Cart Consolidation: Allowing for Continuous Shopping Across Multiple Devices

Friday, September 21st, 2012
1 Flares 1 Flares ×

With the number of internet enabled devices we use growing by the year, it’s never been easier to pick up where we left off: desktop computers, lap tops, work computers, smart phones, netbooks, tablets, even mp3 players. And the number of gadgets we use is only expected to increase. What does this mean for online retailers? Not only are your customers and potential customers more wired than ever before, but it’s also an opportunity to increase conversion by enabling continuity across different browsers as well as multiple devices. 

Here’s a scenario: a shopper at work is at their desk during lunch and logged into to your storefront. But just before checking out they’re called away before the order is completed. The afternoon is more hectic than expected and the customer is unable to place their order. In the past, that customer would have to go to greater lengths just to recreate that order. Maybe they go home, power up their lap top, pull up the store, add all those items to cart again from memory, perhaps re-enter their coupon and proceed to checkout. Maybe this time around they forgot a product or two, never resumed their order at all, or maybe worse, they began shopping somewhere else either on their way home or at different online store. This is not a risk that online merchants can afford to take. Not only does cart consolidation enable customers to pick up where they left off across different browser and multiple devices, but it also works when logging into the mobile store. So, instead of the situation above, that same customer could have logged into their smart phone on the train home, the cart contents from their earlier session would have remained there and they could easily just proceed to checkout. Or, have gotten home, sat down with their laptop or tablet, logged into the store and done the same. Here’s how it works:

Once in the online store, a customer’s Shopping Cart is automatically maintained even if that customer accesses the store across multiple devices, or multiple browsers on the same device. If the customer can be identified via a preexisting cookie, this occurs immediately upon entering the store. If the customer cannot be identified via a cookie (changing browsers or devices), the preexisting cart appears when the customer logs in; if the customer has added products to the cart prior to logging in, the two carts are consolidated.  

Nexternal clients can take advantage of this functionality by… well, doing nothing. It takes place automatically.

Merchants may also find this consolidation feature works perfectly with a cart recovery tool. This is a simple yet effective to way to reach out to your customer base when orders are initiated, but not completed to capitalize on lost opportunities. This along with cart consolidation is a powerful 1-2 punch to both recover customers and expedite, as well as simplify the process to complete their order.

Chris is a Senior Account Executive at Nexternal and has been with the company since 2005. Before joining Nexternal he worked in the cloud-based educational software industry. Chris enjoys establishing new relationships with online merchants and working closely with those clients as they grow.