Don’t Neglect Your View Cart Page

Online merchants are leaving money on the table—or more precisely, in the shopping cart—by blindly focusing their design and merchandising attention on the home page. Most should be paying more attention to their “view cart” page.

Think of your view cart page as a merchandising and sales opportunity, rather then just a utility page that lists out items. Does your view cart simply summarize the contents of the basket with a link to “proceed to checkout?” Or do you merchandise this page to boost average order value and conversion rate?

A great view cart not only ensures that shoppers complete checkout, it encourages them to buy more. And your view cart basket should match the look and feel of the rest of the website. Just like a good search results page, customers shouldn’t worry that they’ve left your main site to look in their carts.

Haircare products merchant Folica.com, which won a Silver in the 2011 MCM Awards, does a terrific job with its view cart function. It encourages the customer to buy more by showing upsells and cross-sells below the shopping basket.

Folica seals the deal by showing promotional offers below the header, such as free shipping or a donation made to a charity. The site has a huge guarantee above the first item, and promotes its authentic products safe, easy returns. And the secure checkout button stands out.

Users can easily see where they need to click. Folica also offers free gifts near the items, and its free shipping offer stands out—you can’t miss it. The site shows users how much money they saved by shopping at Folica, and also promotes the value of the free gifts.

Perhaps most important from a “seal-the-deal” perspective, Folicia offers a shipping calculator and displays shipping cost on this page. Although most orders here will qualify for free shipping, if you want express shipping, you can quickly get the total.

Do you show all the shipping options and pricing on view cart or do you force customers to go deeper within your checkout process?
Tax and shipping costs should be displayed on view cart, yet so many sites still don’t do this. Unless your shipping charges vary by zip code, you have the technical ability to show shipping charges right on the view cart page—and you should,

And even if your rates do depend on destination, you can ask for my zip and display the delivery charges on view cart. Just make sure you save my zip so I don’t need to provide my city, state and zip on the billing and shipping address pages.

Ian MacDonald (Ian.Andrew.MacDonald@Gmail.com), a judge for the 2011 MCM Awards, is the former is a former vice president and general manager of CenturyNovelty.com, and former director of ecommerce for The Pond Guy.

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