What does Add to Cart (or Add to Basket) mean?

Adding items to your shopping cart is a key part of the online shopping experience. Let’s begin with a simple definition of what it means when you click “add to cart”.

Add to cart, sometimes referred to as “add to basket” or “add to bag”, is a feature on eCommerce sites which allows you to save products as you shop before completing the checkout process later. As a result, customers can enjoy a smoother shopping experience, enabling them to conveniently buy multiple items in a single transaction.

Monitoring your add to cart conversion rate is important for optimising overall online sales. This measures the percentage of website visitors who add at least one item to their cart.

What is the difference between Add to Cart and Buy Now?

It’s easy to confuse add to cart with similar checkout buttons like “buy now”. But there is an important difference in how they work:

  • Add to cart enables you to continue browsing and adding more products before paying. Your selected products remain temporarily reserved in your shopping cart.
  • Buy now typically takes you directly to checkout to immediately purchase that singular product.

So add to cart provides a more flexible shopping experience, while buy now encourages quicker one-off purchases.

How to calculate your eCommerce Add to Cart Rate

To measure your website’s add to cart rate:

  • Take the number of online sessions where a visitor adds to cart
  • Divide this by your total website sessions
  • Multiply the result by 100 to get a percentages

Monitoring this metric over time highlights trends and pinpoints issues. An improving add to cart rate suggests a smooth purchasing process that nurtures conversions. Whereas a declining rate could indicate problems with product pages or the overall shopping experience. Maximising add to cart conversions is crucial for reducing cart abandonment further down the line.

How to optimise your Add to Cart Rate Conversions (and how Taggstar can help!)

Improving your add to cart rate leads to higher conversion rates and greater revenue. Here are ideas to help:

  • Optimise product page design – Ensure add to cart buttons are clearly visible. Include sufficient product information like images, descriptions and reviews.
  • Improve site navigation – Make it easy to browse and find relevant products. Use menus, filters and site search to aid discovery.
  • Offer incentives and include threshold messaging  – Consider promotions like ‘Spend £X get Y% off’ to encourage larger basket sizes.
  • Implement social proof – Displaying messages like “Trending. 34 added to cart in the last hour” provides shoppers with confidence to buy. Solutions like Taggstar’s social proof messaging can deliver over 20% conversion rate uplifts.

Monitor your analytics dashboard to measure improvements over time. A/B test different ideas and double down on what converts best. This will steadily optimise your add to cart rate. Hopefully this article has explained the meaning of “add to cart” and why the feature is so popular for retailers.


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