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E-commerce Shopping Cart: Advantages, Tips, and Best Practices

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Every successful e-commerce site has a reliable shopping cart solution.

But how often do you actually think about your e-commerce site’s shopping cart?

The truth is that cart abandonment is one of the biggest issues affecting e-commerce sites. On average, the cart abandonment rate is a staggering 70%. 

In this article, we are going to discuss e-commerce shopping carts. In particular, we’ll focus on the advantages, tips, and best practices that go into a successful shopping cart strategy. 

What is an E-commerce Shopping Cart?

A shopping cart is a piece of software that allows customers to complete purchases on your e-commerce site. This software allows customers to add the items they wish to buy and pay for them at any point. Thus, your online shop cannot make any sales without a shopping cart.

On the whole, shopping carts are relatively standard. Virtually every type of shopping cart provides the same basic functionalities. Nevertheless, some shopping carts may require custom features based on the e-commerce site’s specific needs.

Why is an E-commerce Shopping Cart Important for Your Store?

Besides the obvious function of completing sales, there are three key reasons why an e-commerce shopping cart app or solution is a must for your online store.

#1: Cart abandonment reduction

Earlier, we discussed the 70% average cart abandonment rate. Thus, using a reliable e-commerce shopping cart app or solution will help your online store reduce its cart abandonment rate. 

Among the top reasons for cart abandonment are time-consuming checkout processes, security concerns, and performance issues. As such, your e-commerce shopping cart solution must strive to streamline your customers’ overall checkout experience.

#2: Boost sales conversions

Getting a customer to add products to their shopping cart is one thing. The next step, however, is to get them to follow through on their purchases. Your e-commerce shopping cart must entice customers to follow through.

 For instance, a slide-out cart reduces the need for additional clicks and page navigation. This approach allows your customers to complete purchases without a hitch. 

#3: Reduce costs

Customer acquisition is highly expensive. Generally speaking, the likelihood you’ll sell to a new customer is about 10%. In contrast, selling to an existing customer jumps to roughly 60%. 

As a result, acquiring new customers involves spending time and resources on regular advertising. Using an e-commerce shopping cart app helps reduce customer acquisition costs since you won’t need to get new customers consistently. 

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Overall, your e-commerce site’s shopping cart is a fundamental piece of its success. Unfortunately, we tend to overlook the importance of shopping cart success. So, please remember that a great e-commerce shopping cart can mean the difference between a lagging online store and a successful one.

3 Advantages of an E-commerce Shopping Cart

Let’s look at three key advantages you can expect from your e-commerce shopping cart solution:

#1: Improved revenue and profitability

With increased conversions comes improved revenue and profitability. Firstly, more sales conversions mean your e-commerce site makes more income. Secondly, reduced costs mean that your online store’s profits increase. This combination allows your e-commerce site to become much more successful.

Driving revenue and profitability must be sustainable. In other words, you must ensure that your online store can consistently keep sales conversion up while keeping costs down. Therefore, improved revenue and profitability are one of the shopping cart benefits you don’t want to pass up.

#2: Better brand loyalty

Brand loyalty means your customers keep coming back regularly. Considering that it’s much easier to sell to returning customers, focusing on brand loyalty is crucial. One of the key e-commerce shopping cart best practices is to double down on a solid shopping cart.

When your customers get a great shopping experience on your site, they feel compelled to return. More and more, your returning customers drive your sales. In short, it’s the 80/20 principle. 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. New customers comprise the remaining 20%.

Indeed, brand loyalty is an important shopping cart benefit you cannot afford to pass up. All it takes is a keen focus on customer experience. The better the overall experience your customers get, the more they will return to your online store.

#3: Safer shopping experience

A hallmark of great e-commerce shopping cart apps is safer shopping. Customers are generally concerned about security. After all, it’s one of the main reasons for cart abandonment. Thus, you cannot ignore the importance of shopping cart security.

Robust e-commerce shopping cart solutions ensure that your customers can purchase easily and safely. Most importantly, you improve your sales conversion rate by slashing cart abandonment. Think about it this way: it’s a psychological phenomenon that motivates your customers to follow through. They won’t feel concerned about entering their payment information because they know your e-commerce site will protect it.

Five Tips to Improve Your E-commerce Shopping Cart

It’s evident that a successful e-commerce site uses a killer shopping cart solution to boost sales conversion. The question is: how can you improve your e-commerce shopping cart? The answer is right here!

Let’s take a look at five essential e-commerce shopping cart best practices you don’t want to miss. So, let’s get on with it.

