Best Cart Design Practices to reduce Cart Abandonment

Last updated on December 24, 2019

What would happen if you tried filling the pot with water that has a large hole in the bottom?

Would the water stay in the pot?


That’s exactly how it would be if you decide to drive more revenue by acquiring more visitors through ads yet neglect the cart abandonment issue.

One of the ways to tackle the cart abandonment problem is by adopting the best cart design practices in order to persuade, attract and engage the visitors for a greater period of time.

Your shopping cart should be clear, simple and fast.

Either a cluttered or incomplete cart confuses the customers and makes them leave. You have to understand that they are shopping online for convenience and not to face the nuisances.

It should be given extra attention if the visitor is acquired through PPC ads.

Some tips for effective cart design practices:

Right Placement of shopping cart icon

Placing the cart icon in the upper-right corner of the page has become the unofficial standard in e-commerce business. Visitors have been conditioned to look for cart icon at the upper-right screen. 

So, place it where the visitors are accustomed to. If you choose to be different, you’re taking an unnecessary risk by working against the visitors’ habit.

Give them the option to save the product for later.

Shoppers should have to able to use the cart as “wishlists” or “Save for Later” option. They should be able to store the product for purchasing later.

Allow them to pick up the cart later right where they left off and complete the checkout.

Display the number of products in the cart on the shopping cart icon

Mini cart displaying the number of items added in the cart should appear on every page of the site. 

For example, on our client’s site, your cart is empty. You’ll see a zero next to the shopping cart icon. But as soon as you add something to your cart, the icon turns red and displays the number of items in your cart.

Display confirmation message once the item is added to the cart.

Don’t leave visitors wondering if their product has been added to the cart.

When customers add an item to their cart, provide them the confirmation assuring that their item has been saved and can be collected later.

Bonus point: You can also upsell and cross-sell when the confirmation message is displayed.

Adopt the minimalistic design for the cart

Keep the cart simple, uncluttered.

Show only the essential descriptions necessary for a smooth checkout process. Anything unnecessary can slow or hamper the checkout process.

Display essential product summary with a proper image.

Remember that shoppers are impatient and have a wide range of choices to get the same product. If they are unsatisfied with the layout and information on the cart, they can easily go to other e-commerce sites for the same product.

An accurate and clear image of the product for every variation should appear on the cart. 

You don’t want the visitor to accuse you of providing misinformation. In this digital age, any review ( even tweets on twitter) made could significantly hamper your brand value.

Don’t leave the chance of buyers complaining of the wrong color or size.

Basically, shoppers should be able to glance at all the correct key information without going anywhere or guessing.

Provide important descriptions on the product cart as well as the link to go to the product page

Visitors should not have to go back to the product page to get the details of an item they’ve added to their cart.

On Cart, a concise product summary that visitors need should be accompanied by a high-quality picture of the same product that the buyer will be receiving.

You can’t provide a complete description but nonetheless, you should provide important details.

Just in case they need to go to the product page, make sure to provide the link to return to the product page for that product.

Mobile Responsive Design.

The number of shoppers using mobile to shop is ever increasing and you should adopt a mobile-friendly website if you haven’t already. 

According to BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, Mobile e-commerce will reach 45% percent of the total U.S. e-commerce market, by  2020.

The buyers should be able to easily tap buttons, have an optimum layout of the cart page and fit-to-screen display on their mobile.

Provide option to checkout or continue shopping

If you take the visitors straight to the checkout page once they add the product to the cart, it interrupts their shopping.

If you keep them on the product page, they’ll have to search for the checkout page, which is not a smooth process.

So, Visitors should be given the option to stay on the product page or go straight to the checkout page.

Personally, I like the option of adding to the cart and checkout button on the same CTA design. 

If they want to complete the purchase, they’ll proceed toward the checkout page. 

If they want to browse other products, they’ll add the product to the cart and stay on the same product page.

Provide clear information about costs and shipping cost

The visitors should be able to clearly see the price of each item and the total price of all items.

You should be transparent about the costs from the very beginning.

You should not surprise them with hidden shipping costs at the checkout. You should also inform them about the return policy.

If possible, you can offer free shipping on high-value items or total value over a certain threshold.

Standout checkout button

CTA buttons motivate buyers to complete a specific action. That’s why the checkout button should be visually striking. The color and layout should be in contrast to the background color and layout of the page.

Also, have an impressive CTA copy. * CTA copy is the message written on the CTA button.

E-commerce managers have claimed to have  an increase in conversions with a change something as simple as changing CTA copy from ‘Register’ to ‘Continue.’ 

Easy navigation to checkout

Point out the exit way to your shoppers towards the checkout.

All the products added to the cart should be possible to appear in the same place they can check out at once.

You should also make the option to edit or remove the product from the cart available.

Offer a Guest Checkout

Make sure that visitors do not have to register an account upfront before shopping.

Many buyers abandon the shopping carts just because they are compelled to register an account on the website.

The lengthy registration procedure and too many details to submit puts off the visitors.

Ask them afterward to create an account. Make the registration process easy. 

Assure your shoppers about security

Shoppers have to trust your website in order to enter their personal and payment details. If they feel something isn’t right about the website, they won’t be making any purchase. 

We advise you to use badges and trust seals to gain customers’ trust.

Offer shoppers a variety of payment options

Not everybody uses the same payment method. 

Make shoppers’ favored payment methods of Credit Cards, Mobile payments, Ewallets and other methods available

To Conclude

Why visitors abandon carts that do not have a fixed and simple answer?

Therefore, adopting good practices on cart design alone will not stop your cart abandonment problems. 

However, any practice that reduces cart abandonment by even a tiny margin is worth trying.

Small changes can have a significant result. If there is even a bit of positive change, you should adopt it. 

Carrying out good cart design practices guides a long way in helping you to reduce cart abandonment.

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