The only success metric that matters for any ecommerce merchant is transforming visitors into loyal customers. There are several ways one can implement to optimise for conversion, but one of the most critical ways is an optimised cart page that leads to a guaranteed checkout. The consumer journey from cart page to completing the purchase requires a thoughtful approach that signifies an enhanced user experience, re-iteration of brand values and personal touches that increase customer loyalty while ensuring reduced cart abandonment.
In this Guide, we'll unravel 10 practical ways to refine your Shopify cart page. Explore actionable insights to minimize cart abandonment, enhance user experience, and escalate your sales. Ready to unlock a seamless and memorable checkout journey for your customers? Let’s dive in!"
1. What is a cart page?
A cart page in an online store is the final step in a consumers ecommerce journey before they checkout and make a payment. It helps consumers review their selection of products, price, quantity and total amount.
It provides an opportunity for shoppers to double-check their orders, ensuring they haven't made any mistakes or allowing them to tweak their selections before confirming the purchase.
However, a cart page is more than just a milestone to tally up items. It is the instance before conversion, where consumers either commit to their purchase or abandon ship. If done well, an optimised cart page will not only help with conversions but also help a merchant increase Average Order Value (AOV) with upsells or discounts on minimum thresholds, increase trust with relevant information and increase brand loyalty with personal touch like a free gift with purchase or providing gifting options for consumers loved ones. A cart page simplifies the buying journey, enabling customers to finalise their purchases with ease.
Take Moonlit Skincare for example, a Shopify merchant selling skincare. By overhauling their cart page design to include relevant branding (light and dark mode), payment options, an opportunity to add a handwritten note and even a quick survey dropdown helped with 20% increase in conversions in just one month. That's the kind of impact an optimised cart page can have on your store.
2. 10 Ways to Optimise Shopify Cart Page:
Now let’s dive into 10 ways to optimise your cart page with brand examples and supercharge your cart page for conversion. Whether you're new to Shopify or an e-commerce veteran, this guide aims to provide actionable insights to elevate your Shopify cart page.
1. Streamlined and Intuitive Cart Page Design
As the last step before checkout, you want to ensure that the cart page design does not overwhelm a user. Keeping it simple with clear messaging and CTAs ensures a seamless experience, trust and maximum conversions.
A Minimalistic design with a focus on clarity is the best way to go for a cart page design. A buyer should easily be able to see what's in their cart, the total cost, and how to proceed to checkout. This does not mean you should not utilise the cart page to upsell or provide other information. It just means that you should design it in way that keeps the cart clutter free focusing on only 2-3 additional elements.
ASOS is one of the best brands that encapsulates every design principles into a clean cart page. It provides all the information that is important to make a purchase while also upselling. If you want to take inspiration, ASOS is the way to go for designing a cart page that embraces simplicity and clarity.
2. Time to Checkout
Time to checkout is the duration between when a buyer decides to purchase something till they actually make the payment. In this rapid pace environment that we live in, where everything is vying for our attention, it is imperative to make a buyer make the purchase as soon as possible without any long convoluted process. A bad checkout process with unnecessary steps, asking for irrelevant details or long page load times are some of the main reasons for cart abandonment.
A survey conducted by Baymard Institute suggests that a staggering 21% of users have admitted to abandoning carts due to "long or complicated checkout processes."
A quick checkout does not give time to the buyer to rethink their purchase or get distracted. Experiment with less number of steps needed for checkout and also consider options like one-click purchases. Make sure to always test your checkout process for speed.
There are two smart ways to optimise for time to checkout:
- If you do need a multi-step checkout process consider what Gymshark does. They incorporate a progress bar on the cart page to allows buyers to see the stages required to finalise their purchase. This offers clarity and guidance, potentially diminishing any user irritation and boosting their trust in the buying process.
- Create Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) or increase urgency with limited stock alerts, flash sales, countdown timers on the cart page making the buyer make the purchase quickly and ensuring a conversion in lesser time. Its’ a strategic way to reduce the time to check out by triggering the innate feeling of buyers of missing out on certain products or deals.
3. Mobile Optimised Cart Pages
According to a research, 79% of smartphone users made online purchase in just the first half of 2023. During the 2022 holiday season, mobile transactions accounted for over half of all eCommerce sales.
