Abandoned Cart Tools: The “Cheat Code” for Tour and Attraction Operators

Matt Lederman
August 25, 2023

The travel industry faces one of the highest shopping cart abandonment rates of any industry. On average, shopping cart abandonment rates for the travel industry hover around 80%.”

How can abandoned cart tools be a “cheat code” for tour and attraction operators to increase conversions?

We recently released our guide to increasing online sales through your website, where we outlined the importance of a thoughtfully designed web sales process in getting customers to complete their orders, and shared that abandoned cart tools give operators power and flexibility in addressing the “leaks” in their online sales funnel.

When it comes to direct booking for tours and attractions we define an abandoned cart as a customer drop-off at any point in your online sales funnel, within the RocketRez Web Engine, that is trackable.

Let’s start with a deeper understanding of a tour or attraction operator’s online sales funnel, including why customers are abandoning carts in the first place.

The Web Engine Sales Funnel

We often advise clients to build their web engines with a traditional sales funnel in mind. Just like a traditional sales funnel, each step of the website checkout process that a customer goes through increases their likelihood of buying.

The best websites are designed to mimic an in-person experience, where customers can interact with your site in a way that feels like a real conversation. The more information a customer receives, and the more questions that are addressed, the higher the chance they will convert.

This is particularly important for travel and tourism purchases, which often have high order values, require planning with other people, and are heavily researched by customers using reviews, online travel agencies (OTAs), forums, and social proof.

Conversion Rates Depend on Effective Re-Engagement

Despite the importance of providing a personalized and interactive experience, travel and tourism faces one of the highest shopping cart abandonment rates of any industry. On average, shopping cart abandonment rates for the travel industry hover around 80% (rates for retail and other industries range from 68% to 74%.)

The simple fact is customers do their research before purchasing, and are considering many different options for their entertainment dollars. This will not change.

The solution, therefore, is not to reduce clicks, discount, and optimize your way to additional revenue – these efforts can only go so far toward your bottom line. To run an elite tour or attraction eCommerce funnel, you must become an expert at re-engaging customers.

Cart Abandonment tools are like a cheat code because they address a tour or attraction operator’s biggest problem with a very simple, effective, low-cost, and data-rich solution.

If 80% of your potential customers are dropping off, what would be the effect of:

  • Knowing what step in the process they abandoned, and addressing any issues in your web engine at the point of concern?
  • Sending targeted discounts and promotions to on-the-fence buyers?
  • Including a link to a customer’s shopping cart, picking up right where they left off on the checkout page?

Operators are leaving significant money on the table by not taking advantage of cart abandonment tools to supplement their web engine efforts.

This article outlines how to set up a shopping cart with your preferred restech, best practices for cart abandonment emails, the best metrics to track to health check your program, and the benchmarks you can expect for results.

Use this as a guide to set up cart abandonment for the first time, or ramp up your efforts during your busy season.

Live eCommerce Shopping Cart Functionality

It goes without saying that your chosen restech must be equipped with live eCommerce shopping cart functionality.

RocketRez has a customizable web engine that includes all the different options for products you can include in your cart, and an editor that allows you to re-arrange the items in your checkout flow, or send customers directly to certain items based on a link they clicked.

In RocketRez, you can rearrange the items in your checkout flow to meet your needs.

Once enabled, operators can track customer behavior, from the moment they add items to their shopping cart to when they abandon it. This information can be used to create customized, targeted outreach strategies to re-engage customers and encourage them to complete their purchases.

Sample RocketRez Cart Abandonment Analysis (One Month)

  • 111K Abandoned Sessions
  • 51% Abandoned when viewing Date/Time
  • 39% Abandoned when viewing Cart (this is when the Price is shown to the purchaser)
This is available to RocketRez customers upon request as a custom report, and not available in the Dashboard.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you collect some customer information early in the checkout. The earlier a customer identifies themselves, the better for cart abandonment success. (You can’t send an abandoned cart email if you don’t have their email address!) In addition, this is voluntary first-party data from a customer that shows an indication they want to hear about your promotions and discounts.

Here are some best practices to design your shopping cart:

  • Keep it simple. Avoid cluttering the screen with unnecessary information or features.
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Users should be able to easily add or remove items from their cart, change the quantity, and update the total cost
  • Offer various payment and shipping options to make the checkout process easy and convenient for the user.
  • Make sure the shopping cart is secure and uses SSL encryption to protect users' personal and payment information.

