The bag, basket, or cart functionality has become an indispensable part of the ecommerce journey. It’s the piece of the journey that actually makes it possible to make a purchase. Yet it’s often neglected when it comes to its usability and refinement.
It’s hard to overestimate the actual importance of the “add to cart” page. The cart has actually become one of the most stubborn checkpoints when it comes to conversion rates.
The page is not only informationally useful as it lets digital shoppers see a breakdown of what’s in their basket, but they also use it for price comparisons; they use it as a wishlist if they don’t intend on buying right now; and they use it simply to save items for later payment.
Fortunately, there are some best practices that can help entice shoppers to click checkout and complete an order.
So the principal goal for the design of the shopping cart is to encourage people to click to checkout. And although cart abandonment cannot be squeezed to 0%, optimizing its elements does have an impact on the rate of conversion.
So let’s bite into some of the best practices for cart functionality – with the knowledge that there is no one-size fits all approach for brands and retailers. And one final recommendation: permanent changes should almost always go through gates of A/B testing.
Let your customers update their own cart when it comes to quantity of items, and let them remove items easily. Shoppers need to be able to make quick fixes to their cart. The best ecommerce outlets allow them to do so.
When it comes to the cart page, these controls on quantity (adding 1 or 2 more of a product or removing 1 or 2) as well as removal icons actually hold some of the highest interaction rates.
For best practice, don’t present customers an “update” button for them to see their changes to their cart. Just use a drop-down option for selecting quantity, plus an automatic refresh on subtotals and the total.
You would think that providing promo codes is a simple boost to conversion rates. But they also present obstacles and influence cart abandonment. Think about it: you stroll around the digital aisles and bag a number of items.
You head to checkout and see the promo code bar and think “hmm, let’s see if I can find it.” So you leave the site in your hunt for the code, only to stumble onto another site or even completely forget about their shop and land on food recipes on YouTube – the internet does that to me all too often.
What to do about it? A lot of this depends on what your business strategy is. For brands and retailers who focus on promos, it would make sense to keep the promo code bar very visible. This has the effect of fermenting less confusion and queries through customer service channels.
For brands and retailers who do not focus on promos, it’s best to not display it very clearly in the cart. Use an expandable cell and link to make it possible for shoppers who do have a code to use it.
And for brands and retailers that just don’t do promo codes, it would be better to remove the entry field all together – just to remove any unnecessary cart abandonment.
Big up your security
Reassure customers that their personal information that you hold is fully protected and secure. Boast even! Because 20% of online shoppers don’t make the purchase due to concerns surrounding security.
Label buttons like “make secure payment” or “go to secure checkout” to reassure site visitors. And add lock icons and security badges to the cart as well as checkout.
Built on top of this, consider ways to boost confidence with messaging tied to “rise-free” shopping that comes with satisfaction guarantees and offers of free returns. Show them that your brand values quality service.
Accept alternative payments
Don’t just accept debit and credit. Accept alternative payments such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay… even crypto. Offering multiple payment systems streamlines the checkout process as it gives almost every customer their preferred payment option.
Add buttons on the cart page for each payment option under the main checkout button – while ensuring that the checkout button holds prominence over the others.
Offer fulfillment options
Customers want to know when they’re going to get their products and many are picky about their shipping and delivery preferences.
So display all types of delivery and shipping options that you are capable of, as well as the costs involved. Importantly, clearly display when a potential order qualifies for free delivery, so communicate an “approaching discount” message when a customer is close to the threshold of free shipping.
Save the shop
Close to 60% of shoppers use the shopping cart to save items for later. On top of this, shoppers not only use their laptop to browse and place orders; they also use multiple devices. And many may browse and add items on their phone while walking home before placing their order at home on their laptop.
There are quite a lot of factors to consider in terms of cart optimization. And seemingly small design tweaks under the microscope can affect abandonment rates and conversion rates for the better.