Shopping Cart Optimisation in Online Shops

optimise shopping caart
Author: Haydar Yuece // 9min

Before customers make a purchase in an online shop, they place the products in the shopping cart. This process is similar to stationary shopping in a supermarket and is familiar to the visitor in everyday life. For an online shop, the shopping cart is an elementary and at the same time critical component of the purchase, because it is the link between the product selection and the checkout. Since most shopping carts in online retail are abandoned, it is worth taking a closer look at the shopping cart. There is a lot of sales potential behind shopping cart optimisation.

What is the importance of the shopping cart for online shops?

The online shopping cart is used by the customer to save his products during the shopping process and thus makes the ordering process much easier. Here he or she can change quantities or sizes, add or remove products at any time. The order is not completed and generates revenue until the purchase is concluded via a button, such as “Order now”. With the help of cookies and session IDs, shopping carts are saved during a session or even beyond, with appropriate tracking, which makes the use and interaction with the online shopping cart comfortable for the customer.

For an online shop, the shopping cart is an important cornerstone of the ordering process and provides information on KPIs such as the Average Order Value (AOV), the Return Rate and the Conversion Rate. An essential criteria for a well-functioning shopping cart is user-friendly handling. This is based on the needs of the customers and should prevent them from abandoning the purchase at this point.

Reasons for shopping cart abandonment on the shopping cart page

The shopping cart is one of the critical moments in online shopping. It often marks the beginning of the checkout process and determines whether the customer will follow the order process and complete the purchase. If a shopping cart is abandoned on the shopping cart page, this can have various reasons. Besides personal reasons, there are often technical conditions and the design of the shopping cart. The following reasons can lead to a shopping cart abandonment:


  • unclear design and complex navigation
  • The shopping cart is used as a watch list
  • Login to a customer account does not work
  • It is not possible to order as a guest
  • Products cannot be deleted, reduced or added
  • The shopping cart is empty when leaving the page for a short time
  • Vouchers cannot be used
  • The shipping costs are not displayed or are too high
  • Desired or preferred payment methods are missing

These elements are part of the online shopping cart

A shopping cart is a combination of different elements that serve as orientation on the one hand and inform the customer on the other. It is important that an online shopping cart is designed in such a way to allow a clear overview at a glance. The most important elements of a shopping cart in an online shop include:


  • Place of checkout (shopping cart)
  • Product display (article type, article quantity, article price)
  • Availability (immediately, within 2-3 weeks, etc.)
  • Discount or rebate (strike prices, XY saved)
  • Voucher field (to enter a voucher code)
  • Expected delivery
  • Shipping costs
  • Total value (purchase value plus shipping costs incl. tax)
  • Button “Continue shopping” (option for a customer to continue shopping and the shopping cart remains saved)
  • Button “Checkout” (to proceed to the next order step)
  • Trusted seal (Trusted Shop, SSL encryption etc.)
  • Up- and cross-selling products (matching and complementary products to increase the shopping cart value)
  • Logos of the shipping service providers (pure information about selection options)
  • Logos of the payment methods (pure information about selection options)
  • Contact details (for contacting in case of complications or questions)


With a clear structure, clear communication of all important information and the building of trust, you ensure that the customer stays in the checkout and takes the next step to complete the purchase.

4 tips for shopping cart optimisation

Shop owners should never neglect the design of their online shop’s shopping cart, because it is the customer’s first point of contact in the ordering process and thus crucial for a successful purchase. In order to reduce shopping cart abandonment and offer the customer the best possible user experience, an optimised shopping cart is an essential element. With our 4 tips, your shopping cart can be made more attractive.

1. Implement detailed product display

The shopping cart is used by customers to save products they have selected and to get an overview before buying. Product images, product details and links to the product pages increase the informative content. They also offer the opportunity to take a closer look at the article and check its correctness. It should be possible to easily delete or reduce the number of articles at any time.

