Design & Development

Conversion Tip: Persistent Carts Help ‘Wish List’ Shoppers

Editor’s Note: This week’s “Conversion Tip” addresses the reality of shoppers that abandon carts, and then return to them later to purchase. The author is Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer of SeeWhy, a conversion and abandonment-recovery firm.

Research published by University of Glasgow showed that 74 percent of online shoppers use shopping carts as “wish lists.” By placing items in the shopping cart, and then abandoning, shoppers are relying on your ecommerce site having a persistent or permanent shopping cart. Persistent carts store items for individual customers so that when they return to the site they can find them again easily.

Important for Holiday Shoppers

It’s worth recognizing this shopping list behavior and checking to make sure that your site makes it easy for returning visitors. This is particularly important over the holiday shopping season, where cart conversion rates drop significantly as consumers research potential gifts. It may be too late to put a persistent shopping cart on your site this year, but it is something to consider for 2011.

If you already have a persistent cart, then check the time out on your shopping cart. Many default to 24 hours, and it’s amazing the number of sites where default values are used. Setting it to 30 days or more is a quick fix, and one that reflects the way that buyers want to shop online.

Charles Nicholls

Charles Nicholls

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