How to Design Your Online Shopping Cart

The design of an online shopping cart can either make the buying experience clear and exciting for your customer or be very confusing and ineffective, and possibly lead to high cart abandonment rates. If you want your online business to thrive, it is essential for you to know what features will make your online shopping cart design efficient. This article lists a few tips which can be helpful when designing an online cart.

Less is More
When designing an online shopping cart, remember that less is more. The simpler your online shopping cart is, the less irritated your customer will get and the more likely he or she will go through with his or her purchase. Limited shipping, payment methods options or having to create an account with your online business to check out an item, can lead to higher cart abandonment rate. Keep in mind that professionalism and clarity are also very important aspects. Even customers with little Internet knowledge should be able to understand your online shopping cart design with no problem.

One Page or Step-by-step Approach
You can either chose to have your online shopping cart displayed on one page or create several steps to go through to check out an item on your website. The first option offers more flexibility and information, as your customer will be able to change quantities of items, review the order, and apply discounts all in one setting. However, it can become confusing if there is so much information that your client does not know where to click to confirm a purchase. A step by step approach might be simpler to use and easier to understand for online consumers, but may offer less flexibility. If a customer needs to change his or her order before finishing the purchase, he or her will need to go a few pages back to do so, which might make the process more difficult. Choosing one option over the other depends on your type of business and the data you want displayed on your online shopping cart design.

Where is The Cart?
… Is a question your online customers should never have to ask? Make sure that you can see the online cart at all times when navigating through your online business. The checkout option should also be very easy to find, as well as the ability to know what you already have in your cart at all times. Design options that include ‘checkout’ buttons or links, a small cart button in the corner or top of all your webpages or a simple layout to review the order.

Continue Shopping
It may not seem like a very important aspect at first, but the ability to continue shopping is an essential feature of your online shopping cart. Your customers need to be able to add a few more items or modify their purchase as needed without having to lose what they already checked out. Providing features to save your customers information if needed can also be helpful, but make sure to not make it a mandatory step for first-time buyers. Some people do not want to have their information saved or have to create an account for a one-time purchase, and may go to a competitor who does not require them to.

Designing an online cart can seem like a challenging and daunting task, but can yield to more revenues and sales if done properly. Keep in mind that a clear, easy to use, professional design with features your customer actually needs, will make the purchase experience a pleasant one.

About Shawn Hartley

Creative technologist by day. VP at Corporate 3 Design in Omaha. Proud father and husband.