Request for the e-commerce shopping cart makers of the world 12 Sep 2005

29 comments Latest by Galen

E-Commerce shopping cart makers of the world, PLEASE include a picture of the product(s) I’m about to buy on the final confirmation screen before I place my order. When someone is at a real store they’re always in front of their product. It’s almost always in view. Online we see the product while we’re shopping, but when we’re about to lay our money down the product is reduced to a small product name on the checkout page (and sometimes just a cryptic product number). Sometimes we’re treated to a small thumbnail in the cart view, but it’s rare that the thumbnail is even displayed on the final checkout page. Come on, you can do better.

29 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Dan Boland 12 Sep 05

I think it’s one of the deals where no one is offering it because no one has demanded it. They figure if you put it in your shopping cart, you’ve already gone through the “should I buy it?” phase of the purchase. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to tack a thumbnail on the checkout screen, that’s just my off-the-cuff reasoning for why just about no one does it.

kmilden 12 Sep 05

Completely agree. If you can create a sidecar shopping cart that follows you around the site like apple or amazon with product images its even better.

We have found that not only will purchases be increased it will also decrease the amount of abandoned orders. I like to store the last items they added to their cart in a cookie so next time they visit the site their order is right there and they can add more to it or check out at any time.

One more tip! Do not try to reinvent the wheel with e-commerece. There is a certain recipe to creating a shopping experience that people enjoy using over and over again and if you try to change the process or flow you could seriously effect your sales if you don’t know what you are doing.

Sales aren’t so good? Try labeling the store features better, let them know where they should go or what they should do next. Read “Defensive Design for the Web” if you need to know what to do and not to do…

mark rushworth 12 Sep 05

err that doesnt make sence, perhaps we should have a scrolling marquee of all the items purchased accompanied by a BEEP - i think people using the net to shop are used to a reciept style ordering interface, it keeps the process quick and from a venddors point of view, stops them changing their minds!

Rene Visco 12 Sep 05

I agree. How about configuring os commerce (open source e-commerce software) to show a small or medium sized thumbail on its checkout page? So that, the web developers will “adopt” this great idea and start implementing it!

I found os commerce to be easily adapted, but sorely lacking in CSS/themes diversity.

Rene Visco 12 Sep 05

I agree. How about configuring os commerce (open source e-commerce software) to show a small or medium sized thumbail on its checkout page? So that, the web developers will “adopt” this great idea and start implementing it!

I found os commerce to be easily adapted, but sorely lacking in CSS/themes diversity.

Steve 12 Sep 05

It’s a pretty simple concept which should be followed. It’s called a confirmation page for a reason. “Please confirm that you are buying the following” and include the pictures. Users will probably pay more attention, espeically the ones who are buying multiple items because they will have to scroll to click the final submit button.

The problem is that most ecommerce sites are using up all their real estate on other features, up-selling, cross-selling, newsletter signups, etc. By the time there are confirming their order, you’ve got the sold, so lose the clutter!

Phentony CHing 12 Sep 05

Login and Try: Email me for password and login account,

Jamie 12 Sep 05

The more pictures you can display the better.

However one thing to consider is page load time. Serving images over SSL can impact that in a big way. Especially if you have a popular commerce site. But I agree, showing images at this last step before submitting the order would be ideal.

David 12 Sep 05

and just who do you think maintains the correct pictures for all these products. The suppliers and manufacturers certainly don’t. We have over 50,000 products in our online catalog and do not offer pictures because we do not have staff to do the suppliers and manufacturers job.

When the manufacturers get their act together then it may change.

Mathew Patterson 12 Sep 05

When the manufacturers get their act together then it may change

Not if they don’t feel the pain - why should they get their act together if nobody has shown them any advantage to doing things differently.

What is their impetus to offer photos? (A genuine question!)

Steve F. 12 Sep 05

Remember that not all e-commerce is few-items shopping. Online grocery for example; do you want to see each and every can of soup you selected?

