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Why we do not recommend removing the shopping cart icon

Shopping Cart Icon

Occasionally we are asked to remove the shopping cart icon from the header of an e-commerce website. Some clients just don’t like the way it looks, others find it confusing. The truth is that the shopping cart icon is hugely important. If you have an e-commerce website, the shopping cart icon needs to be available on every page. In this article below we do our best to explain why.

Shopping cart icons provide consistency

The cart icon is a key visual element that helps customers know instantly that this website offers e-commerce functionality. Those who are familiar with purchasing things online will expect to see it. If they don’t see it, they may get confused.

They improve ease of use

It isn’t always possible to complete a purchase in a single sitting. The user might get interrupted, or decide to look at something else on the site. A shopping cart icon visible from every page makes it easy for the purchaser to get back to where they left off quickly and easily. If the shopping cart isn’t visible and they can’t get back, they may give up and leave. If they don’t leave, they’ll have to start all over. If they don’t notice that there is already something in their cart, they may end up paying twice. 

None of these outcomes is as good as simply being able to pick up where they left off by clicking the cart icon.

The icon can provide validation

To purchase a product online, the first step is to add it to the shopping cart. Users have a sense of control when they receive clear feedback from the shopping cart icon after each step is completed. For example, as soon as they add an item to the cart, a number can appear indicating that something has been added. 

If this confirmation is not present, users may feel compelled to double check and make sure that the add-to-cart action was completed successfully. This can become quite annoying, especially if the user is used to it working the same way on other websites.

What you lose by removing It

Clients occasionally ask, “Well, if I have a link in the navigation to the cart, do I really need the cart icon to remain in the header?” The answer is, “Absolutely!” While having a text link to the cart in the main navigation is better than nothing, it’s not as easy to find as a cart icon in the header. The golden rule in e-commerce is never to put any unnecessary barrier between the customer and a completed transaction. Removing the icon can be a barrier to completing the transaction.

Why the shopping cart icon is a critical asset to any e-commerce website

A shopping cart icon, visible on every page of your website, provides your customers with consistency, easy of use, and validation. Removing the icon makes it harder for a customer to confirm the contents of their cart and ultimately complete their transaction. The purpose of the website is to make things easier for the customer. Removing such an integral part of the shopping process is bound to cause confusion and reduce the number of purchases made.

If you have any questions about your WordPress e-Commerce website give us a call at (518) 392-0846 or email [email protected]. And if you’re interested in our services, visit our Website Design and Development Services page.

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