No matter how good a sale could be, it’s not complete until the shopper checks out. Occasionally, your shoppers may place items in their carts and don't complete the purchase. 

There could be many reasons for this: They decided against the item, they got distracted by something else, or they found the checkout process too challenging to complete. 

As a business owner, it’s important to try to save the sale. An order retention email  can be a valuable tool to gently nudge shoppers to go back and complete their order, or for you to find out if they had an issue during checkout.

Sending a Retention Email

If an abandoned cart is associated with an existing customer account, you can send an order retention email to the email address on file. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Orders > Abandoned/Live Carts in your Admin Area.
  2. Click the three-dot actions menu icon and select Enable Quick Edit.
  3. Find a table entry for a cart with an associated customer email address, then click on it.
  4. Click the Send Retention Email button that appears in the lower panel.

If you don't see the Send Retention Email button, it may not be available because:

  • the shopper wasn't logged in as an existing customer, so the cart is not associated with a specific email address
  • The retention email waiting period (time since cart was abandoned) hasn't passed yet. For details on changing the default waiting period, see below.

If you'd like, you can customize the email that gets sent by clicking Edit Abandoned Cart Retention Template. Utilize the steps outlined in THIS article to edit the Email Template via FTP.

Changing the Default Retention Email Waiting Period

By default, a cart must be abandoned for 12 hours before you can click the Send Retention Email button. If you want the option to send retention emails sooner, you can update the Retention Email Waiting Period in Hours config variable, like so:

  1. Go to Settings > Config Variables.
  2. Perform a search with the term "retention" in the Name field.
  3. Modify the numerical value in the field next to Retention Email Waiting Period in Hours.
  4. Click Save.


Order retention emails can help add countless dollars in sales to your bank account that might have otherwise been left on the table. It can also be an opportunity for your business to learn about and address any issues you might be having with your checkout process. It never hurts to reach out to your customers with personalized attention!

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