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Cart Contents and Expiration

bushybushy Member
in Bugs & Feature Requests edited April 2008
A few questions regarding the clearing of shopping cart content, both for FoxyCart developers and for merchants using FoxyCart...

When a customer makes a purchase their cart should be cleared. That part's pretty obvious. But what about customers who put items in the cart and then leave the site, close their browser, etc.

As far as I can tell the storage of cart contents in FoxyCart is session-based and sessions expire when the customer closes his or her browser. At first I assumed the cart data was stored in a session cookie but some of the threads I've read have me unsure.

So questions for Brett and Luke:

1. How are cart contents stored? Cookie only? A mix of cookie and db? Or what exactly?

2. Is it possible for individual merchants to specify when cart contents are reset to "empty"? Like, if they're stored in a cookie, can I specify when that cookie expires? And if so, how?

Questions for merchants:

As a customer myself, I frequently put items in carts knowing that I'm not going to make a purchase that day--I may want to do more research first. But I like the fact that if I come back tomorrow with the intention to buy that I won't have an empty cart that has to be reloaded. On the other hand, if I visit, say, Amazon, I don't want my cart full of stuff I stuck in there a year ago and no longer have any intention of buying. So what do you consider a reasonable amount of time for a cart to remember items placed in it from previous sessions? And would you as the merchant want the ability to specify how long this data is retained?
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    edited April 2008
    Currently we only store the transaction id in the session. The transaction id links to the cart contents. When that session is over, that transaction is unavailable to the customer.

    In the future, we may provide a means for customers to save their pending transaction, but that isn't currently on our roadmap. Another option may be for store owners to save the transaction id themselves and then (using an API we'll also eventually build) securely retrieve the contents of the cart from that transaction id (after authenticating via the API) and provide a loaded cart for the user.

    Great questions bushy. As of yet, we don't have a timeline for any of this but the solution described above would probably work out ok.

    Thanks for coming up with good ideas. Once our current restructuring project is complete and we get some more basic support for shipping, more gateways, taxes and internationalization... then this sounds like a good project to look into.
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