Add to Cart: What is it and Why is it Important?

Do you usually purchase things online? Are you familiar with the add to cart button? Unfortunately, many people get confused with the concept of shopping cart buttons, especially if they do not usually buy things online.

Since online shopping and e-commerce websites are getting too familiar these days, it is good to understand the add to cart concept to have smooth experiences shopping over the internet.

What Does Add to Cart Mean?

Let’s talk about the add to cart button in a non-technical way. Suppose you are browsing through an online store, and you like a product and decide to buy it. The next step you’ll have to take is to select that product and add to shopping cart.

This means you will add the selected product to the list of items that you plan to purchase from that website. Everything that you add to the shopping cart will be shown to you at the checkout page. During checkout, you will finalize which of the items from the shopping cart you want to buy right now, and those are the items you will be charged for.

The option to add to cart is usually mentioned right below each product. The concept is similar to buying things at a retail store. When you buy groceries, for example, you don’t take the items you want to buy one by one to the cashier counter. Instead, you take a trolley and fill it up with everything that you’re buying, and then push the whole trolley with all your selected items in it in front of the counter. This makes it easier for you to pay for all the things that you want to buy in one shot. It also helps you check the items off your shopping list as you put them into the trolley one by one and make your shopping experience more organized.

Similarly, if you were grocery shopping online and the add to cart concept did not exist, you have to make too many transactions to buy all the items on your grocery list. But, again, this would not be convenient for the reasons given below.

  • Your credit card would be charged too many times.
  • You would need to keep going back and forth from the products page to the checkout page.
  • You might get confused in the process and forget to buy a few of the items on your list.
  • It would waste a lot of your time.
  • You would probably get annoyed with the online shopping process.

That’s why the ‘add to cart’ feature is there for the rescue on almost all e-commerce sites. You can easily choose the products you want to buy, put them all into the cart, and then pay for them in one shot when you get to the checkout page. Using shopping cart buttons also enables you to benefit from the merchandising and sales offers available on the online store. When you buy products in bulk, for instance, you might be provided with a discount on your checkout as part of the store’s ongoing promotion.

The Importance of Having Add to Cart Buttons on Your Online Store

Until now, we were talking from a customer’s perspective. When an online store has shopping cart buttons below its products, it adds to the charm in the customer online shopping experience. But what about the owner of the e-commerce site? What about the one who’s on the receiving ​​side of the transactions? Does the ‘add to cart’ concept benefit the seller too? Well, of course, it does.

Keeping your customers happy and enhancing their buying experience is the key to success for all businesses. When your customers are satisfied with your product and service, they will keep coming back to buy more from you. That, in turn, will lead to higher sales and better profit margins for your business.

The same concept applies to the business of running an online store. The last thing a customer wants when they are looking to buy something from an online store is to face a complicated procedure in making their purchase. Some examples of such complications are as follows.

  • Poor web design that’s too hard to navigate.
  • Technical errors during checkout.
  • Very limited or just a single payment gateway available.
  • Unclear products selection process and put them into one place to pay for them and buy.

The last point explains what your customers would face if you do not have the ‘add to cart’ feature on your site. And because of that, your site would potentially have a high bounce rate, even if your product photography is good and your product prices are very reasonable.

Besides that, add to cart buttons are essential for several more reasons, as mentioned below. This ‘add to cart’ feature does the following for an online store.

  1. It acts as a mediator between the payment gateways and the e-commerce website.
  2. It aids the customers in acting upon their instinct buying behavior.
  3. It improves and enhances the site’s SEO and search rankings.
  4. It supports the seller by maintaining a proper record of all transactions taking place on the site.
  5. It enables the site owner to build and maintain an organized customer portfolio.
  6. It improves the overall functionality of the online store.
  7. It makes backend tracking, inventory management, and wish lists more efficient.
  8. It increases the flexibility of the online store.
  9. It makes it easier for the seller to prompt the customers with special offers at checkout.
  10. It makes it simpler to integrate third-party shopping solutions.
  11. It enables the seller to present the product price, any taxes applied, and any additional costs charged upon purchase clearly.
  12. It reduces the bounce rate and the number of abandoned carts on the online store.
  13. It gives the impression that the online store’s owner is a considerate online merchant - the kind of a person or company that customers would like to buy from repeatedly.
  14. If the online store has the ‘product showcase’ feature, the presentation of shopping cart buttons makes it more appealing.
  15. The ‘add to cart’ feature boosts sales, which is the ultimate goal of any business at the end of the day.

