eCommerce Optimization Tips for the Shopping Cart

eCommerce Optimization Tips for Shopping Cart

Don’t Ignore Your Cart! Enhance it instead!

When running an online store, eCommerce optimization is a must, and having a fully optimized shopping cart page is paramount to the success of your online business. That is why it is always in your best interest to constantly be performing eCommerce optimization on your shopping cart to convert website visitors into happy customers. This is one of the pillars of e-commerce website development that we adhere to, and we would like to provide you with some quick tips that will improve your shopping cart performance for the better.


1. Treat the Shopping Cart Like a Landing Page

The cart page should not just be treated like just another web page on your e-commerce site. Having an effective shopping cart page can make or break your website’s bottom line. A solid eCommerce optimization strategy ensures your shopping cart is converting at the highest rates possible.  You should be taking the approach that the shopping cart is the page when you begin the process of closing your site visitor from just a visitor to a purchasing customer. This is called the purchase funnel. Best practices of purchase funnels begin with adopting best landing page practices. A landing page has the purpose of one main goal for your visitor to achieve. For the shopping cart, that goal is for them to navigate to check out. I will discuss in further detail this specific goal, but there are some key fundamentals that need to be discussed first.

The biggest key component of a successful cart/landing page is to eliminate any unnecessary navigation. Any link you put on this page increases the chance for the user to navigate from the page. Once the user navigates from the cart page, you essentially created another abandoned cart, which studies have shown are exceedingly difficult to overcome even with added abandoned cart functionality.

2. Upsell, Upsell, Upsell

You should also think of your cart as an opportunity to sell more products to your customers. By installing various apps or coding in logic on your own you can display products that are relevant to the user’s current cart. The cart is the last place the user can be able to add more items to their cart, so don’t ignore upselling on the cart page.

3. Allow Guest Checkout

You will lose sales if you make users register before checking out. Enabling Guest checkout will allow users a quick and painless way to complete their order. So if a user even has to sign up on your site before even being able to navigate to your cart, you are making a huge mistake. If the user has an enjoyable experience purchasing from your site, they may be more inclined to sign up on your site on a return purchase.

4. Implement Abandoned Cart Logic

While I stated earlier getting users to complete their purchase after leaving their cart is exceedingly difficult, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Most e-commerce platforms have automated emails specifically for users who abandon their cart. It is your interest to implement them, as a good cart abandonment email will help bring lost revenue back. If cart abandonment functionality is absolutely free to use, do it you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you have to pay for that functionality, it is recommended you test it our a trial period. More times than not your ROI will be recovered, just remember to keep your trial on a relevant timescale.

5. Add Promotional Banners and/or Alerts

Give your customers a reason to spend more. Perhaps you have a buy $100 get 10% coupon going on. Does the user know about this coupon? If they don’t know about promotions, not only will they feel cheated but they won’t be incentivized to spend more as well. The cart is a perfect place to let you customer know and take part in deals and promotions that ultimately increase their cart totals.

6. Speed Counts

Don’t make your cart or checkout difficult. One reason why your user is buying online is so they don’t want to wait in line at a store. People hate hassles when making a purchase. The faster and easier you make your cart to edit and check out, the better.  A good eCommerce optimization team will focus on the speed and ease in which a user can navigate through the checkout process.  If there is any functionality or elements that slow your page down, fix them.

7. Add Free Shipping Policies

This is a big one. If you have a free shipping policy, you need to promote it on the cart. Users will spend more to reach a free shipping threshold, and this information, if not obvious anywhere else on your site, needs to be stated on your cart page. It is also a good idea to provide in the very least a shipping cost estimate on your cart page before the user checks out. Shipping can be a hidden cost unknown to the user, and they may not have the best reaction during checkout if they order total increases significantly without being notified on the cart.

8. Don’t Forget Mobile!

Mobile eCommerce optimization is huge.  You made great efforts to make your website usable on mobile, but did you forget your cart? The cart and checkout need to be fine-tuned for mobile users. If the user experience lags on a smaller device, you risk losing customers and sales. As the world changes and the market share of e-commerce users using mobile devices increases, you need to stay on top of these trends. Don’t get left behind and make sure your cart is as easy and intuitive to use as your desktop cart.

9. Don’t Make it Difficult to Remove Products

This goes along with the idea you need to keep your prices and experience as transparent as possible. Even if item removal being difficult was not intentional, your users can take it the wrong way that you aren’t being on the level with you. A user may want to change the quantity or remove an item because it was the wrong one. Don’t make it difficult to make changes on the cart or you will lose the sale.

10. Make Sure your Checkout Call to Action is Strong

This needs to be the most prominent button on your cart – it’s eCommerce Optimization 101.  It should draw the user’s attention more than any cart item or any element on that page. Once they click checkout, they and on their way to completing their purchase funnel and becoming a loyal customer.


If you implement these eCommerce optimization tips to improve your shopping cart experience, you will on your way to having a more effective shopping cart page while mitigating abandoned carts. While this is not the definitive bible on shopping cart performance, engaging in best practices will maximize your sales and keep your users happy. There are a great number of practices that go beyond the shopping cart and into your checkout process, but we will tackle that at later date. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!