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"Buy" or "Add to Cart"

What's best for conversions........

     
2:44 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi

I currently have a 'Buy' button on my product pages but was thinking of experimenting with either "Buy Now" or "Add to Basket" (I'm in UK). Anyone have any experience of using different buttons for this - any difference in conversion rate?..... I notice amazon / B&N, Walmart, cdwow.com etc prefer "Add to Cart"..

Miam

2:52 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A call to action (Buy Now) is traditionally thought to be more apt to cause a person to perform an action, but it is always best to test and see which performs better for your site.
3:30 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Add to cart" should be used if you're actually adding something to the cart. It's standard and people are familiar with the terminology.

But like hannamyluv said, test it and see which works best for you.

3:34 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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In the UK, carts are called trolleys, so the allusion to the offline world is lost to the UK market when you talk about adding to a cart. As you mention, the use of the word "basket" rather than "trolley" is much more favored (or favoured!) on UK sites anyway.

"Buy" means buy anywhere where English is spoken, and it is a simple and effective call to action.

4:00 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>the use of the word "basket" rather than "trolley" is much more favored (or favoured!) on UK sites anyway.

interesting point, do you have anything to back this up with?
we use the word cart on all uk sites and everyone seems to know what we are talking about, although we do have visual clues eg an icon of a shopping basket.

same with store, although in uk the term is shop, i just feel that the word store is clearly understood and accepted online

4:58 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>the use of the word "basket" rather than "trolley" is much more favored (or favoured!) on UK sites anyway.

interesting point, do you have anything to back this up with?

I've done some usability testing with this on customers that were fairly new to ecommerce. Although all users figured out what "Add to cart" meant, "Add to basket" was preferred. The word "basket" has immediate meaning to UK shoppers - the word "cart" is almost never used in the context of "real world" shopping in the UK.

In the same way that I'd never ask a UK customer to pick a "color", I'd never require them to "Add to cart".

5:06 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Good advice. I glanced over the "I'm in the UK" part.

I only use "Buy Now" on pages (promo pages, emails, content links, etc.) that lead to the page where you can add the item to the cart/basket/trolley.

5:16 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'd always go for "Order Now" and I am based in the UK.

Shak

7:02 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Buy now - you cant misunderstand it anywhere.
8:11 pm on Nov 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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But if you add it to the cart, you're not really 'buy(ing) now'.

Most of the orders on my sites average more than 3 line items per order.

IMO- 'Buy now' and 'add to cart' are two different actions.

12:25 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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IMO- 'Buy now' and 'add to cart' are two different actions

I agree. The phrase "buy now" implies that the sale will be completed right away - i.e. it will take the user to the start of the checkout procedure.

There's nothing wrong with the shopping basket/cart metaphor, as long as you're consistent and give visual clues where appropriate.

4:18 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I actually have a pretty strong opinion about this.
The classic and time-tested sales technique by far is to invite people in for a free no-obligation presentation, get them nice and comfy, and then close them later on. It's the 'soft sell'.

Buyers need to feel safe and disarmed. So many of them are first-timers, semi-Luddites, a little scared of the Net, of compromising financial data privacy and intimidated by the whole online shopping process generally. 'Buy Now' is a glaring commitment, an abrupt leap of faith. It can spook them.

If they can play, and freely 'Add to Cart' without fear, it draws them in. They build familiarity with your site's shopping experience and how things work, at the same time developing consumer lust for all your goods they've been piling into the cart. Let 'em shop, let 'em browse, let 'em play. Let them weave their own webby trap before the kill - I mean the close. Bwaaahh ha ha

Hands down, my vote is for the 'Add to Cart' or 'UPDATE CART' plus 'CHECKOUT' combo.

7:54 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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luckychucky makes a good point .... I've often clicked "Add to cart" even when I wasn't quite ready to buy. I generally end up buying *something* once I start adding to my cart, but yeah, "Buy now" definitely feels like more of a commitment than "add to cart."

On some sites, where I can't find any easy way to keep track of different items and compare them, I add everything to my cart that I might interested in, then look at the cart to see a nice organized list of product, price, specs, etc. Other times I know exactly what I want, I go directly to that item, and I look for the "Buy Now" button.

Ideally, I'd think you might want to have both: a "Buy Now" button, that takes you directly to checkout, to grab those impulse shoppers who might not buy if they have time to think about it (and also those who know what they want and they want it NOW by golly!), as well as an "Add To Cart" button for those who are maybe thinking about buying but not ready to check out yet. As Robino pointed out, they are two different actions, and having two buttons gives the user the choice of which they want to do.

9:36 pm on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I over heard a conversation at work today - two women not technical in any sense were discussing various sites.

Along comes the button bit it would appear that hey prefer to use 'Add to basket' the other one wasnt sure of the meaning of add to cart.

Strange but true.

10:37 am on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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good thread! Amazon seems to have combined the two with a "Are You Ready To Buy?" Just above the "Add to Cart/Basket" Button. Is this a good combination of the two i.e. feeling of 'commitment' from "Ready to Buy?" but also softer "Add to Cart/Basket" knowing that you are not going to immediately get thrown into the checkout but can browse at leisure.

A supplementary question..... If a site has a button "Add to Cart/Basket" and the user clicks, what next? A new page bringing up the Shopping Basket? (with an option to "Continue Shopping"?) A dialog box stating "#*$!x has been added to your basket"? and remain on same product page? or straight to checkout page....?

What's best for encouraging adding multiple items to basket before checking out......?

12:30 pm on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Miammiam, my experience as a shopper is that Add to Cart (or to 'Basket', or whatever) sends products to your cart behind the scenes, maintaining you on the one-track course of smoothly un-interrupted shopping. Only when you eventually click to say you're ready to View Cart or Checkout, do you detour to see your product selection overview and the tab you've been running up.

More well-designed sites (oh, like mine..) keep a little window in the right or left column running on all pages, which displays a shorthand summary of the cart/basket's progress.