Having a cart page that is designed for smaller screens and interaction, is a must for any online store. A mobile-friendly cart page ensures that shoppers can easily and efficiently complete their purchases without zooming in, endlessly scrolling, or navigating cluttered elements, all of which can frustrate users and drive them away. Elements should be large enough to tap, text should be legible without strain, and the navigation process should be linear and intuitive.
AllBirds is a great example of mobile optimised cart page with large buttons, clear information and a frictionless user centric design. It has all the elements a cart page should have - a free shipping bar, big product image with relevant details, gifting option, membership offer and an upsell block. Despite all of the elements, it still provides and uncomplicated checkout flow leading to faster and more conversions.
4. Leverage Historical Data for a Tailored Cart Experience
In this age of excessive online competition and price war, setting yourself apart is a huge task. Personalisation is a tried and tested formula that always works to enhance customer satisfaction and drive conversions.
By utilising past data like product and collection browsing history, past purchases and searches, merchants can offer more precise product recommendations and tailored incentives. For eg. Adidas has a “Top Picks for You” section which is tailored to a user’s past browsing history. It feels like getting individual attention which fosters a feeling of brand loyalty impacting conversions.
Some brands even offer a loyalty discount based on past shopping history and thats another great way to reward and delight customers when they are just about to checkout.
5. Integrating Wishlists into Cart Design
Wishlists allow shoppers to save products that may be aspirational, saved for comparison, or even things they may be interested in to purchase at a later time.
Incorporating wishlist items into the cart page is a great way to remind customers about what they contemplated to purchase. It’s a subtle reminder to add items from their wishlist which they want to purchase but may not have added to the cart for whatever reasons. It is one of the best strategies to increase AOV especially if there's a relevant promotion or stock is running low. The end result? Higher conversions and a satisfying shopping experience that feels deeply personalised.
For eg. Anthropologie, has a “Saved for Later” section that serves as a reminder to buyers about what they like and bookmarked. This strategy prompts customers to reconsider those products, and maybe even add one or two more to their cart before proceeding to checkout.
6. Boost AOV on Cart Page
Acquiring new customers costs 5 times more than retaining the existing ones and hence it makes most sense to strategise on increasing AOV without having to acquire new customers.
There are a number of ways you can use to increase AOV on cart page. Below are a few that we recommend. However by no means you should implement all of them together.
- Free shipping thresholds that encourages customers to add more to their cart to get free shipping
- Offering CashBacks based on a minimum cart value or for adding certain products and collections is a great way to increase AOV while also getting the customer back for future purchases. GiftKart is a great app that allows Shopify merchants to offer CashBacks based on multiple rules and conditions.
- Free gift with purchase is another classic strategy to increase AOV by setting minimum cart value or quantity thresholds. Kite app allows Shopify merchants to seamlessly introduce Free Gift with purchase on cart.
- Sell shipping insurance or faster delivery for an additional fees
- Upsell gifting options like a wrap, greeting card or even gift add ons to make a complete gift set. Buyers love to personalise gifts and by offering them a way to do this with minimum charge not only increases brand loyalty but also helps with new customer acquisition. GiftLabs is one of the top rated apps on Shopify that provides the complete gifting solution for Shopify merchants.
- Give volume discounts like buy more save more deals and even bundle deals on the cart page
- One of the most effective upselling strategies for increasing AOV is recommending products directly on the cart page. Now these recommended products could be personalised based on browsing history, or set as complementary to products in the cart or even mini samples and new product line being sold at a discount for feedback purposes. By recommending complementary items or superior alternatives, you can entice customers to add more to their cart where they are closer to checkout and hence more emotionally invested in the purchase.
- For eg. take the approach used by Kylie Cosmetics. When you add a lip oil, they recommend more lip products to complement the product in cart. They even upsell travel sized products on the cart page for a quick add. Helpful suggestions like these enhance the shopping experience resulting in additional purchases boosting AOV.
You can also read this article on how to upsell and cross sell at checkout to increase AOV.
7. Cart Abandonment Message Flow to Revive Lost Sales
Cart abandonment is one of the most dreaded challenges of ecommerce industry. The user is almost about to make a purchase but disappears. It is disheartening for brands to see buyers reach the cart but not make the final purchase.
Incorporating a cart abandonment message sequence or flow is a smart way to re-engage buyers who have left items in their cart and potentially bring them back to complete the purchase. These messages can be sent through email or SMS. Typically these messages include an incentive like additional discount, limited time free shipping or address potential concerns that might have caused the abandonment including sending some reviews and social proof.
