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After browsing a website, the last two stops of a customer’s shopping journey are a cart page and then a checkout page. It’s where a shopper often makes a final decision before either purchasing a product or abandoning their purchase. There are differences between cart and checkout pages, with each page providing a specific function during the shopping journey. In this article, we will cover how cart and checkout pages work together and separately, and how to effectively use them for conversions.
Cart Pages Vs. Checkout Pages – Know the Differences
There are two types of online shoppers – methodical ones who browse and select several products and add them to their cart before proceeding to checkout. Then, there are the more impulsive ones, who find what they want and buy it immediately, bypassing the cart page and going straight to checkout. Having both options allows you to reach both types of customers. Remember, a methodical shopper may sometimes be an impulsive one and vice versa!
On a cart page, a shopper can see a full summary of everything they intend to buy. It’s where they can also change the quantity of the items, giving them control of their shopping and creating trust between the shop owner and the shopper.
On a checkout page, the customer has decided what they want to buy, fills in their shipping and billing info and finalizes their order. This last step in the journey should be simple and straightforward, without added hurdles. If a checkout page is hard to navigate, a customer will simply leave.
Customizing Your Checkout Page
On the Shopify platform, the checkout pages have limitations on how you can stylize them. However, there are a few things basic Shopify accounts can edit that still allow merchants to let their brand shine through. Below are the sections you can edit:
Banner: This custom image is a chance to display your store name as well as an image that represents your brand.
Logo: Another chance to show your brand’s most identifiable image.
Main Content Area: The main image behind the fields. Ensure it isn’t intrusive and allows customers to see the rest of the page clearly.
Order Summary: This is where a customer sees what they are ordering and the total costs. Make it easy to read with appropriate font size and typography.
At Shopify Unite 2019, it was announced that shoppers will no longer be taken outside of Shopify’s checkout to complete their purchases. This feature, which is expected to be rolled out this year, will allow for a seamless and simple checkout experience for shoppers.
Note: Shopify Plus accounts can edit all of the above as well as the layout of the checkout page.
Customizing Your Cart Page
Since checkout pages have strict restrictions, merchants can focus on the cart page and make it clear, simple and fast. With that in mind, here are some tips on optimizing the cart page to get conversions:
- Clear Product Info and Imagery: Customers will use the cart page to review their orders. Make sure your images are optimized and display all the product information clearly. Include all relevant info like size, colour, quantity
- Direct CTA’s: Don’t confuse readers with more than one main message on the cart page. If a shopper hasn’t correctly filled in the shipping or billing info, make the error message clear. The clearest button should be ‘Buy Now’, to lead the customer to make a purchase.
- Continue Shopping Option: No one likes being trapped on a cart page. Allow customers to browse more if they choose to.
- Remove distractions: Minimize the footer and header, don’t use more than 4 colors and pay attention to your message hierarchy – every button should have a purpose.
As trusted Shopify experts, we get requests about cart customization every day. Here are some of the most frequent requests we get here at HeyCarson:
This handy feature creates transparency by allowing customers to estimate how much it will cost to ship their item.
Note: This feature is only available for North American merchants.
One way to stand out from competitors is going the extra mile. Gift wrapping eliminates the need for shoppers to do it themselves and allows them to ship their gift directly to the lucky recipient.
This checkbox is a crucial part of the chopping process because, without your customer’s consent, the purchase cannot move forward. If the box is left unchecked, a pop-up will let them know what they must do.
In online shopping, nothing is more paramount than security and safety. Letting your customers know you use secure payment options and that their credit card info is safe gives them a peace of mind when shopping at your store.
Let your customers know they only have a limited amount of time to buy. Concert ticket sellers often use this feature for in-demand tickets.
The cart and checkout pages are partners in getting you that conversion. As the final steps in the online shopping journey, they must balance functionality and design. A customer wants to see what they’re buying and smoothly sail through the purchasing process. Both are an extension of your website, and even though there are some limitations in terms of design, there are ways to make it a beautiful, seamless experience for visitors to your site.