Abandoned / Live Carts

The Abandoned / Live Carts page is a powerful tool used for tracking what your shoppers add to their carts. From this page in your Admin Area, you can view the items in a shopper's "live" cart before they check out, as well as learn why some shoppers abandon their carts without ever making a purchase.


Getting Started

To enable Abandoned / Live Carts:

  1. Go to Orders > Abandoned / Live Carts.
  2. Click the three-dot actions menu icon and select Abandoned / Live Carts Settings.
  3. Make sure Collect Abandoned Cart Info is enabled, and click Save.

Whenever a shopper on your store adds an item to their cart, the software assigns that cart a random ID. If a customer creates a cart while logged in to their account, some of their account information will display as well.

The table on the Abandoned / Live Carts page lists every cart that is abandoned or currently open (live) on your storefront. Within this table, you'll be able to view the products in a given cart at the time you're viewing it, as well as the customer that created the cart (if applicable).

Reading the Abandoned / Live Carts Table

When viewing the Abandoned / Live Carts page, the following information will be displayed:

Abandoned / Live Carts

Cart This field contains a random string of characters that the Volusion software automatically generates for each live or abandoned cart. The system uses this field to identify and differentiate each cart.
Customer If a shopper has an account with your store and is logged in to that account when they add items to their cart, their Customer ID displays in this field. Carts created by anonymous shoppers - or by customers who aren't logged in to their account - will not have an associated ID in the Customer field.
Phone Number If a shopper was logged when they created the cart, the phone number associated with their customer account displays in this field.
Email Address If a shopper was logged in when they created the cart, the email address associated with their customer account displays in this field.
IP Address
This field contains the IP address for the computer or device through which the cart was created.
Notes This field provides a way for merchants to add and view notes relevant to a specific cart.
Cart Item Count This field lists the number of products in an abandoned or live cart. The number reflects the total quantity of any product in the cart, as opposed to the number of unique products.
Last Modified

This field displays a time stamp indicating when the cart was last modified.

Note: You might see the same IP address over and over. It may be your own IP address, if you test adding items to your cart frequently. In many cases, it's a search engine indexing your site by adding an item to the cart. You can look up an IP address to see if it belongs to a search engine by using free websites such as ip-lookup.net.

Using the Quick Edit Window

To view details for an abandoned or live cart, click the three-dot actions menu and select Enable Quick Edit. This will open the Quick Edit Window in the bottom half of the page. In the top half of the page, find and click on a cart to view its details in the Quick Edit Window.

Here, the information displayed in the main Abandoned / Live Carts table appears, along with a list of every product in that cart - including the product code, selected option IDs, price, and quantity for each product. Clicking on the product code for each product listed here will redirect to the actual product listing in your Admin Area.

In addition, there are two helpful buttons available above the Cart Info:

Storefront: Clicking this button will open the checkout page and log you in as the customer, with the details of their abandoned cart displayed at the bottom.

Phone Order Page: Clicking this button will open the Phone Order Page with the abandoned cart's contents loaded into the Order Summary Section.

These tools are helpful in the rare event that a shopper is unable to place their order, or if they prefer to submit their payment information over the phone.

Retention Email

If an abandoned cart is associated with an existing customer's email address, a Send Retention Email button also displays in the Quick Edit Window. Clicking this button sends an email to the address associated with the cart, asking the shopper if he or she has any questions or needs help completing the order.

By default, a cart must be abandoned for 12 hours before the Send Retention Email link will appear. If you want the option to send retention emails sooner, you can update the Retention Email Waiting Period in Hours config variable. To do so, go to Settings > Config Variables and perform a search with the term "retention" in the Name field. Modify the numerical value in the field next to Retention Email Waiting Period in Hours and save.

You can also reword the email customers receive by clicking the Edit Abandoned Cart Retention Template link. This opens the email template in your File Editor, where you can modify the email's HTML code.

If none of your current carts display the Send Retention Email and Edit Abandoned Cart Retention Template links, you can still edit the template at Design > File Editor. In the Shortcuts menu on the right, click /v/vspfiles/email_templates (under the Email Templates heading) and select Abandoned_Cart_Retention.asp from the drop-down menu at the top.

Using the Abandoned / Live Carts Page

Checking Abandoned Carts for Quality Control

You can determine how many abandoned carts are being generated, as well as how frequently, by examining the Last Modified field for each cart (typically, live carts will have a very recent time stamp as opposed to abandoned carts). You can take this a step further by examining the contents of recently abandoned carts.

Upon examining recently abandoned carts, you might find a common thread among the products that were abandoned by different customers - such as the same one or two products being abandoned by multiple customers. You can use this information to further investigate these products: perhaps one of the products is out of stock and was not set to be hidden while out of stock. You may also see a set of options configured for the product that could be confusing customers, thus causing them to abandon the order.

Preemptive Marketing

One of the benefits of the Abandoned / Live Carts page is that it lists the contact information for customers who are logged in to their accounts. You can use this information to contact customers regarding possible orders.

For example, after examining the Abandoned / Live Carts page, you may notice that a regular customer in good standing with the store has created several abandoned carts. Using the customer's information listed in the abandoned carts, you can contact the customer regarding their abandoned purchases. This can help you gather valuable as a merchant: perhaps the customer has found the same or a similar product online elsewhere at a better price, or maybe the customer is having trouble deciding on a purchase.

Armed with this kind of information, you may be able to turn these situations around to convert a missed sale into a closed sale, or even address issues with your products that you were unaware of (like a new competitor's pricing).

Remember that clicking the Send Retention Email button will send a polite email that asks if you can answer any questions or help with any difficulties the customer may be having. Note that the abandoned cart must be associated with a Customer ID in order for this email to send.

Regaining a Customer's Lost Cart

Within each cart's settings in the Quick Edit Window, you have the ability to reload the contents of the cart into your checkout page (storefront) or the Phone Order page.

These tools can be used to recreate the order that was abandoned and view the customer's potential order from a different perspective.

For example, a registered customer with the site may attempt to place an order but fail to complete it due to a web browser or computer crash. Maybe the order was quite large, and the customer is either unable to remember the products they were planning on ordering or they simply can't recreate the cart.

If the customer contacts you in this scenario, you can use the Abandoned / Live Carts page to quickly find the customer's cart and even complete their order through the phone orders page.

Note that this feature is unavailable for any live or abandoned carts created by a store administrator, and will only work for regular or anonymous customers.

Disabling Collecting of Customer Contact Info

The Abandoned / Live Carts page's ability to collect customer contact info can be beneficial. However, if you do not wish to collect customer information in this manner, you can disable the feature as follows:

  1. In your Admin Area, go to Orders > Abandoned/Live Carts.
  2. Click the three-dot actions menu icon and select Abandoned/Live Carts Settings.
  3. Deselect Collect Abandoned Carts Info.
  4. Click Save.

This will disable the Abandoned / Live Carts page's ability to report customer phone numbers and email addresses within each cart. 

Deleting Abandoned Carts

Advanced users can use the following Bulk Update script to delete any carts over two days old: 

delete from cartidlog where lastmodified < DATEADD(day,DATEDIFF(day,0,GETDATE())-2,0)


The Abandoned / Live Carts feature is a simple yet powerful tool that you can use to your advantage. By making use of this feature, you'll be able to gather information about customer behavior and use it to make improvements in your customers' shopping experience.