Custom, Automated Emails

Once you have built your cart process, the next step is to set up your restech to automatically send personalized emails to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts.

These emails can include special offers, incentives, and reminders to complete the purchase. By offering a personalized touch, you can increase the chances of re-engaging customers and converting them into paying customers.

We recommend having several different email templates be triggered to send depending on where the customer dropped off in the purchase process.

The majority of RocketRez customers drop off either when choosing their date and time of visit, or when they are confirming the items in the cart and moving to checkout. You will increase relevance to your customer if each email has a different message and CTA depending on the stage of the funnel the customer got to.

The following seven components can be tweaked and adjusted based on the data you’re seeing to improve the effectiveness of your emails and drive additional purchases.


The timing of the cart abandonment email is critical. You want to send the email as soon as possible after the user has abandoned their cart, while the purchase is still fresh in their mind. Typically, sending the email within 24 hours is recommended.

Subject Line

Your subject line should be attention-grabbing and concise. Use language that creates a sense of urgency and encourages the user to open the email.


Personalization can significantly increase the effectiveness of cart abandonment emails. Use the user's name, product name, and other relevant information to create a more personalized experience.

Clear call-to-action

The call-to-action (CTA) should be clear and prominent. Use a bright and noticeable button that encourages the user to complete their purchase.

Discount or Incentive

Offering a discount or incentive can be an effective way to encourage the user to complete their purchase. Make sure the offer is clear and prominently displayed.

Social Proof

Including social proof in the cart abandonment email can be a powerful way to build trust and encourage the user to complete their purchase. Consider including customer reviews, ratings, or testimonials.

Mobile-friendly Design

Many users access their email on mobile devices, so it's essential to ensure that the cart abandonment email is mobile-friendly and easy to read on smaller screens.

RocketRez includes an editor to allow operators to send custom emails and SMS outreach on an automated schedule to ensure maximum control and personalization in the process.

Reporting and analytics

The key to effective cart abandonment campaigns is to experiment and use the data to maximize success.

These metrics can help you identify which pages on your website are causing customers to drop off, as well as which outreach strategies are most effective at re-engaging customers and increasing conversions. Here are the key metrics to track and improve for an effective cart abandonment strategy.

Open Rate

The open rate measures the percentage of users who opened the cart abandonment email. A low open rate indicates that the email subject line may not be engaging enough, or the email may not be reaching the user's inbox.

Click-through Rate

The click-through rate measures the percentage of users who clicked on a link in the cart abandonment email. This metric provides insight into how engaging the email content and call-to-action are.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures the percentage of users who completed a purchase after receiving the cart abandonment email. This is the most critical metric, as it directly impacts revenue and ROI.

Revenue per Message Sent

Revenue per email sent measures the amount of revenue generated per email sent. This metric provides insight into the effectiveness of the cart abandonment email campaign and can help optimize future campaigns.

Time to Conversion

Time to conversion measures the amount of time it takes for a user to complete their purchase after receiving the cart abandonment email. A shorter time to conversion indicates a more effective cart abandonment email campaign.

Results and Benchmarking

What does success look like with an effective abandoned cart campaign? The results are compelling.

Here are some of the benchmarks you can expect when looking at your abandoned cart email campaign numbers:

  • Nearly half (44.1%) of all cart abandonment emails are opened.
  • More than a tenth (11.61%) of cart abandonment emails are clicked.
  • Nearly a third (29.9%) of clicks lead to a purchase back on site.
  • The average order value (AOV) of purchases from basket abandonment emails is 14.2% higher than typical purchases.

For simplicity's sake, a rule of thumb is that out of every 100 site visitors that abandoned their cart, on average, 1 will be converted to a customer.

These numbers add up quickly, because many RocketRez customers see upwards of one million abandoned carts per year.


Cart abandonment emails provide several positive benefits to tour and attraction operators including recovery of lost revenue, increased customer engagement, personalization and segmentation opportunities, and low-cost/high-ROI marketing strategies.

For this reason, we urge operators to either implement a cart abandonment strategy or audit their current program to increase their success over the summer season.

Book a demo with one of our cart abandonment specialists today!

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Guest Experience
Revenue Management
Web Engine
Matt Lederman
Marketing Manager