So the two main calls of action to direct someone to paying, that come to mind for me are

  • View Cart
  • Checkout / Check Out

I guess you could many other variations like order now, pay here, etc. But for best conversions, its my belief to stick with what people are familiar with. Those are the most popular two I can think of.

So they are two different pages however. One is a page where you can view, edit, delete items in your cart, the other is where you enter your shipping and payment info.

The main call of action to start the payment process is usually in the top right corner. This is where people expect it to be, so its probably the best place for it. It will usually say how many items you have in your cart, and contain a call of action such as "view cart". But what if the visitor just wants to check out? Will they know they have to view cart first?

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My process is this: I managed to have the edit/delete cart items on the same page as the shipping and payment page, i.e. just one page, one step, one process. As the top right area, contains items in the cart, I think View Cart is an apt label for the link to the next step.

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However, these days when you add to the cart, it is done in ajax, so no page refresh, however you need some client side notification to let the visitor know the item has been added. So perhaps a popup, saying you have added the item to the cart. Then a link with the text "Check Out Now".

1 Answer 1


I think you are on the right track, but I think it is quite standard - even maybe a best practice - for the user to be presented with the contents of their cart before checking out... it's a sensible last step in case they want to verify their purchases, update or change anything, etc. since going into the payment flow for many sites actually takes you OFF the main shopping site and into a different flow that is harder to break out of.

Therefore, I think having the flow work like this makes sense (all wording is for argument only, I am not a copywriter):

  • The user clicks the control, whether that is View Cart from the top nav bar or Checkout from a just-added-item popup

  • The full cart listing is displayed with options to do final updates, as well as both a big "Checkout Now" button and a "Continue Shopping" link if they aren't ready to check out (that's optional, depending on your site, structure, and where you want to place the user)

  • Upon clicking "Checkout Now" the user is taken into the payment flow; otherwise, they go back to shopping or can edit their cart.

This is a pretty common way to do it, and it sounds as if that's the way you are going. I've seen many examples in which the user clicks "Add Item to Cart" from a specific item page and just a small notification pops up near the shopping cart icon - or elsewhere on the page, but NOT a large item that interrupts the primary experience of the user - saying "Item added," with a checkout or View Cart button... but if ignored by the user for X seconds, the popup fades away.

A non-obstructive notification does seem like the smoothest way to let people know their item was added. Does that answer your question? I am not 100% sure of what you were asking, so I took a shot.

  • 1
    Mattynabib's answer is spot on, I'd just like to add that you can use something like a toast message to explain that the item has been added, and present the message near the cart to make the correlation. Toast messages are, by design, unintrusive and automatically dismissed after a while, so they will not interrupt the flow. Nov 8, 2016 at 13:44

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