Knowing what I know now, I almost feel stupid writing this post. For years I would scour the forums in my dimly lit office searching for the secret to crafting a perfect Add To Cart button, and for years I was ultimately disappointed with my lack of findings on the net.
Let me take you back. In the early days, my first two or three online stores to be more specific, I would do what common sense told me was the right thing. I would create an add to cart button that would stand out on product pages. What’s wrong with that you ask? Nothing really… In fact that is the correct thing to do. But I shouldn’t have stopped there. I should have tested, and then tested again. The bottom line, I should have been making use of Multivariate & A/B Testing.
In internet marketing, multivariate testing is a process by which more than one component of a website may be tested in a live environment. It can be thought of in simple terms as numerous A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. A/B tests are usually performed to determine the better of two content variations, multivariate testing can theoretically test the effectiveness of limitless combinations.
I could blame feature lacking shopping cart platforms for not being compatible with services such as Google Website Optimizer, but the truth is the fault lies with me. I became comfortable with my Add To Cart buttons, and that could have been a critical error in increasing conversion rates. We’ll never know.
Fast forward a couple of years.
I’m more well rounded in my technical skills. I’m also a bit wiser perhaps and I know how to trigger a shopper’s emotional response. Now I do things the right way. For instance, when I’m researching new e-commerce platforms I make sure they have the ability to multivariate test. If they don’t I cross them off my list and keep moving. Why?! Because whether you have ten products or thousands of them you have to think clearly and keep evolving due to the fact that even the smallest and seemingly insignificant change to a product page can boost or drop conversion rates.
Back to the title of this blog post. The perfect add to cart button. Guess what… it doesn’t actually exist. Let me rephrase – the perfect one size fits all add to cart button does not exist. But here are a few tips to get you on the right path for the perfect button for YOUR site:
- Make it pop. Do what you have to do to make the button stand out from the rest of the page. If your site’s color scheme is blue for example, test with a red button. If there’s a lot of white space, use a drop shadow. Don’t be afraid to make your button look like it doesn’t belong on the page. After all, it’s supposed to stick out like a sore thumb so people notice it. If it blends with the rest of the site’s color scheme, it’s less likely to be noticed.
- Use “Add to Cart” instead of “Buy Now”. I’m sure there are such instances out there, but I can’t really think of a good time to use “Buy Now” as opposed to “Add to Cart” unless you only sell a single product. The problem with “Buy Now” in my opinion is that it says, If I click this button I’m done shopping even though I may want one or two more items. “Buy Now” also sounds more forceful and intimidating than “Add to Cart”. Think about how you trigger customers’ emotional responses.
- Rectangles aren’t necessary. Feel free to play with Ovals. Personally I’ve had Ovals convert higher on some sites.
- Make it big. Big enough so you are uncomfortable as a web designer, then go even bigger.
- Never stop testing. Those three words are so important that I have them printed out and read them every single day.
Remember – what works today may not work tomorrow in this business, so testing an ever evolving website such as an online store is a major key to success and the Add to Cart button is and always will be a factor of said success. Don’t let it consume you though, set up a few tests and let them run their course, then set up a few more and continue the cycle. There is no perfect Add to Cart button floating around on the net for your niche so you’ll have to put in the work and create it for yourself.Add To Cart, Buy Now