November 25th, 2021 | 3 MIN READ

Shopping Cart Checklist – What to Look For in a Checkout Experience

Written by Elastic Path Team


Author's Note: This is an update to a post originally published in May 2011 and has been edited for relevancy

There are myriad reasons why your customers don’t complete a purchase; from sticker shock, to wanting to showroom an item instead prior to purchase, to simply getting distracted and abandoning the cart,andit can be something entirely unrelated to design or usability.

When shopping online here are several things related to cart/checkout to look for that affect your customer’s experience in meaningful ways:

Must Have Shopping Cart Page Features

1. Cart is visible throughout the experience

Research shows when a cart is constantly within range of the shopping experience abandonment rates diminish. Amazon does this effortlessly on their dedicated app.


2. Seamless Multi-brand or Multi-geo

When multiple brands co-exist the cart/checkout process should look seamless to the customer.


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3. Easy to view thumbnails

The product is the hero and stands out within the cart.

4. Product availability is prominent

Should the item be out of stock, it’s clearly set off in a different font size, color, or housed within a separate design element.

5. Offer clean, non-competing CTAs (Calls to Action) 

CTAs should never compete font-wise, nor be similar in size, shape, or color. Be clear in what you’re asking the customer to do.

6. Shipping and Tax Calculation

All costs are clearly visible, so the customer knows exactly what they are paying in total for the item(s) including tax and shipping.


7. Chatbot

Should there be questions or issues within the checkout process or throughout the shopping journey, a chat feature pops up to assist in real time. No need for emails or calls that may adversely affect the customer experience.

8. Move to Later

Not a must-have for every shopping experience, but certainly worth it to retain the purchase for later and to help with conversions on the retailer side.


9. Save Cart

Especially helpful for a buyer purchase when the order may be larger or more complex for a specific project.

10. Gift Options

Icing on the cake for a busy shopper!

11. Universal Cart 

A bit more complexity than meets the eye, but certainly in the zeitgeist of eCommerce. A universal cart allows customers to add, remove, modify, or purchase any of the items in their digital cart whether customers are in-store, online or on the retailer’s mobile app.

When taking a deeper dive into the universal cart concept, you’ll need to ask yourself a key question as a retailer: What price are you willing to honor across all channels and geos? Spending and shopping habits drive the experience. Shoppers are increasingly demanding the lowest price for an item, no matter what channel they’re using to find it.

The presence of these elements are not the end of shopping cart optimization. It's also key how they are presented, and how your cart page works. This list is a guideline to show you what you may be missing, but ongoing testing is the best way to continue to learn what works best for you.

Looking for more eCommerce content? Check out our Mobile Commerce Guide for more insights and trends.

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