Shopping Cart Optimizer

Tablet & Desktop

The online shopping cart is a wonderful thing. It's made it possible to buy things we never would have been able to find before. It's opened up the world to small businesses and allowed them to compete with large companies. It's allowed us to buy things while sitting on the couch. That's all great.

Still, it has many faults. It's slow and clunky. If you want to compare the shipping costs of some special items, it can be a huge pain. If you have lots of items in it and change your mind about buying some, it's a long, frustrating process to find and remove them (and you probably won't want to add that many items the next time you shop).

The shopping cart optimizer is an elegant solution to these problems. But it goes beyond that. It invites users to change their shopping behavior and place larger orders.

1. Comparing Costs Using Existing Carts

To compare the total cost with and without certain items, the user must remove the items from the cart or add them to the 'save for later' section. The same holds true for comparing shipping costs. This is very labor-intensive and time-consuming.

The shopping cart optimizer helps the user compare shipping costs and total costs instantly by excluding or including items that are in the cart.

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2. Sorting

Items in existing carts are often listed in the order they were added. Suppose Mary is doing her holiday shopping at a major online retailer. She has many young nieces and nephews, and after an hour she has filled her cart with toys for them. Then, she can't remember whether or not she added something for her teenage nephew who loves music. She remembers seeing an album he might like, but doesn't remember the artist or title.

With the existing cart, Mary has to scroll through all of the items and scan each one to see if she has the album. This can take a long time—especially if the cart is paginated—and is very annoying.

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With the shopping cart optimizer, Mary can sort the items in her cart by category. In an instant, she can see whether or not she added anything in the 'Music' category.

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3. Search

If Mary has added two golf-related items to her crowded cart and wants to see how much they'll affect the total cost, she could use the cart optimizer to sort the items and then exclude them. But what if one of the items is a book about golf and is listed in the 'Books' category?

In this case, she can use the search feature to find the items. A moment after she's typed in at least part of a word, the cart optimizer brings matching items to the top of the list and highlights them. From there, she can exclude them to compare costs.

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The Effect on Retailers

This is very helpful for the user, but it's even better for the retailer. Dealing with situations such as Mary's has long been a pain point for users. Years of fussing with carts have left users a bit uneasy as they transition from the decision phase to the checkout phase of the purchase cycle. They want to make sure they have everything they need and nothing else. Until now, the best way for them to do this was by adding relatively few items so they could keep track of everything. Now, as they see that they have power over what's in the cart, they won't hesitate as much to add items to it.