The importance of the cart page

It’s always a good idea to step back from our daily lives and the flood of information we are faced with to try and see the big picture.

To all you Yahoo! Store merchants and other pure Internet-only e-tailers, remember the following:

  • Visitors use the main search engines as their homepages. They will search for your products and land deep in your site, bypassing your homepage. They will even type in your domain name into the search box rather than type it directly into the browser. Anyway, your homepage is still important, but a huge percentage of visitors will never see it.
  • But did you know that your cart page is hot on the heels of your homepage in terms of pageviews? Most likely, your cart page will rank in the top 10 pageview-wise and in some cases it may be the most viewed page in your site!

So, what does this mean? Well, to me it means that:

  • Visitors should be able to find any information on any page they land on. Have a clear product nav, links to helper pages (About us, shipping info, etc), a site search box on every page.
  • How incredibly important the cart page is! This is perhaps stating the obvious, but how much time are you spending designing, tweaking, testing, improving the cart page and the checkout pages? Since every transaction has to go through the cart page, any improvement here will have a direct impact on moving the needle in the right direction.

Even if your e-commerce provider does not give you complete design-freedom for your cart and checkout pages, there is still a ton of stuff you can test.