What Are Persistent Carts?

The Definition of Persistent Carts


So what is a persistent cart exactly? It’s a feature in eCommerce websites which retains customer’s carts after you exit the website. For example, when you visit an eCommerce site and abandon your cart, when you return the contents of your basket will be waiting for you. They reduce cart abandonment by providing a consistent UX and well… they’re persistent.


A persistent shopping cart saves a customer’s basket contents across different sessions using “persistent cookies” which are basically small text files stored on their computers. They establish a specific code for a browser and devise a combination. These are used to “remember” what was in the user’s shopping cart. How long do they last? A number of days or even years depending on if they’re kept or rejected by anti-adware programs.


A similar feature to this is to show the user’s browsing history to them when they return. This doesn’t tent to perform as well as persistent carts, but it can still have return. And if you’re not satisfied with that, then we recommend you implement the “save the cart” feature where the user can save the cart’s contents or give them the option to send it to their email so they can retrieve it by a link later.

How Do They Reduce Cart Abandonment?


56% of consumers use the shopping cart to save products for later according to eMarketer. Persistent carts allow this to happen by letting customers return to their shopping experience without having to search for all their items again. We’ve told you before that purchases occur through multiple devices. Customers research on mobile and follow through on desktop.


Persistent carts follow the user across devices and provides continuity. Research from the University of Glasgow showed that 74% of online customers use shopping carts as their own personal “wish lists” so you can bet they’re counting on your site to carry the feature. And not just that, the National Mail Order Association found that 35% of shoppers take more than 12 hours to complete their purchase and 21% over three days.

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Implementing Persistent Carts


There’s a few options for you when it comes to installing persistent shopping carts to your website. Here’s two to get you started:



persistent carts



This is one of the most popular hosts for e-commerce stores. You can add on and app that’ll help you get the persistent cart feature called “Persistent Cart”. Simple, really.



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Another great solution is Magneto. They support this feature without the need for any extra apps – you just need to configure it first. Usually with the standard persistent cart, users must make an account with you to retain their basked but the “Persistent Guest Cart” solves this problem. It’s an extension that preserves the shopping cart and viewed items without needing a sign up.

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Alice Page

Digital Project Manager

Digital project manager, Alice smashes PPC campaigns and getting the developers into gear...