A common action that is seen in eCommerce sites is that customers add products to the cart, proceed with the order until the last step of the checkout process and then abandon the order before payment is made. While this action does not considerably affect websites which mainly deal in products, for example a clothing website, it is bound to affect a website which sells services, for example a movie ticket website. The reason for this difference is that, in the movie ticket website example, once a customer selects certain seats and adds them to the cart they are blocked for other customers to book. Now, if the customers abandons the order, the tickets will remain blocked thereby disallowing any other customer to book those seats. Hence there should be a mechanism to empty a WooCommerce cart and delete any abandoned orders that might be present in the cart. A Timer to Empty WooCommerce Cart provides just that functionality.
How does the Timer to Empty WooCommerce Cart Work?
The timer functionality essentially provides the website admin to set an expiration time for the cart. The countdown timer is set off and displayed to the customer when a product is added to the cart. Once the timer reaches zero the cart is cleared and the unfinished orders in the cart are deleted. Below are the various features that can be provided to user as part of the Timer to Empty WooCommerce Cart Work
1. Set Expiration time for Cart
- In the admin dashboard a sub-menu will be provided under the WooCommerce menu in the left panel to access the Timer functionality.
- On clicking the ‘Cart Expiry Timer’ option the following panel will appear on the right hand side of the admin dashboard.
- The admin can set the expiration time for the cart using this panel. The time can be set in minutes or hours.
- Now when a customer adds a product to the cart the timer is set off for that particular customer and is displayed on the shop page.
2. Send Reminder Mail to Logged in Customer
- The admin can also enable a feature to send an email to a customer at a set time before the cart expires. This email will be sent to only logged in customers.
- If the admin enables the ‘Send Email’ feature then he can also define time when the email should be sent. The time set to send an email to the customer should be less than the expiration time set for the cart. The admin will be notified with an alert message if this condition is not fulfilled.
3. Display a Pop Up Alert to Customer
- If the customer is on the shop page 15 minutes before the timer reaches zero then the customer is notified with a pop-up message informing the user of the time left for the cart to expire.
Applications of Timer to Empty WooCommerce Cart
The timer to empty WooCommerce cart can find many applications in real time scenario. I have listed a few of them below.
- Book Movie Tickets
- Book Travel Tickets
- Sign Up for Course/Event
- Book Rooms in a Hotel
- Make Reservations in a Restaurant.
While it makes sense to use the timer to empty WooCommerce cart for the category of websites listed above the usage is not restricted to it. The timer functionality can also be used for product based websites such as a clothing website or a jewellery website.
The timer functionality to empty the WooCommerce cart can have numerous applications in the real world situations including the ones listed above. However, it is particularly useful for products which have to be sold within a certain given time frame. This ensures abandoned orders are not a reason for any of the products remaining unsold thereby incurring a loss to the owner of the website.