In all things, moderation.


Christopher Fahey 12 Sep 05

stops them changing their minds!

Ha, yes! The dark underbelly of e-commerce: kill any helpful feature that assists a user in such a way that it decreases the likelihood of buying — even if it’s something that helps them stop themselves from buying something they don’t want. Sad but true.

Jorn Mineur 12 Sep 05

Personally, I prefer a small order review page without pictures.

Mark 12 Sep 05

Anybody know of a good, solid standards-based e-commerce solution?

Rimantas 12 Sep 05

I see no use in it. In the real store I also do not stare at the goods
when I pay money. I guess such feature for me would be more a disgtraction than help…

Jason Seeber 12 Sep 05

Yipee! Our next ecommerce site does this… and in an original way. Ajax with Ruby/Rails RULES!

Martin 12 Sep 05

The difference to a real store is the absense of physical experience. You put it into your real cart, it will stay there. With the internet, there are doubts, especially with ma & pa type people.

I chose something some minutes ago, did the computer thing really put the right thing in my cart?

With images, checking this is easier than with a pure text list. Look at Delicious Library. One of its best features is that you can easily scan the items by their look, not only by name.

Seeing the items assures the customer and thous raises the likelyhood to close the deal. I think this though has some validity.

As to David: The article was about shops that have images and show them during the selection phase but not on the confirmation page. If you don’t have images, you obviously can’t show them.

David 12 Sep 05

But Martin, the images on some sites are wrong. The manufacturers supply the incorrect images, the suppliers send the wrong ones as well, just because an image pops up, confidence is not warranted during checkout.

Its all because the databases behind these systems are faulty, badly designed, no primary keys, no check constraints etc. Its typical of the haphazard, don’t care, attitude of manufacturers and suppliers, they have too many customers, so no care is taken.

Until worldwide rigorous standards are adopted for all this product info, there is no justification for confidence with image display.

Jamie 13 Sep 05

Dan, actually you’re incorrect. Gap (like other sites) don’t display images at the Order Confirmation. Probably because of SSL issues as I’ve stated above.

Martin 13 Sep 05

If the wrong image is displayed, that’s bad. But it will also be wrong on the selection state, so it does not make things worse, when it is still wrong on the confirmation page. It is still consitent with what the user saw earlier.

But it is a shame really, that the input data is in such a bad shape. It does work for paper catalogues, it should work for electronic ones as well.

Martin 13 Sep 05

David, I just realised one thing: You say you do not show images, because they are often incorrect. No problem with that, looks like a good decision. But it also not the thing the article aims at.

It just says: IF you show images of a product in the selection step, ALSO show it on the checkout page.

Joe Rawlinson 13 Sep 05

I’d agree with some others’ comments that a picture isn’t always necessary. However, you need enough information for the customer to verify at a glance they are indeed buying what they think they are. Sometimes a picture will meet that need.

Don’t give customers the excuse to abandon your site in favor of another. Help them fell confident they are buying what they chose and will be getting what they ordered.

Josh 13 Sep 05

Someone just posted something about this, titled “Getting Real: Forget Feature Requests.”

Steph Mineart 07 Oct 05

I think the problem is (no excuse of course) that the software package that runs the ecommerce is often disconnected from the software that runs the catalog/browsing portion of the site. Using separate databases and connected to different divisions of departments (sales vs. distribution) for large companies, and out of the box commerceware for small ones, they just aren’t capable of passing images back and forth.

Josh B 26 Oct 05

SiteThat is a complete E-commerce system. SiteThat software is designed specifically for the creation, publication and management of content used on the website.

Galen 05 Jan 06

I would love to know if anyone can recommend a standards-compliant, CSS-based, simple customisable shopping cart system. I find systems such as OSCommerce and CubeCart to be so cumbersome and they all look the same. I’d love a system that can be easily customised as I’m really not keen to keep reinventing the wheel so to speak…. Cheers, Galen.