Cutting browse abandonment with Klaviyo

cutting browse abandonment with klaviyo

What is browse abandonment?

Browse abandonment happens when a visitor is browsing your ecommerce site but leaves without added to cart or purchasing.

Since on average only 6% of all ecommerce visitors add to cart, browse abandonment (or site abandonment) averages at 94%. It’s a big problem.

Abandoned browse vs abandoned cart vs abandoned checkout

There are a few ways you can describe web visits that don’t result in purchasing.

Abandoned checkout is visitors who got as far as the checkout, but then abandoned the site.

Abandoned cart is visitors who added to cart but not purchased. It could also include those who got to the checkout, but most email targeting would exclude the abandoned checkout for more precise targeting

Abandoned browse is visitors who didn’t even add to cart. Commonly it is targeted at users who at least viewed a product; someone who hasn’t seen your products is not even engaged in the ecommerce journey.

With browse abandonment, you are much less certain that the visitors have selected the products they really want to buy, and so typically the targeting is more broad.

How to reduce site abandonment on Shopify?

Users who browse for products on ecommerce stores typically do so anonymously. However, some users will have either signed up for your newsletter or purchased previously. For identifiable users (and this is the hard bit) you have the option to recover browse abandonment using email or SMS marketing.

With these email campaigns, you would aim to drive users back to the product they viewed on Shopify (or a similar product) to encourage them to add to cart.

For this article, I’ll focus on how to do this using Klaviyo, but the principles apply to other email marketing solutions.

Is it legal to send browse abandonment emails?

Yes, it’s legal so long as the customer consents to email marketing.

The requirements for consent vary by country, but browse abandonment emails are no different from any other email marketing.

In the US and Canada, customers have a right to opt out of marketing emails. To avoid getting spam complaints – which may block your Klaviyo account – you need to respect that right when sending browse abandonment emails. The easiest way to do so is by enabling global unsubscribes in Klaviyo.

At the other end of the privacy spectrum, it is only legal in Germany to send emails to customers who have double opted in for email marketing (on your site and confirmed by clicking on an email).

What is the right trigger for browse abandonment?

For browse abandonment emails you want to target users who browsed for products but didn’t purchase.

As opposed to a cart abandonment email using the “Added to Cart” trigger, for browse abandonment, you’ll want to use “Viewed Product” as a trigger.

If you target users who actually viewed a product then your browse abandonment email can be more personalized to the product or product category of interest.

How to track “Viewed Product” trigger for Shopify

To track the Viewed Product event for a Shopify store you have two options;

  1. Use the Klaviyo App Embed for Shopify to send a client-side ‘Viewed Product’ event
  2. Add Littledata’s app to track a more reliable ‘Viewed Product – Littledata’ server-side event into Klaviyo

Klaviyo triggers a Viewed Product event with the default Shopify integration (called the Klaviyo App Embed). But the problem is in the small print below the opt-in (my emphasis)

> Creates a custom event whenever an identifiable browser views a product

What Klaviyo means by ‘identifiable browser’ is someone who has – in the same session as they browse the product – volunteered their email address.

And how many ecommerce sites force a browser to log in before browsing the products? Zero.

So the number of identifiable browsers for Viewed Product will be very small – a tiny fraction of the 94% of visitors who abandoned the site.


The advantages of Littledata’s trigger? It requires no extra code and can better identify customers on your email list who are also active on your storefront (e.g. viewing products). See more below.

How to create a Klaviyo abandoned browse flow

Klaviyo has some useful Browse Abandonment flow templates as a starting point.

The simplest is a one-email flow to target anyone who viewed a product with a single ‘Did you see something you liked?’ email.

However, there’s a better template which splits users depending on whether they viewed just one product or viewed 3 products during the last 5 days. This way you can vary the message between ‘recommended product’ (based on viewing multiple times) and ‘just browsing’ (based on one Viewed Product).

And then the final browse abandonment flow template brings in SMS marketing, so the message is first sent on SMS but falls back to email if they have not opted into SMS marketing.

Tip: if you want to use Littledata’s trigger you’ll need to change the flow to use ‘Viewed Product – Littledata’

When should you send a browse abandonment email?

Klaviyo’s flow templates default to a 2-hour delay after the Viewed Product. However, research done by Rejoiner found that the most effective time was 60 minutes after the abandonment.

Sending earlier than that might catch shoppers before they buy on another site, but runs the risk of annoying someone who was already going to purchase. Yet if you’re not giving a discount away with this first email, then there is little risk to going early – 30 minutes might work well for your brand.

How to improve browse abandoned flows

Here are five ways you can boost the effectiveness of a browse abandonment flow:

  1. Use a better trigger that identifies more Klaviyo email subscribers (see below)
  2. Add follow-up emails to the flow, to retarget users after 6 hours, 24 hours, etc
  3. Write a more compelling subject line – potentially including your brand name or product name in that subject line.
  4. Add dynamic product content to the email
  5. Recommending popular product variants from the same category

To add dynamic product content you’ll need dimensions like image URL, variant name, etc – Littledata has a comprehensive list of product dimensions to use for targeting.

However, you have to be careful with the assumption that because the user viewed a product they want to buy this product.

There may be a reason they didn’t add to cart – no availability in their size or color, no shipping to their country, out of stock, or just not to their liking.

Often it can be more successful to target the product category they showed interest to or the most popular product in that category. You can do this with a trigger split.

Trigger splits using product category

Note: this is only possible using Littledata’s improved trigger, which includes product category

A trigger split allows you to split the flow based on a dimension of the trigger – in this case, the category of the product they bought.

Here’s how to add a trigger split based on product category.

Then for each category you can design an email variation which reflects the imagery and best products from that category. 

See how Tyler Bell from Prismfly recommends personalizing flows based on category:

“The way that you’re able to target the items that are in the cart is superior in Littledata’s event. I like to use very personalised emails in our flows, and I can see a better filtering being done with Littledata’s trigger.”

See how Tyler Bell from Prismfly recommends personalizing flows based on category:

How Littledata Boosts Retargeting

Linking browsing behavior to customer profiles has gotten harder over the years – most recently with iOS 17 – and Littledata’s cloud identity graph can work around many of these challenges.

When a Viewed Product event hits Littledata’s servers we can use a number of identity points to link this event not only to the web session but to a Klaviyo profile who previously identified themselves on your site.

When a Viewed Product event hits Littledata’s servers we can use a number of identity points to link this event not only to the web session, but to a Klaviyo profile who previously identified themselves on your site.

The upside? Between 20% and 200% more abandoned browse emails can be triggered – with a corresponding increase in purchasing from these flows.

Conclusion

Klaviyo flows can help cut browse abandonment by reminding users what they were browsing, and giving them another chance to buy.

To improve the triggering of these campaigns, and increase the size of the audience for browse abandonment emails, you’ll need Littledata’s Klaviyo connection to add a more reliable Viewed Product trigger.

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Retarget abandoned carts using Klaviyo
What is an abandoned cart? When a shopper visits your store, chooses a product, adds it to the cart … but does not continue to checkout, that’s called an abandoned cart. On Shopify stores, around 6% of visitors add to cart and 2% of all visitors complete the purchase – so two-thirds of visitors abandon their cart.

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