Reminder emails for cart abandoners lack details on shipping, total price and the ability to add items, a new study finds.

E-retailers are trying everything from sending email reminders to offering quick links to customer service to spur purchases from the 40% of online shoppers who leave items in their online shopping carts to view later or buy in a store, a survey released this week by Bronto Software shows.

But while three times as many  retailers (41%) used cart reminders today than in 2013, only 5% of retailers included shipping amounts or options in the reminders, and none showed shipping duration, according to the email service provider’s “Consumers Tell All” study, done in partnership with e-commerce software provider Demandware.

Further, 56% of retailers surveyed failed to show the price of the products in the cart and 91% avoided showing the order total in the reminders, the study shows. While these details could create a perception of cost and delay, Bronto urges retailers to tell shoppers about such options as expedited shipping, shipping upgrades or in-store pick-up that could help shoppers get their items sooner.

Retailers also could improve the subject lines in the reminders they send, the study shows. Only 5% of retailers reference an incentive in the subject line or mention the product or product category of the items left in a shopping cart, the study shows.

One in five retailers did use some form of urgency to encourage shoppers to revisit their cart, however. That message often mentioned the importance of getting the item before it ran out, while 84% showed a photo of the product left behind and a link (86%) to that product, the study shows.


More than half (53%) of retailers feature customer service details in their cart reminders.

Bronto recommends that retailers offer shoppers a way to immediately start the checkout process from the cart preview, as well as a link to the full shopping cart so the shopper can edit or review additional information. Nearly one in four (23%) retailers did not give shoppers a way to change the quantity of the product they had left in the cart, and only 7% gave shoppers a way to change product attributes such as color or size.

Retailers could also benefit from making the checkout process less tedious, Bronto says. The average number of pages between placing items in a cart and confirming an order is 5.5, with no retailers providing a truly single-page checkout, the study shows.

And retailers would do well to tell shoppers that their information is secure, how it’s being used for marketing purposes and how their payment information is processed, Bronto recommends.


More than half (51%) of retailers mentioned no site and order security during checkout, the study shows.

Bronto recommends retailers test timing and content to find the optimal balance that boosts sales without annoying or frustrating shoppers.

Bronto and Demandware randomly surveyed more than 100 retailers from more than 500 brands. Bronto provides email marketing services for 112 retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 1,000. Demandware, which offers multiple services for online retailers, is the e-commerce platform provider for 52 of the Top 1,000, data shows. The total set of retailers and the sample used may include Bronto or Demandware clients, but any inclusion is random, the companies said.