Top 5 User Testing Tips for Shopping Cart Success

Sep 21, 2013 4:26 PM  By

Tip 4: Test the First Step of Checkout—Account Selection

account-selectionThe first step of checkout is typically selecting whether to check out as a registered user or a guest. Among registered users, there are two types—returning and new. This means a total of three user experiences need to be tested to ensure that nothing derails this important transition into the checkout process.

Guest checkout, once considered optional, is now very popular among top retailers because the availability of guest checkout improves conversion.

How to test it
Watch new users try to check out. (In order to solicit the most realistic user behavior at this stage, consider using intercepts to recruit testers from among customers browsing your site right now.) Watch for the following among each user group:

  1. Customers checking out as guests. Do they have any problem finding guest checkout? Is it as easy as possible to create an account at the end of checkout, optimizing the chance to add them to a customer database? Are there any compelling reasons to register?
  2. New registrations. Is the registration form short and clear? Do customers get stuck on unusually restrictive password requirements? Once registration is complete, is the customer smoothly transitioned to the next step, or are there bumps in the road, such as a requirement to log in or confirm their account?
  3. Returning customers. Is the login option easy enough for returning customers to find? After login, is pre-populated information clearly shown, and easy to change for this transaction?


  • Liz Lynch

    I hate to see someone abandon the cart, but I wouldn’t describe it as heartbreaking. Let’s reserve that for something truly painful, like watching a parent or child suffer, a spouse walking out after 15 years, or even a high school team just missing winning their division. Cart abandon is a challenge, but it’s not heartbreaking.

  • Todd Hyle

    The reason why some are abandoning their shopping cart is some retailers will not disclose the “special sale price” until we enter it to our shopping cart. One marketing ploy is affecting the other.

  • Alon Even

    Thanks for your precious tips.

    I’d like to stress the importance of testing the mobile experience. That is to say,
    companies should measure, understand and improve the user experience on their mobile site and within their apps by using mobile app analytics tools.Using traditional analytics is
    not enough if you want to know WHY your customers abandoned your shopping cart. Visual mobile analytics tools, such as Appsee (, that provide user recordings and heatmaps, enable to see and understand exactly how customers interact
    with your shopping cart, detect what problems they’re experiencing and improve the shopping experience. By improving the shopping experience, companies will increase conversions, engagement and reduce abandonment rate.