How to Optimize Your Shopping Cart

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Optimizing your shopping cart is one of the most important things you can do to increase sales on your ecommerce site and bring up your conversion rate.

Here’s a website that I see pretty often, that has been doing shopping cart optimization well for a long time: Forever21

Let’s break this down first, and at the bottom of the post is the full website screenshot.


1. Breadcrumb Trail – A breadcrumb trail increases buyer confidence and helps ease their anxiety about the checkout process by managing their expectations of what the next step is.┬áThere are steps built in for final review, too.



2. Easy to Edit


3. Customer Support Line Clearly Indicated and 4. Clear Return Policy – One of the keys to a successful shopping cart is eliminating as much of the online shopper’s anxiety as possible, and answering all of their questions. It’s essential to have a customer support line available to help answer questions and solve problems completing the transaction. Most of the time people won’t even use this function – but it makes them feel more at ease to have it there.


5. Promo Code & Discounts Prominently Displayed – Make it really obvious early on where your customers need to enter in discount codes, and market the promos on the checkout page. If the customer is this far along in the marketing funnel, they’ve already done their research and they know what discount codes they want to apply. Make sure they don’t have to hunt for the promo code box, or – even worse – leave the cart to find the promo code elsewhere on the site. Keep moving them along to process the payment!


6. Shows Credit Card Payment Options – Let the customer know as soon as possible what payment options you accept.


7. Security Certificates Placed by Credit Card Options – Increase buyer confidence in your website’s security by displaying the security certificates right next to payment information – especially where they are going to enter in the credit card information. Online shoppers don’t want to dish out their credit card info to just anyone! Make it clear they will avoid identity theft on your website.


8. Sign In or Don’t -Make the sign in process as painless as possible, but also offer guest checkout to expedite the process. Don’t require a customer password in order to process a payment – you’re just creating extra steps that can ward off ready buyers.

Here’s the final shopping cart result – very clean and easy to read. The only thing I would change is to take off the menu bar at the shopping cart. At this part in the shopping funnel a marketer wants to remove as much information as possible that can divert the buyer from completing the process.

Forever 21 used to do this – maybe they A/B tested their way out of the practice. I remember thinking it was annoying in the past, and navigating back to the main site anyway. But, it’s still a best practice.