future content is released.

Author: Jared Chuah is an email implementation specialist at Email Experts. He has developed and implemented email strategies for iconic Australian brands, including Bulk Nutrients, Erstwilder, Rollie Nation and many more.