On Abandoned Carts

We’ve all done it- finishing some online shopping and then life gets in the way or you get bored or frustrated and you close the window without finishing the transaction and you’ve left a few items in your cart. Some time later, you’ll usually get an email from the company saying something like “You left this tie-dye double-walled tumbler in your cart. Come back and check it out!”, or something to that end. Sometimes in the user experience (U/X) world, an abandoned cart is viewed as poor website or U/X design. Sometimes we just get distracted or just weren’t committed to the purchase. Either way, the abandoned cart email is a great tool built into the digital commerce experience.

From design to education: How can we re-engage our students with something that they’ve left in their learning shopping cart the day, week, or month before? How do we know they had the idea or question and left it there in the first place and how can we ease or automate the reminder/re-engagement process?

I’m usually ‘more questions, less answers’, but I thought I’d throw a few tools into this one. Quick note: remember there are plenty of no-tech and low-tech solutions as well, like jotting down into a notebook the questions that students ask but you don’t have time to dive deeper on or keeping a running parking lot in your classroom. Here are a few more technology-driven solutions as we navigate emergency remote learning hurdles today.

  • Backchannel tools (Mentimeter)
  • LMS or LMS-light (Canvas, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams)
  • Email
  • Digital bulletin board (Flipgrid, Padlet, Wakelet, Google Keep)