Email Service Provider Listrak Conducts "Shop and Abandon" Cart Study Using Internet Retailer 500 List

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Less Than 11 Percent of E-Retailers Responded with Abandoned Cart Email - Average Response Time More Than 3 Days

Listrak, a leading email marketing solution provider, today released the results of a cart abandonment study conducted to provide online businesses with recommended timings for sending abandoned cart messages using automated email messaging.

Between June 15 and June 30, 2009, two Listrak employees visited all 500 of the Internet Retail 500. They shopped and abandoned carts on 398 sites. The remaining 102 sites, or just over 20%, could not be shopped or included in the study, either because they required a credit card number to put items in a shopping cart, or they did not require an email sign-in, meaning abandoning a cart could not trigger an abandonment email.

"Not asking for an email address before asking for a credit card number limits an etailer's ability to maximize their reach-back opportunities and contributes to missed ROI potential," said Ross Kramer CEO of Listrak.

Of even greater significance however, is that of the 398 sites effectively shopped, just 42, or 10.55%, sent an Abandoned Cart email. Given that a 2006 study by MarketingSherpa indicated an average cart abandon rate of 59.8%, that potentially adds up to a large missed opportunity to communicate with potential buyers.

In addition to tracking the number of abandoned cart emails received, Listrak also tracked the amount of time it took e-retailers to respond following a cart being abandoned. Just 26% of etailers that sent abandoned cart emails did so within 24 hours.

According to Listrak, one day is a generally accepted industry best-practice for businesses to reach back to potential customers or subscribers in order to reach them while they are most engaged.

"However the only way to learn the optimum time-frame in which your particular business should send out an abandonment email is to test various intervals and to test various offers as well," said Mr. Kramer.

Slightly less than 60% of e-retailers responded within 72 hours, with some sites responding up to two weeks after a cart was abandoned. Just over one-third (36%) of e-retailers sent personalized messages using the would-be shopper's first and last name despite all of them having collected this data. Notably, six out of 10 of the retailers that offered an incentive in their abandonment email also personalized the email.

Why more e-retailers are not using automated Cart Abandonment emails or using personalization, is not clear, said Mr. Kramer. "It may be that many e-retailers, even among the Top 500, still consider that automated cart abandonment email messages or automated marketing conversations are too difficult or too costly to set up and manage, or because their infrastructure doesn't support it.

"In reality this is largely no longer the case and those e-retailers who do implement a shopping cart abandonment campaign using automated email conversations have a substantial opportunity to boost their bottom line by engaging potential shoppers and guiding them to complete their purchase," he said.

Last week, Listrak launched a breakthrough Event Triggered Messaging system called Listrak Conductorâ„¢, which enables interactive and direct marketers to set up emails that are automatically sent as people interact with their websites, email campaigns, or offline events.

Additional statistics from shopping cart abandonment study:

  • 10 emails out of 42 linked directly to shopping cart = 23.81%
  • Only 5 out of 42 emails returned none of the abandoned items = 11.90%
  • 19 of the 42 offered an incentive = 45.23%
  • 10 of the 19 involved Free Shipping w/ no purchase minimum = 52.63%
  • 6 of those 10 were also Personalized = 60.00%
  • Average Time to Reach out = 75.10 hours [or approximately 3 days 3 hours 6 minutes]
  • 4 programs sent an email within 1 hour = 9.52%
  • 7 programs sent after 1 hour and up to 24 hours = 16.67%
  • 14 programs sent after 24 hours and up to 72 hours = 33.33%
  • 17 programs sent after 72 hours = 40.48%

The majority of responses were sent on a Thursday, with the fewest sent on Sunday - seemingly not related to day of sign-ups.


The number of items shopped, the amount of money spent and the number of pages visited and shopped per site, as well as time spent on each site, were random.

Note: Listrak intends to further analyze content data gathered during this study and to conduct further studies that focus on deliverability and content of abandonment emails, as factors affecting response rates.

About Listrak
Listrak gives you the tools you need to engage your audience in relevant email conversations. With Listrak email marketing, you have the most detailed reports, more automated features, better targeting tools, superior deliverability, ongoing education, and exceptional service at a price that meets your budget. From self-managed accounts to full service solutions, Listrak is committed to your success.

Listrak is dedicated to educating email and direct marketers on the latest email marketing best practices through its white papers, case studies, webinars, podcasts, and events. Listrak services clients, such as Daimler Chrysler, Motorola, L'Oreal, and the Islands of the Bahamas, from its Lititz, PA headquarters. Listrak was named the 2006 Small Business Technological Excellence Award winner by the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the 2006 Emerging Business of the Year by the Central Penn Business Journal, a Top Fifty Fastest Growing Company in 2006 and 2005 by the Central Penn Business Journal, and the 2005 Growth Company of the Year by the Technology Council of Central PA. To learn more, visit

Listrak Conductor is a registered trade name of Listrak. The Internet Retail 500 and Top 500 Guide® are trademarks or registered trade names of Internet All other marks are the property of their respective owners.


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