Where did my shopping cart go?

Most probably it’s on your Browser

With so many e-commerce websites around us, one always wonders what is the correct place to put a shopping cart so that the user can easily access it. Most of these websites take the easiest route to execute by example and inspiration, in other words Copy Amazon and put it on the top right corner of their website. There is no problem with approach as long as it works, but it really does not work for everything. When a user is buying a book or a trouser, they probably have 2 to 3 items in their cart at the time of checkout. When they are buying groceries, they have 50 – 70 items in their cart of which almost all are repeat purchases. Putting the cart on the top right in this case just means a waste of available real estate on the screen and creating a very long scroll to actually see the cart. In truth, a regular user will never really look back on how many Scothbrites he put in the cart, and even if they do, it will be immediate within the next few minutes while adding the next few items. What is important is that they do not repeat a product, which means whatever goes into the cart gets marked as In Cart and preferably with a Count and an option to delete. This makes sure that if the user added 5 Scotchbrite Pads in the beginning of his session and forgets about it by the time he has added 50 more items, he can search for Scotchbrite and immediately see that its already in his Cart.

Then comes the Cart itself. Why not place it at the bottom or the top which is more scalable as the monitor size increases with an exclusive button to Edit Cart. While the horizontal band can keep showing the last 10 added items for immediate reconfirmation. It works, and increases the speed of shopping for the user significantly. It can be argued that users are not used to this placement, in truth, it’s an easier option and they soon get used to it. After all, the downloads in Google Chrome also show up at the bottom of the page, so does Chat Windows when you are on Gmail. So why not this!

ZopNow with it's shopping cart at the bottom of the page. Fixed.

ZopNow with it’s shopping cart at the bottom of the page. Fixed.

Social Wishlists

Are social wish lists any good? In the past two years we have had many social wish list websites pop up everywhere delivering price comparison to direct purchase to consumers. Pinterest, Fab and Thefancy are a few that are in the lead. All of them allow the user to Pin “Stuff” from different websites on to their sites and link back to the original content with most of the information grabbed directly from the Site. While Fab and Thefancy enable direct purchase and delivery, they both operate in the domains of exclusive items that are easy to spot..

What is the regular user searching for?

The regular user is still searching for mundane stuff like Shoes, Jeans, Shorts, Razors on every other e-commerce site and buying them or adding them to their wish list. This wish list either exists within the e-commerce website or outside on Social Wishlists shared with other users. However, there is no way to merge the two without getting into complicated API and data sharing.

Whats the Solution?

The fact remains that the user still searches. And he/ she searches on multiple websites multiple times to get to his / her goal. The idea should not be to create a curated list and increase the search pool thereby increasing the time between Decision and Spending. The smarter way is to enable the user to search multiple sites at the same time in a Tagged, Categorised, E-Commerce environment and then lead them to the correct product, thus reducing the length of the chain.

Social shopping are actually increasing the browsing time per product with repeated content and is going to slow down the process in the longer run. And a slower and longer process of buying can only hurt the business.