In order to achieve optimum sales, you need to understand the needs and nuances of your target customers to create their perfect shopping experience, and then apply the following best practices of shopping-cart design.
1. Customers like to Add to Cart - not buy!
"Buy buttons" can place too much demand on customers, most of whom like to browse before committing to something they fancy buying. An "Add to cart" button gives customers the chance to simply place these types of items in their cart rather than try and find them again if they do decide they want them. Many customers will also put lots of items in their cart and, depending on budget, may choose to put some back when they've finished browsing. However, those customers who have thoroughly enjoyed the shopping experience you provided - may well choose to buy them all.
2. Don’t Redirect To Cart
Never redirect customers to their shopping cart when they add a new item. Simply show them a message that tells them their choice has been added to their cart, and allow them to continue browsing until they're ready to buy!
3. Product Suggestions Distract
Don't confuse customers by suggesting additional products when they've added something to their cart, as this may well distract. Sure, everyone probably has another sale hidden, but the trick to that is having your shop laid out in such a way that they'll see these type of products whilst browsing.
4. Show Them Any Savings
We all like a bargain, so make sure the "Was" and "Now" prices are clearly shown. If offers are on only for a short time, it is also a great idea to remind customers how much money they will save by buying now when they click on their cart - as this can close a sale!
5. Clear Shipping Information
Most of us weigh-up the time and cost of going to the shops to buy something against how much having a product costs to ship and how quickly it will be shipped. Customers like to see their options clearly so they can make that comparison - whilst FREE delivery seals a lot of deals! Meanwhile, there is no bigger way of losing a sale than getting customers all excited about a product - then springing a massive delivery charge on them just before they press buy.
6. Wish List
Many of us can't afford to buy everything we want all at once, so allowing customers to set up a "Wish List" on your website gives them something to save for. They're also much more likely to bond with your brand if you offer this feature.
7. Keep Forms Short
Short simple forms allow encourage quick checkouts - need I say more!