Feb 27, 20196 min read

Sell More by Allowing Consumers to Skip Your Digital Shopping Cart.

Kristian Borglund headshot

by Kristian Borglund

Is a multi-step shopping cart the only option for consumers to complete a purchase in your online store? Ouch. You're losing sales. To increase your conversions, sell more and grow your business, you nowadays need to offer "express lanes". Here's how.

Just think about all the occasions you’ve been a consumer yourself – online or offline – when you knew exactly what you wanted to buy, yet you didn’t complete the purchase because it would take too long.

For example, you’ve probably had days when you arrived at the local supermarket late on a Friday afternoon to buy something quick, only to realise the cashier lines were as long as football fields, so you walked straight back out empty-handed. On other occasions, of course, you don’t mind cruising up and down the aisles in the store, adding new items to your cart and letting the whole shopping experience take as long as it takes.

“As an online merchant, you need to understand that your visitors are in very different states of mind as they come to your store. Some visitors come because they want to explore and discover different products. In those cases, the shopping cart experience is great. Others are there to buy a very specific product, and just want to pay and go, and might leave if they can’t get it done quickly,” says Arash Eftekhari, the product manager for Klarna’s Instant Shopping product; designed to meet the increasing demand for consumers to go from inspiration to shopping in one step, without redirects or pages of dreary registration requirements.

Inspiration – and decisions to buy – can happen anytime, anywhere.

“Let’s say they’ve made up their mind about buying from you, and start the buying process as they are waiting for the bus. Right there and then, the bus shows up. Will they have time to complete the purchase? Or will they think: ‘ I’ll have to do this later’? It’s a disservice to that person, and to your sales, if you don’t give them the option to complete the purchase instantly.”

What can this look like in practice? Here’s an example from the underwear fashion store CDLP.


Customers can either add these boxers to a shopping bag (the black button) or, if they feel ready to buy now, they can purchase right away (the pink button). If they click the pink button, this popup appears:


Once customers click again, the purchase is done. In this case, the whole purchase journey takes 5-6 seconds since there are no redirects to multi-step shopping carts involved. All the contact information is prefilled, making shoppers feel like “regulars” even if they haven’t bought from your store before. And if the shopper wants to change the payment or shipping options – which are prefilled based on preferences from previous purchases  – they can easily do so in just three or four additional seconds.

This smoooth shopping experience helps to alleviate the problem of shopping cart abandonment.

One-click purchase journeys also give you the opportunity to make the most of online social shopping. Let’s look into that.

Converting traffic from social media shoppers

A full 30 percent of consumers say they would make purchases via Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest or Twitter.

For example, every month more than 90 million accounts tap to reveal product tags in Instagram’s shopping posts.


So, consumers see something they like on social media, and a few seconds later they end up in your store to check the product out in more detail. When you allow them to go from inspiration to shopping in one step, there’s less friction, and we all know what that means:

Higher conversion rates.

If every inspired person, every time, has to go through your shopping cart to complete their buying intention, you’ll lose sales. What you are left with are higher cart abandonment numbers, and some site-visitors might experience that your store is anything but smoooth.

The cart abandonment problem

The average cart abandonment rate is 69.89 percent, according to Baymard Institute.

When the institute did a quantitative study of reasons for abandonment, they found that 34 percent dropped off because “the site wanted me to create an account”, and 26 percent because of “too long / complicated checkout process”. This is not where you want to end up.

The average US checkout flow contains 14.88 form fields that need to be filled out before the customer is done with the purchase.

“For most checkouts it’s possible to make a 20-60 percent reduction in the number of form elements shown to users during the default checkout flow,” the Baymard Institute concludes.

The number of form elements can – and should – be reduced even more than that to optimise conversion.

“Many merchants mistakenly believe that consumers have plenty of time and patience to go through many steps to complete the purchase. The result is not only a lost sale, but also a lost customer,” says Arash Eftekhari.

Providing a one-click purchase option is key for increasing revenue. And even if your particular shopping cart is easier to use than most online stores out there, you will still benefit from giving visitors the option to buy right away.

“If you have invested money and energy to get traffic to your store, you should make it easy for them to complete a purchase. You need to give the option of instant shopping. Let your customers decide.”

But what about upsales?

Aren’t there any downsides to adding a one-click purchase option to your online store? You might argue that it’s better to take all your customers through a shopping cart so that they are inspired to buy more, to continue shopping, to add other products to their purchase. That way the value of each transaction increases.

Doesn’t it?

Well, not if you look at the bigger picture, at how total revenue is affected.

“To calculate an accurate average order value, you should include all the orders that never happened because of a non-flexible checkout process,” says Arash Eftekhari.

Do you dare calculate your store’s average order value this way?

By complementing your shopping cart with a one-click buying option you optimise your store for completed purchases and increased revenue.