It is important for brands to integrate automated, yet personalised, reminders via emails or SMS for abandoned carts. With QuickReply's WhatsApp Marketing Automation, you can set up a hyper-personalised cart abandonment message flow. Using individual buyer personas and customer segments, the platform triggers timely and relevant WhatsApp messages to customers who have left items in their carts. This brings the customer back to the checkout process and enhances the overall user experience by making it personal and interactive.
A brand that does this really well is Birchbox. When shoppers leave a specific beauty product or subscription plan in their cart, Birchbox dispatches a reminder email that not only showcases the product left behind but also provides product reviews or tutorial videos related to it. By re-iterating the value and benefits of the product, they reignite the customer's interest and bring them back to the checkout page. This strategy is not just about recovering lost sales, but also about building trust and a stronger relationship with the customer.
8. Improve Conversions with Trust Signals and Social Proof
According to a research, 61% of buyers abandon cart due to lack of assurance on the brand or the products. A cart page is the tipping point where the buyer finally decides whether to go ahead with the purchase or not. Hence it is the most apt place to sooth buyer concerns.
Trust badges, social proof and clear shipping and return information are some of the best ways to signal trust. For eg. trust badges that show quality certifications, or cruelty free and vegan products have shown to have a positive impact on the buyers brand perception.
Another great way to alleviate buyer concerns is by showing reviews and ratings. By incorporating verified reviews, ratings, or even user-generated photos of purchased products, merchants can instil confidence and create a sense of positive feeling and trust in the buyers mind. A whopping 91% of young consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when making a purchase. Hence the use of social proof directly in the cart page boosts buyer’s confidence driving up conversion rates.
For instance, Cerebelly does a great job in assuring parents about their baby food safety through trust badges and even provides assurance on easy cancellation of subscription.
9. Customer Support
Unlike the offline stores, shopping online could reach a roadblock where asking for immediate assistance is not possible. However, there are technologies now that can help bridge this gap. By offering real-time assistance, brands can answer product-related queries, address concerns about shipping, or even guide users through the checkout process. This not only prevents potential cart abandonments but also instills a sense of trust and confidence in the buyer.
Customer support is often the make-or-break factor in completing a purchase. QuickReply offers an integrated chat panel where agents can interact directly with the buyer through WhatsApp. This feature helps answer last-minute queries or concerns that may keep the customer from clicking that "Buy Now" button. Being deeply integrated with platforms like Shopify ensures a seamless support experience from the cart page.
A noteworthy example to illustrate this is Zappos. Renowned for its stellar customer service, the online shoe and clothing retailer embeds a visible 'Contact Us' option on their cart page. With options to call, chat, or email, shoppers are assured that help is just a click away, ensuring a smooth and reassuring checkout experience.
10. Retargeting for Cart Optimisation
On an average, only 2% of shoppers convert on their first visit. Retargeting aims at the other 98%. By using retargeting, store owners keep track of what buyers browsed on their website and show them retargeting ads as they browse other websites, reminding them of what they left behind in their carts. It is an attempt by the store owner to win back the buyer and finalise the purchase.
Adidas is a brand that effectively employs retargeting campaigns. A user who might have browsed a particular shoe style but left without making a purchase might later see ads for that very product on their social media feeds or other websites they visit.
Retargeting isn't just a strategy; it's a brand's second shot at sealing the deal with potential customers. QuickReply allows brands to build drip messaging journeys on WhatsApp, targeting customer segments based on their previous interactions and shopping behaviour. This 2-way interactive campaign keeps the conversation going and brings back customers who might have abandoned their carts, effectively optimising the cart page for conversions.
In this competitive landscape for ecommerce, merchants are spending multiple $$$ on building a brand, acquiring and retaining customers. It is in your best interest to ensure that there is a decent conversion on buyers browsing your online store and adding products to cart.
Cart page is the juncture where a buyer makes the final decision to proceed with the purchase or not. It's the bridge between browsing and buying, and optimising it is not just beneficial, but essential for merchants seeking sustainable growth. Brands like Zara, Warby Parker, Sephora, and countless others have reaped the benefits of crafting an optimised cart page. But remember, cart page optimisation isn't a one-size-fits-all. It demands a deep understanding of your audience, an openness to adapt, and the willingness to innovate. We hope that as you start to optimise your cart page, everything discussed in this article takes you towards higher conversions, enhanced customer loyalty, and ultimately, your success.