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Setting Up a Persistent Shopping Cart

A persistent shopping cart keeps track of unpurchased items left in the cart, and saves the information for the customer’s next visit. Customers who are “remembered” can have the contents of their shopping carts restored the next time they visit your store.

Using a persistent shopping cart can help reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts and increase sales.  It is important to understand that using a persistent shopping cart does not expose sensitive account information at any time. During the time a persistent shopping cart is use, both registered customers and guest shoppers are required to either log in to an existing account, or create a new account before going through the checkout process. For guest shoppers, a persistent shopping cart is the only way to retrieve information from a previous session.

Cookies Used

To use the persistent shopping cart, the customer’s browser must be set to allow cookies. During operation, a persistent shopping cart makes use of the following types of cookies:

  • Session Cookie: The short-term session cookie exists for the duration of a single visit to your site, and expires when the customer leaves or after a set period of time.
  • Persistent Cookie: The long-term persistent cookie continues in existence after the end of the session, and can save a record of the shopping cart contents for up to a year.
  • To learn more about how these cookies are used, see: Persistent Shopping Cart Scenarios

Multiple Devices and Browsers

A persistent shopping cart retains a record of the shopping cart contents, even if the customer later uses different devices to shop in your store.  For example, a customer can add an item to the shopping cart from a laptop, edit the cart contents from a desktop computer, add more items from a mobile device, and complete the checkout process from a tablet. If the customer uses multiple browsers while visiting your store during a single, persistent session, any changes made in one browser will be reflected in any other browser when the page is refreshed. While the persistent shopping cart is enabled, your store creates and maintains a separate persistent cookie for each browser that is used by a customer to log in or create an account.

To set up a persistent shopping cart:

  1. From the Admin panel, select System > Configuration.
  2. In the Configuration panel on the left, under Customers, select Persistent Shopping Cart. Then, click to expand the General Options section.
  3. To enable the persistent shopping cart and to display additional configuration options, set Enable Persistence to “Yes.”
    Persistent Shopping Cart
    Persistent Shopping Cart
  4. Then, do the following:
    1. Set Persistence Lifetime (seconds) to the length of time that you want the persistent cookie to last. The default value 31,536,000 seconds is equal to one year, and is the maximum time allowed.
    2. Set Enable “Remember Me” to one of the following:
      • Yes: Displays the “Remember Me” checkbox on the Login page of your store, so customers can choose to save their shopping cart information.
      • No: Persistence can still be enabled, but customers are not given the option to choose if they want to save their information.

    3. To preselect the “Remember Me” checkbox, set Remember Me Default Value to “Yes.”
    4. Set Clear Persistence on Log Out to one of the following:
      • Yes: The shopping cart information is cleared when a registered customer logs out.
      • No: The shopping cart information is saved when a registered customer logs out.
      • Note: If the session cookie expires while the customer is still logged in, the persistent cookie remains in use.

    5. Set Persist Shopping Cart to one of the following:
      • Yes: If the session cookie expires, the persistent cookie is preserved. If a guest shopper later logs in or creates a new account, the shopping cart information is restored.
      • No: Shopping cart information is not preserved for a guest after the session cookie expires.
  5. When complete, click the Save Config button.
  6. Persistent Shopping Cart General Options
    Persistent Shopping Cart General Options

See also:

Persistent Shopping Cart Scenarios

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