2. Clear visual and colour display

The customer has to know at any moment where to do what. For this reason, buttons should be clearly marked and labelled, for example, “Continue Shopping” and “Checkout”. A common visual and colour design supports handling. A rubbish bin symbol or an “X” allows product to be deleted with a single click. Strikethrough prices can be highlighted in red font colour and increase the value, while the green availability symbol makes a decisive impact on the purchase decision. A tick symbol can be a useful addition to the display.

3. Increase trust and transparency

Customers who fill the shopping cart want to know what they are about to find, at the latest when they open the page. When optimising the shopping cart, it is important to provide all the information that is relevant for the customer’s purchase decision. This includes shipping costs, the total amount, possible additional costs (e.g. duties), delivery conditions, delivery time and payment methods.

Around 50% of all customers have already abandoned a shopping cart because the shipping costs were too high. A minimum order value for an order free of shipping costs solves the problem in many cases and even leads to a higher shopping cart value. Furthermore, it can be helpful to show the customer how much is still missing until free shipping. If the difference is small, this encourages many to fill the shopping cart up to the minimum.

Trusted elements such as information about SSL-encrypted transmission, information about data protection and well-known seals also increase transparency and create trust.

Statistic shows 50% of all customers have already abandoned a shopping cart because of too high shipping costs

4. Offer customer support and live chat

If problems arise in the shopping cart, such as when redeeming a voucher, the customer should have the option to ask for help immediately so that the checkout is not abandoned in frustration. In addition to placing contact details, offering a live chat is a further way to improve the online shopping cart. Chat bots can be used here, which are also well received by consumers.

If the customer abandons the purchase in the online shopping cart after all…

Optimising the shopping cart increases purchase closures and thus boosts revenue. Nevertheless, there will always be shopping cart abandonments. In order to find the reasons, online merchants need to find out at which points they frequently happen and analyse which customer expectations are not met at that point. This will identify new potential for optimisation.

However, reasons for a shopping cart abandonment are diverse and complex. The Exit Intent Popups and abandoned cart emails from uptain provide an efficient solution when a shopping cart optimisation reaches its limits. The intelligent software automatically recognises when the shopping cart is abandoned and convinces shopping cart abandoners in a serious, personal and discrete way to continue shopping – of course 100% GDPR-compliant.

Recover shopping cart abandoners and never miss sales

Conclusion: Shopping cart optimisation is essential

The shopping cart is one of the most important elements for an online shop. Just like in the supermarket, only products that are potentially interesting for the customer end up here. This does not guarantee a purchase in any case. Unlike physical shopping carts, you have a wide range of optimisation measures for an online shopping cart, however. We have presented some of them to you in this article. However, always keep in mind that the reasons for shopping cart abandonment are wide-ranging. Complement your efforts with our intelligent solutions and also get the purchase abandoners back on board who want to abandon despite all optimisations.

  • Conversion Optimisation at the Checkout: 10 Tips

    The checkout takes a special role: It is the key step in the buying process and should therefore be designed with careful consideration. Online shops can reduce this last barrier before the purchase by implementing suitable optimisation measures. With these 10 tips, you can optimise your checkout process so that visitors become customers more easily.

    To the Blog Post
  • FEYDOM increases Conversion Rate by +25% with uptain

    Compared to other products, the traffic for suppliers of high-priced sofas is rather low. For this reason, visitors should be optimally supported in the buying process and ideally be motivated to make a purchase. The results: 25 % Conversion Rate increase since uptain, 40% Conversion Rate for abandoned cart emails, 15% Conversion Rate for exit-intent popups.

    To the Success Story
  • 8 Effective Methods To Increase Shopping Cart & Order Values

    There is significant untapped sales potential for your online shop in the shopping basket. Use these existing potentials and increase the shopping basket value. The fact that these optimisations pay off in the long term is directly reflected in the increase in turnover and profit. We show you the best way to proceed!

    To the Blog Post
  • Ready to talk to our experts? Get in touch!

    individual webdemo

    free consultation

    without obligation