<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=172061883552505&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Book Your FREE Content Hub Campaign Setup Today!

Subscribe to Our Blog

Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips.

How to Set Up an Abandoned Cart Workflow in HubSpot

Online storefronts are almost a given for modern businesses. Many companies, particularly those that sell products to customers directly, have online cart systems that allow their customers to complete orders online without ever needing to speak to a sales rep.


How to Set Up an Abandoned Cart Workflow in HubSpot


While this offers a lot of convenience for customers, there are occasions where a customer might not complete the transaction—abandoning their cart at the finish line. According to Hotjar, “Almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts.” The reasons for abandoned carts vary. For example, some shoppers might simply see the full cart price at checkout and decide against the purchase, others might not like the shipping and handling fees, they could simply get distracted before finishing the purchase—the potential causes are endless.

To combat the problem of abandoned carts and increase revenue, companies with online carts need to create abandoned cart workflows. In this article, we’ll cover what abandoned cart workflows are, how you can make them in HubSpot, and some basic best practices to follow. Discover how an abandoned cart workflow can help you recover lost sales and increase customer engagement!

What Is an Abandoned Cart Workflow?

An abandoned cart workflow is a specialized workflow that is triggered in response to a prospect or customer leaving a transaction in an online “shopping cart” incomplete. These workflows help to enhance your customer conversion rate by recapturing sales that would otherwise be lost and sending out personalized messages to your customers that make them feel appreciated.

Components of an Abandoned Cart Workflow

gears and partsThe components of an abandoned cart workflow are pretty much the same as they are for any other workflow—just specifically tweaked to address an audience of people who have started, but not completed, a transaction with your business:

  • Trigger Events. A trigger or set of triggers related to an incomplete transaction on your website that serves to activate your workflow.
  • Emails and Messages. The reminder communications that you send to your customers who have abandoned carts.
  • Follow Up Tasks. Tasks assigned to sales or service team members to create personal interactions with customers who have abandoned transactions partway through to completion.
  • Unenrollment Criteria. The criteria for unenrolling a customer from the abandoned cart workflow so they stop receiving messages—such as them completing a transaction or contacting your sales team.

How to Create an Abandoned Cart Workflow in HubSpot

So, how can you create an abandoned cart workflow in HubSpot? The basic process is the same as creating any other HubSpot workflow, but with a few different prerequisites like connecting your eCommerce platform to your HubSpot account so you can track your cart activity.

Step 1: Connect Your eCommerce Platform to HubSpot

The first step in setting up an abandoned cart workflow is to connect the eCommerce platform you use to your HubSpot portal. While HubSpot does have tools for accepting payments from customers, it is not an eCommerce platform in and of itself. So, you’ll want to set up an integration between your platform of choice and HubSpot.

HubSpot has an article outlining the basic process for connecting an eCommerce solution like Shopify or BigCommerce to your HubSpot platform:

  • In your HubSpot account, click on the Marketplace icon in the upper right of the main HubSpot nav and select “App Marketplace”
  • Use the search bar to search for the name of the eCommerce platform you’re using to run your online store
  • Select the relevant app from the search results
  • Click on “Connect App” and follow the onscreen instructions in the connection wizard
    • Note: Specific steps in the wizard may vary between apps

This step is important because it allows your HubSpot platform to track interactions with your online storefront so that workflows can be triggered by abandoned carts automatically. Without this integration, you would need to manually track abandoned carts to add them to a list for the workflow.

Step 2: Designing Emails and Other Messages

Simple Abandoned Cart Email ExampleWhen designing an abandoned cart message, it’s important to be short, sweet, and personal while upholding your company’s messaging guidelines. Incorporate personalization tokens that identify specific items in the cart and a link to the abandoned cart URL whenever possible so that it’s easier for the customer to remember what they were shopping for and to complete the transaction.

It's important to be concise in these messages because odds are that your recipient is busy and won’t want to waste a lot of time reading a whole wall of text.

Create a unique message for each abandoned cart state you wish to address in your workflow to ensure maximum impact.

Step 3: Create the Workflow

  • Click on “Workflows” in your main HubSpot nav menu (this may appear in a dropdown under “Automation” if you have access to both workflows and sequences in your portal)
  • Click on the “Create workflow” button in the upper right of the workflows index screen
  • Click on the “From scratch” option in the dropdown
  • In the next screen, scroll down the list of workflow types and select “cart-based”

Cart-based workflow option highlight

  • Choose whether to start a “blank” workflow or to use a scheduled one that repeats at specific dates and times
  • Click “Next” when ready
  • Add a trigger to your workflow related to activity in your cart or the creation of a cart ID
  • Add an appropriate delay to ensure that you’re only sending messages to carts that have been abandoned and not ones that have just been created
  • Add actions and logic branches to your workflow
    • For example, you could add an IF/THEN logic branch for whether the contact accepts marketing emails to filter out nonmarketing contacts from the workflow, then add branches for sending different emails based on various cart states

Abandoned Cart Workflow Branch Screen Cap

  • Add your messages to the appropriate branches of your workflow
    • Note: You’ll need to create your emails as “automated” emails in HubSpot for them to be available for your abandoned cart workflow
    • Consider tweaking each email for the different possible cart states you have filtered for to make them as personalized and impactful as possible
  • In the “Settings and Notifications” tab, check your unenrollment and suppression criteria to add unenrollment triggers to stop the workflow emails
    • For example, if a particular region/country you service has different regulations regarding automated messages from others and you want to avoid complications, you could exclude it based on region criteria like Billing Country or Shipping Country
  • Click “Review and Publish” when finished

Abandoned Cart Workflow Best Practices

So, how can you ensure that your abandoned cart workflow is as effective as possible? Here are a few basic tips to keep you on track:

Preview Your Abandoned Cart Messages Before Publishing

For each abandoned cart message you craft, be sure to look at the preview of it as one of your contacts and as a non-contact. This helps you verify that everything is working as intended before you turn on your workflow.

If you notice a mistake, like an extraneous space (or a lack of a space break) or a broken personalization token, then you can fix it before someone else sees it.

Test and Analyze Your Results

Just because your workflow is live doesn’t mean that you’re done modifying it! Periodically check on your workflow to review the results from your workflow emails. For example, if you used A/B testing to check the performance of different email subject lines, you can go back and review your results to see which subject line generated the highest open rate and select that line as the “winner” so all future sends of that email use it.

You might also want to completely change an email or restructure the workflow based on performance data as well. For example, if your workflow is generating a lot of unsubscribes or spam reports, you might change out those emails or remove them to preserve your company’s email health score.

Get Help Setting Up Your Sales Tools in HubSpot

Need help building abandoned cart workflows and other resources in HubSpot to support your marketing and sales goals? Book a meeting with the experts at Bluleadz!

We have years of experience in helping organizations of all sizes and industries onboard and implement HubSpot tools in their business operations to maximize the ROI they see from their HubSpot subscriptions.

Douglas Phillips

Douglas Phillips

Former military brat, graduated from Leilehua High School in Wahiawa, Hawaii in 2001. After earning my Bachelor's in English/Professional Writing, took on a job as a writer here at Bluleadz.