22 Cart design guidelines

Use these 22 Cart design recommendations to increase the revenue and conversion rate
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#1: Do you have a persistent shopping cart that saves the information for the customer's next visit?
Many buyers begin the purchase process but do not finish it in one session, especially Mobile users when they use smartphones and are often interrupted by various distractions. As a result, if you don't have a persistent shopping cart, such buyers will have to start shopping from the beginning next time.
#2: Do you show all needed information about products in the cart: title, image, chosen variant, quantity, price?
It's good practice to include all important information about the product added to the cart to let users know for sure that this is exactly what they want to buy.
#3: Do you show the right product image for the chosen product variant?
If added to cart products have different product variants, let's say different colors, product image thumbnail should always show the exact product variant chosen by a shopper.
#4: Do you automatically update the cart when shoppers change the quantity of an item?
If you don't do that, when someone wants to change the quantity, they will have to click on the "Update cart" button, which is actually unnecessary if you have automatic updates.

"Edit cart" and "Update cart" buttons are just examples of bad UX of shopping carts where users have to take unnecessary actions.
#5: Do you show selectors for the quantity feature?
Here is how bad UX looks: If you don't have selectors and don't automatically update the cart, users will have to do 3 unnecessary actions: Click on the quantity input field → . Write the desired quantity of items → Click on the "Update cart" button.
#6: Is the main CTA-button the most prominent element on the screen?
The most desired action on the cart page is when users proceed to Checkout. That's why prominent CTA is the essential part of the cart page. Without a CTA, the user experience dead ends when shoppers are ready to proceed to checkout.
#7: Does the main CTA-button copy clearly explain what will happen when you click on it?
The main rule for a copy of each CTA-button on the store is to explain what will happen after they click on it clearly.
#8: Do you show alternative payment options below the main CTA-button?
In recent years, it became trendy to add express checkout buttons (Paypal, Amazon, Google Pay, etc.) on the Cart pages of e-commerce stores, and there are many obvious reasons for that.

Firstly, it greatly simplifies the checkout process for those shoppers already used to pay with these payment options (usually, contact forms on the store are auto-populated based on the data that is already saved in the account in a payment system).
#9: Do you show images of all available payment methods?
When shoppers are already on the cart page, they think about proceeding with the checkout process. Showing them that they can pay with different payment methods can nudge them to the next step and reassure them that they can pay for the goods with these payment options.
#10: Do you clearly show that shoppers can pay by installments, and how much will it be per month? (if you have such payment option)
In the last years, it became trendy to offer payments by installments, making it easier for shoppers to buy expensive products without big one-time spendings. It's especially very relevant for stores that are selling high-priced items.
#11: Does the subtotal price is placed near the main CTA-button?
It's common to place subtotal price near the Checkout button. Shoppers are used to it and know where to look for that information. Moreover, before clicking on the button, they will often want to see the order's total cost. That's why you shouldn't break the pattern.
#12: Do you show shipping costs on the Cart page?
Based on Baymard Research, 64% of users look for shipping information on the product page. I believe that the percentage of shoppers looking for that information on the cart page is even higher, as they are already one step closer to checkout. Therefore, you need to have shipping information on the cart page.
#13: Do you motivate users to shop more products if you have free shipping after a certain threshold?
The majority of e-commerce stores offer free shipping after a certain threshold. In this case, free shipping works as an additional incentive to buy more products and significantly improve a store's average order value and revenue.
#14: Do you show information about Returns, Refunds, Money back guarantee?
If shoppers understand that they don't have any risks when purchasing your products, it will be much easier for them to complete orders. If they understand that they can easily get a refund and return or exchange an item, it can decrease the fears associated with shopping on your website.
#15: Do you hide the discount field by default instead of always visible and prominent discount section?
By the time shoppers reach the cart page, they already made a relatively firm commitment to proceed with the purchase. So your task is straightforward: streamline the process. It means that you should remove all distractions that can make shoppers change their minds and add information to persuade them to complete orders.
#16: Do you use urgency triggers? (relevant for stores with discounts, special offers, next day shipping)
If you give your shoppers time to think, they can delay making purchases. Sometimes the delay will be short. Sometimes it will be long, so they even forget about the product and the offer altogether.

A very effective way of persuading users to make a purchase right now is by creating a sense of urgency. If you have any discounts or special offers in your store, you can always make them time-limited and notify users about that. That way, you will add a sense of urgency.
#17: Do you use scarcity triggers? (relevant for stores with limited stock or limited offers)
When a product or service is limited in availability, then it becomes more attractive to shoppers. When they understand that it's limited and others also desire it, it creates fear of missing out, persuading shoppers to act fast. Human psychology is such that we are prone to purchase something when we know that it's the very last one or that a special offer will expire soon.
#18: Do you have a relevant cross-sell or upsell section?
This is a controversial thing and this, of course, is not suitable for all stores. But if done wisely and in a suitable context, it can significantly increase average order value and overall revenue.
#19: Do you have the Continue Shopping button on the Cart page? (relevant for stores with many complementary products)
If you are selling just one or a few items in your store, it's not relevant for you. But if you are selling hundreds of similar or complimentary items or you want to motivate shoppers to browse more products, this advice can be valuable and can increase average order value and total revenue.
#20: Do you show phone/email information or live chat for support?
It's hard to make shoppers trust you if you are not a well-known brand. One of the important factors here is to show clear contact information, so they will understand there are real people behind the store and they are ready to help in case of any concerns or problems.
#21: Do you show estimated taxes? (if it's relevant for your store and shoppers)
Shoppers hate unexpected costs when they reach the checkout process. When they see a subtotal price on the cart page, they expect that it will remain the same on the checkout process (except for shipping charges), but when they see any additional costs there, it creates a lot of friction and frustration.
#22: Do you have the clean and uncluttered design for the Cart page?
The more cluttered the cart page, the more cognitive load your shoppers will have. The greater the cognitive load, the more difficult it is to make decisions. Therefore it's crucial to have a simple and clean design of the cart page that is not cluttered with many distracting elements.
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The average cart abandonment rate is about 60-70%. 5-7 people out of 10 will abandon their cart in your store.

High cart abandonment rate can easily cripple your business.

That's why you should focus your optimization efforts on cart design.
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