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The Power of Mini Carts

Cart or bag. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the little icon sitting in the top right hand corner. On Desktop, a mini cart also known as a drawer that slides out, features your selection for a brief moment as you decide on whether to keep on shopping or to head on out to Checkout.

If you have a third party app such as BorderFree for international sales, you’ll run into this common issue due to their code requirements. All international Users must head to view their cart instead of going directly to the Checkout otherwise, the cart will not reflect the international currency. Having just the View Cart button in the mini cart seems rather redundant. This would mean that a User adds an item to the cart, views mini cart, sees the View Cart CTA, selects View Cart, is taken to the bigger Cart view and then has to select the Checkout CTA button before actually beginning the Checkout process. Sounds exhausting!

What if only 3% of your sales are International orders? What about the other 97% who must suffer the same fate? Thankfully, there is a simple UX fix for this in the mini cart.

  1. International IPs will only be able to see the View Cart button (the Checkout button is hidden)
  2. Domestic IPs will be able to view both the View Cart and the Checkout buttons.
The mini Cart aka the drawer that slides out.
The Cart

Now you are thinking, why do we even bother at all with a mini cart? Although it’s small, it’s not useless. Having a mini cart allows for the following flow of actions.

  1. Reassures the User that the selected item is successfully added to the Cart.
  2. Reveals the Order Sub-Total (pre-discounts, shipping and taxes)
  3. Allows a User to edit their Cart
  4. Gives a User the option to Checkout out or view the Cart if the CTAs are visible.

Now, what if you only sell domestically and just want to lead people into purchasing right away? Wouldn’t it be easier if Users just head to Checkout from the mini cart?

Well, that depends on your core customer base. In viewing several hundreds of User recordings across different brands, my experience has been that female customers prefer to load up their carts, view them in their carts and it’s not within the mini cart with tiny thumbnails. Females will review, edit, add, edit, and then perhaps purchase or ponder and come back at a later date. Savvy shoppers may leave to see if there is a better promo code to use, check if there is a better price out there or was just browsing in between commercials while watching their favorite show.


Published by coolfoodhunter

Designing through analytics and intuition.

One thought on “The Power of Mini Carts

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