Should You Enable Persistent Shopping Carts?

Shopping trolley  2Cart abandonment is a staggering problem for every e-retailer. Research shows that 57 percent of online shoppers never intended to make a purchase as they were window shopping, and nearly three-quarters (74 percent) abandoned items because of shipping costs. Just one more statistic: 56 percent of consumers have left items in their carts because they intended to come back later and purchase. That is a substantial figure, and it is one that e-businesses can use to their advantage. Persistent shopping carts enable consumers to come back, find their nice full cart, and complete the transaction.

Ecommerce platforms like Maginus or Magento support persistent shopping carts. While the steps will be different depending on your platform, let’s go through Magento’s process to give you an idea of what it will look like:

  1. Log into your Admin panel. System>Configuration.
  2. On the left, find Customers and select Persistent Shopping Cart.
  3. From there, click on General Options.
  4. Select use when prompted to Enable Persistence.
  5. Next, you will set your preferences for Persistence Lifetime. The maximum is one year (31,536,000 seconds), and that is the default setting. You can shorten this to weeks or months, if you prefer.
  6. Under Enable “Remember Me” you can choose Yes, which will create a Login page checkbox that customers can click on if they want their cart information saved. If you choose No, customers won’t have that option, and their items will be saved by default.
  7. You also have a choice to make for Clear Persistence on Log Out. Yes means the cart information is cleared when registered customers log out. No means it is saved after logout.
  8. One more yes/no. Persist Shopping Cart. Yes means that a guest can log in or create a new account, and their information is there. The session cookie expires, but the persistent cookie does not. No means it is not retained after the session cookie expires.
  9. Save Config, and there you have it.

Persistent shopping carts can help reduce cart abandonment and enhance user experience. If a customer fills his/her cart, goes to another site to check prices, and pops back to your site, it is essential that the items be waiting. If not, they are unlikely to take the time to put them back in – especially if the competing sites retain the items!


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