Differences Between ‘Add to Cart’, ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Order Now’ Buttons

Even though these three sound similar, the ‘add to cart’, ‘buy now’, and ‘order now’ buttons are slightly different from each other. They pretty much mean the same to building the website but making a somewhat different impression on viewing it. We already discussed what exactly is an add to cart button. Let’s talk about the other two now so that we can compare all three correctly.

• ‘Buy Now’ Buttons

When a user clicks on an add to cart button, they do not feel any pressure to buy the item they put into the cart during their current browsing session. Online stores with shopping cart buttons allow users to fill up their carts during one session and then proceed with the purchase transaction later. This kind of passive buying decision puts less pressure on the user’s mind and gives them time to finalize their shopping list and budget before paying for anything at all. After using the ‘add to cart’ feature, they can log out of the online store without losing the items they added to the carrt, and log in later to continue their buying process whenever convenient.

The ‘buy now’ button, on the other hand, uses more aggressive psychology. When a user clicks on a ‘buy now’ button, they are usually under the impression that they will be asked to pay for the product and complete the purchase during the same browsing session at the online shopping website.

Another difference between ‘buy now’ and ‘add to cart’ is that ‘buy now’ buttons are often found on websites with a single product or a single category of products available for sale. For example, a website selling the latest technology electronic product is more likely to insert ‘buy now’ buttons on its landing page. An add to cart button wouldn’t make much sense on such a site because there wouldn’t be many products or items present on the site for users to add to shopping cart or buy. Hence, a user would only click on the ‘buy now’ button on such a site when he/she has made his/her final decision to make the purchase and is ready to undergo the transaction.

• ‘Order Now’ Buttons

‘Order Now’ buttons are similar to ‘buy now’ buttons. However, these buttons, when clicked, will ask buyers to pay for the product or service right away. ‘Order now’ buttons are seldom found on a website where buyers purchase a whole list of products. When a buyer clicks on an ‘order now’ button, the intention is to pay for the item right away, receive it later, and not add to cart to pay later to be shipped out immediately.

‘Order now’ buttons are also used for package deals, i.e. when a user buys a bundle of products but pays for all as a package in one shot as part of the online store’s sales or discounted offer.

These buttons are usually used by site owners who sell products or services that take time to be shipped or delivered to the customer. That’s how these are different from the ‘buy now’ buttons, which are used for products that have faster or instant delivery. Both these buttons are different from ‘add to cart’.

Sample Websites Using Add to Cart Buttons

Let’s look at some sample websites using the ‘add to cart’ concept on their online store.

1. Pet Milestone Cards

Strikingly user's website screenshot showing an add to cart button

Image taken from Pet Milestone Cards

2. Inspire Organics

Strikingly user's website screenshot showing an add to cart button

Image taken from Inspire Organics

3. Dr CHAI

Strikingly user's website screenshot showing an add to cart button

Image taken from Dr CHAI

4. Beauty INU

Strikingly user's website screenshot showing a buy now button

Image taken from Beauty INU

5. The Project Nomad

Strikingly user's website screenshot showing an add to cart button

Image taken from The Project Nomad

You must have noticed that ‘add to cart’ features makes it convenient for users to proceed to the checkout page on all these websites. If these add to cart buttons were not there, users would be confused about where to click if they want to buy the products. You might have also noticed that the color of these buttons matches the web page theme or overall web design. Choosing the right colors for all buttons is vital to make each web page look neat and appealing. The website templates at Strikingly enable you to create beautifully contrasting product pages.