Stop emptying my basket!

I’m not a huge online shopper. I dabble here and there: the odd router from dabs.com, flights from Expedia, quite a bit of stuff from Amazon and odds and sods in and amongst from various other companies.

I was surprised recently on finding out that most shopping baskets empty when you either leave the site in question or leave your decision-making process that bit too long.

This strikes me as stupid on the part of the retailer.

I think the principle behind the decision is that if you don’t get around to checking out, then you mustn’t actually want the products. I disagree.

Often, I’ll put something in my shopping basket either fully intending to buy that item or prompting me to buy something similar—an iron, for example, but not necessarily that iron.

The retailer’s decision to remove the iron from my basket may result in my forgetting completely that I need a new iron, causing either irritation on my part when I next need to iron my shirts, or an impulsive buy from an offline retailer (Robert Dyas?) when I next see an iron in the flesh/metal/plastic/Teflon™.

Surely much better for the retailer to have a conveniently placed Empty Basket button to allow those shoppers annoyed by the persistent basket to let its artificial bottom fall out ready for their next shop, which may also never see the light of the check-out. Windows shopping, if you will. ([Dan bows] I thank you.)

That way, I get to save stuff indefinitely in my basket, the online equivalent of leaving my Sainsbury’s trolley on aisle three while popping for a haircut, returning to find it where I left it, contents still intact. Not that I do that, of course. That’d be madness!

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