Edited by

Andrea Ranieri Palma


E-commerce shopping cart: how to optimize it to increase your users' conversions

Optimize your e-commerce checkout process with industry best practices





1) Why optimize the cart and payment process of an ercommerce?

If we had to find a metaphor to best describe the impact of the payment process on the experience of a user who is a visitor to an ecommerce platform, we could compare it to a dinner at a restaurant where the moment of tasting the dessert is particularly incisive on our perception of the experience just lived, both in a positive and negative sense.

In the same way, the experience of a user on an ecommerce platform can take on a positive or negative connotation depending on the quality and immediacy that regulate the mode through which to make payment for the goods in which he is interested.

In this regard, it is particularly eloquent the statistic, detected during 2021, regarding the abandonment of carts, which is equivalent, on average, to 70% of the carts generated by user visitors of an ecommerce platform.

It's also a bit normal. As it happens in a physical store, it's one thing to expose products in the window and bring people inside to let them browse a bit, it's quite another thing to be able to convert the total traffic of people in a satisfactory volume of purchases made.

The latter, will always be equivalent to a percentage, large or small as the case may be, of the total traffic that the featured products have generated.

However, that doesn't mean your company can't take action to significantly increase the percentage of visitors who purchase your products.

2) Here's a list of five tips on how to optimize your e-commerce shopping cart to increase sales and limit abandonments.

2.1 Allow secure payments for all types of users

Not every visitor has the desire and time to complete the sign-up process for a website and/ or service. Sometimes they can get away with just a few clicks, using third-party authentication systems like Apple, Google or Facebook; other times, however, the sign-up process is a real deterrent to any desire to purchase.

In this regard, it is important to allow visitors to your e-commerce to complete the ordering process by relieving them of this tedious and mechanical process.

Some online payment systems, including giants Stripe, Paypal and Adyen provide very intuitive checkout processes that allow for secure and fast payments for all types of users, whether they already have an account or not.

In fact, users begin to evaluate security issues when they reach the most sensitive parts of a web page. In the case of online shoppers, this moment coincides with the moment of making a payment. It is therefore essential to show signs of trustworthiness during the buyer's journey. Here are some of the most used:

  • SSL certificate and mention of a secure shopping experience You could also make use of security software brands like Norton, McAfee, GeoTrust etc.
  • Logos of available payment options (and ideally payment certification, e.g."verified by Visa") - Reviews and mentions of other satisfactory shopping experiences
  • Explain the terms of use and data processing in accordance with the GDPR regulation in force

2.2 Ask only the information you need to purchase

Gather the information you absolutely need from the customer, eliminating all unnecessary steps and streamlining the process.

If you can, get a customer's email at the beginning of the process, as this is the only essential information you need to be able to follow up and market a product to them.

Each extra step costs the customer more time, making the experience less convenient and enjoyable. In addition, due to the recent increase in online scams and fraud, online shoppers are increasingly reluctant and cautious to provide personal information online.

So, removing steps and requests for non-essential information increases the perception of security and immediacy of the buying process.

2.3 Offer different shipping options

We've all been an online customer at least once, and we all retain particularly positive memories of the shopping experience when the goods arrived quickly and within expectations.

That's why, with the saturation of the online marketplace, it's increasingly important to differentiate your business from your competitors, or at least stay on top of your target consumer's needs. In this case, having multiple shipping and return options can be very beneficial in retaining existing customers and acquiring new ones.

Studyfinds that 56 percent of consumers were disappointed in the last holiday season due to difficulties with shipping.

Of that 56 percent, consumers listed major issues such as late shipments, high shipping costs, unfilled orders, wrong product shipped, unclear return policies and poor packaging as among the most common reasons at the root of their disappointment with the shopping process.

Clearly, having a well-executed shipping plan can have a big impact on the success of your ecommerce. As many small businesses know, every sale counts and satisfied consumers are much more likely to shop on the same portal again.

2.4 Optimize Checkout for Mobile DevicesIn

2021, 73% of all online purchases were made using a smartphone or mobile device.

That's certainly not a surprising statistic, considering the clear trend that has seen users' browsing time on mobile devices increase dramatically over the past two years, but it does quantify the importance of adjusting your checkout process for traffic that is most likely to convert their visits into purchases, increasing the profitability of your e-commerce portal.

2.5 The whole payment process in a single page (quick checkout)

Quick checkout consists of an ultra-fast payment form, usually designed for repeat customers, that reduces the number of fields to fill out to ensure a faster and more efficient payment process. Shipping, billing and payment information is sent to a private area of the site, making it simple and efficient for the customer.

However, as mentioned in point 1 (insert internal link), it's important to extend the quality of the quick checkout experience to visitors who don't already have an account on our e- commerce. This way you can be sure to minimize the percentage of abandoned carts, significantly increasing the value of your sales.

3) Optimized checkout examples and tips for measuring your progress

In order to have an idea of how an optimized checkout is structured, we can refer to the main ecommerce giants, such as Amazon, Nike, Zalando, which offer first-class shopping experiences, limiting to a minimum the information and clicks required from the user. In this regard, it is worth mentioning how carefully these companies remove unnecessary distractions during the buying process (navigation elements, such as navbar and footer, are often hidden) to maximize the chances of converting each visit into a purchase.

Our team recommends using tagging and traffic analysis tools such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Search Console in order to monitor the key health indicators of an ecommerce shopping experience. Here are some examples of useful metrics to define the health of your ecommerce:

  • Number of product pages visited per session
  • Average length of a shopping session
  • Number of pages visited per product category in each session - Session abandonment rate on payment page
  • Average monetary value of purchased
  • Average monetary value of abandoned carts
  • Conversion rate by products and categories


process of optimization of your ecommerce portal that we have described in the previous points is to be understood as a slow and steady process that uses the analysis and monitoring of traffic as a compass to correctly prioritize the interventions necessary to increase the conversion rate and decrease the rate of abandonment.

However, it's not easy to embark on this journey if you don't have the right resources, both temporal and human, needed to plan and implement optimizations and changes. If you're looking for someone who can support you during this long process, Fontoso's team is available to offer a free consultation on the health of your ecommerce in order to identify together the main areas of improvement to work on.