#1: Use a slide-out cart

So, what exactly is a slide-out cart? In short, a slide-out cart appears on the screen while you view a product. As a result, you don’t need to leave the current product page to view your cart. You can add, remove, and pay for your purchases on the spot.

Here’s a sample of a slide-out cart:

shopify cart design tips and examples
Source: dominiquecosmetics.com

In this example, the slide out cart appears on the product page. Customers don’t need to navigate to another page. All they need to do is click on the tab (usually on the right side of the screen) to display their cart.

On the whole, using a slide-out cart streamlines your customers’ entire shopping experience. Now, here’s a key insight you don’t want to overlook: driving sales conversions hinges on facilitating checkout for your customers. The easier it is for your customers to complete a purchase, the more they will buy.

#2: Use a sticky cart

A sticky cart? What exactly is a “sticky” cart? A sticky cart is “sticky” because it follows you around throughout an e-commerce site. In other words, it’s always visible no matter where you navigate on the site. 

The sticky cart’s purpose is to facilitate adding items to it and subsequently paying for them. You see, navigating from one page to another can become confusing. Moreover, customers hate losing track of their product browsing. By using a sticky cart, you can easily avoid numerous clicks and page navigation.

Here is a good example of a sticky cart, from Uplinkly:

ecommerce shopping cart
Source: apps.shopify.com/sticky-cart-by-uplinkly

This example shows the sticky add-to-cart feature as a banner displayed at the bottom of the page, that is fixed (sticky) even when the user scrolls. This feature greatly enhances customers’ chances of adding items to their carts and subsequently completing their purchases.

#3: In-cart upselling and cross-selling

Upselling and cross-selling are two ways you can instantly boost your revenue. Nevertheless, upselling and cross-selling don’t have to be annoying. Some e-commerce sites constantly display popups prompting customers to add or buy more items. 

Using in-cart upselling and cross-selling techniques can greatly facilitate this process. The secret is to display suggestions and ideas in your e-commerce shopping cart so that customers see your suggestions as they get ready to check out. 

ecommerce shopping cart tips examples best practices
Source: littleprincelondon.com

Think about it this way: it’s like supermarkets’ small impulse items as you make your way through the checkout line.

Now, here is an industry secret: by making upselling and cross-selling suggestions simple and tasteful, you avoid complicating your customers’ shopping experience. Please remember that simplifying the checkout process is crucial to reducing your cart abandonment rate.

#4: Offer various payment options

How important are payment options? Very.

According to estimates, cart abandonment due to a lack of payment options hovers around 7% to 10%. That figure may not seem like a lot, but please bear in my it’s money you’re leaving on the table. As a result, you cannot afford to miss sales due to a lack of payment options.

So, what’s the solution? Incorporating various payment methods can greatly help your online store close more sales. Here is a look at how you can solve this situation:

online shopping cart best practices
An example of a store with multiple payment options

Please remember that your main goal ought to be to simplify purchases as much as possible. Offering various payment options can help you do that easily. 

One word of caution: please be cognizant of the rates and fees payment processors charge. The last thing you want is to be surprised with unexpected processing fees. A good rule of thumb is to check out fees and rates before signing up.

#5: Use cart recovery emails

All right, so what can you do if a customer bails on their cart? You can use cart recovery emails to help you get back some of those lost sales. Using cart recovery emails is an e-commerce shopping cart best practice you must keep in mind.

Here is a look at a wonderful cart recovery email idea:

tips for using ecommerce shopping cart
Source: nobullproject.com

As you can see, NOBULL reaches out to customers encouraging them to complete their purchases. This approach is highly useful since there are many reasons why customers may drop their carts. For instance, a customer might get sidetracked or distracted by something else. As a result, a friendly reminder can help them resume their purchases.

As well as showing the customer the item that was already in their cart, they also use these emails as a chance to offer different (but related) products to the customer, in case they see something they prefer. 

PickyStory's PickyCart is a Slide Cart with Product Recommendations for Upselling

If you’re looking for an upgrade to your e-commerce shopping cart, PickyStory’s PickyCart is a great option. This slide cart features a clean design, and uses AI to offer product recommendations in the cart. These recommendations are based on products your customer is already viewing (and has in their cart) which increases the likelihood of a sale. 

best slide cart upsell app for shopify
Source: try.pickystory.com

PickyStory’s PickyCart is available on all PickyStory plans, and also gives you access to all of PickyStory’s other features, including upsell and cross-sell bundles, tiered discounts, shoppable galleries, and more. Add PickyStory to your store to take advantage of this versatile platform and sell more to each customer. 

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