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We are creating an ecommerce site. Like all most, we display all our products in a grid form. Our PM suggested we have "add to cart" right under the product image so customers can quickly add items to cart. He said this would increase conversion rate cause he read it some where.

I've checked out many websites and most do not have something like this. Even giants like ebay, amazon, alibaba.

so something similar to this?

My question is does having "add to cart in the product page actually help conversion rate?

  • Questions like these MUST be A/B tested, imo. No other way to know for sure. The more expensive an item is, the less likely I'd expect the button to be used, however. – HC_ Mar 5 '16 at 0:31
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This is a bad idea because:

  1. Add visual clutter when you don't need it
  2. Users click into product details before buying because they require more information then just the name and image
  3. What if products had options, this wouldn't work

I've worked on ecommerce long enough to know that the three thoughts are enough not to add buttons on the product category page!

So no, it won't help because users click into the product details page regardless to make purchases. Unless, of course, this is a list of older products for potential repurchase.

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It might increase conversion in terms of adding to cart, but it might not translate to increase sales (the real conversion you want). Your product quality, customer service and providing the right product information to your customer is what will convince them to buy.

There is simply not enough information in the product listing page to decide if the product is worthy of buying. Because the image is too small, no reviews, no product info, etc.

Furthermore, having so many CTAs in a page will make it visually distracting.

An alternative is using hover states to show the CTA. Or preview the product in a lightbox so the user can see more detail and add to cart. This also allows them to keep browsing for products.

Finally, as mentioned by adamsoh, there are some instances CTA in product listing page makes sense. It allows users who do not need to see or judge a product (because they are already familiar with it and bought it in your store or at many other places before) to add to cart and purchase quickly. Also, in cases where the cost of buying the wrong product is not too high.

  • Nice answer, very well thought out! At my first internship, the company used to put many USP's on their sales pages as possible. Yet when I removed most of them, conversions to the order page dropped, but the sales went up. Like you said, more conversions don't always cause more sales. – Max de Mooij Mar 6 '16 at 17:00
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I suppose if you have to buy the same item over and over again then it make sense to include an "add to cart" button for every item in the product list. I could see sites like this benefiting from this layout:

  • Grocery
  • Music (Itunes)
  • Little or no product detail
  • Low cost items

Most ecommerce sites show the "Add to cart" button in the detail page so that the users are encourage to read the description and terms (if any) of the product carefully. This also lessen the chance of them returning the goods because of impulse buying.

Personally I prefer to have the "Add to cart" button for every item in the product list. Just so that I can buy multiple items on the same page without having to navigate between the product detail page.

  • Seems the CTA makes sense for products the user already know and is buying automatically, like beer and soap. – Juan Lanus Mar 8 '16 at 20:56

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