How Cart Expirations Are Winning Stores More Sales

With the average cart abandonment rate sitting at 69.8%, online businesses are determined to find ways to convert window shoppers into customers in any way they can. Luckily retail technology can help make your cart abandonment woes all but vanish.

Traditional online checkouts are missing effective elements that encourage and expedite speedy payment. With the help of cart expirations, you can significantly optimize checkouts to speed up conversion rates and prevent lost sales.

Small shopping cart with a clock inside

What are cart expirations?

Cart expirations are a feature of some online shopping carts. They are a feature that will automatically dump items left in carts if they don’t get purchased within an allotted amount of time. Cart expirations use a few techniques to encourage customers to make swift work of paying for what’s in their carts. Here’s how.

Small toy shopping cart and shopping bags sitting on top of an open laptop

Cart expirations increase urgency

Online shoppers tend to delay buying, leading to high cart abandonment rates. Cart expirations give customers a visual cue of the time they have left to purchase an item before it times out.

Cart expirations show customers a countdown timer down to the second that their cart gets emptied. Countdown timers trigger a feeling of FOMO, or fear of missing out. If the timer reaches zero, that item may be snatched up by another customer. Thus, this tactic is effective at driving lingering customers to quick checkout.

Tiny toy shopping cart sitting on top of an open laptop with keyboard displayed

Cart expiration features can help recover abandoned carts

Let’s face it- online shopping is very different than shopping in a physical store. Your customer may face distraction or forgetfulness before making a purchase. We get it. Life happens. That’s why it’s important to remind your customers that they have items remaining on their carts.

Cart expirations can send out automated emails or Facebook messages to cart deserters based on a specific amount of time that has passed since an item was carted. Usually, a reminder can kickstart the purchasing process and win you that sale back.

Woman holding a credit card while making an online purchase with a toy shopping cart in the foreground

Cart expirations ensure abandoned items go to the next paying customer

So what if you don’t win that sale back? How do you recover interest in your item with a paying customer?

Cart expirations work in tandem with waitlists. If your item has high demand or is sold out, you can use waitlists to create a queue of customers willing to buy that item should it come back in stock.

In the case of expired carts, the system will see items in expired carts as available stock. It will then notify the first person in the queue that they’re available for purchase. It will continue going down the waitlist until the item is bought. Essentially, you’ll never miss a sale this way.

The Takeaway

Cart expirations are a valuable addition to online shopping carts. They instill a sense of urgency, send checkout reminders, and quickly skip to the next paying customer if that sale falls through. Furthermore, this is all an automated process, making simple work of converting abandoned carts to sales without lifting a finger!

Learn More: 5 Key Strategies for Increasing E-Commerce Sales


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