Continue Shopping or Checkout?

Posted on May 19, 2018

The decision about whether to continue shopping or checkout is a choice consumers face every day when shopping online. Some retailers have "continue shopping" buttons and graphics. These graphics might have a little shopping cart on them.

Continue shopping button

Retailers like Amazon may even give you the option to "cancel and continue shopping" when you are in the middle of the checkout process. They don't really want you to cancel but they prefer it to having a frustrated shopper.

The use of the term "continue shopping" is actually a pretty clever phrase. Online retailers want you to check out and place your order. They don't want you to cancel just as you are about to checkout because this could lead to an abandoned shopping cart. Studies from Barilliance put shopping cart abandonment at 78.65% in 2017.

Giving you the choice to "continue shopping" is preferable to you leaving their store and going somewhere else. It is also similar to the physical store experience where you might tell a clerk you are "still shopping" when asked if you are ready to check out. If the retailer can keep you on the site they still might get you to purchase something. The "continue shopping" button or link helps keep the chances of a sale alive.

Many retailers will have a continue shopping link or button on the shopping cart page. You can remove items your cart, checkout or continue shopping. They may also have a continue shopping option after you place your order. This is wise because they would prefer you keeping buying more and more stuff. They don't really want you to leave their site and browse the web or shop at another store.

GetElastic has a collection of how multiple retailers use the "continue shopping" concept. Some retailers, like Walmart, will let you go back to the category you were shopping in previously. Retailers might also show you other products you can buy in a side window or a pull down tab.

The continue shopping concept came about as a way to make online shopping more like the real world shopping environment. It helps retailers reduce dreaded shopping cart abandonment. Online shoppers are now used to the idea of "continue shopping." They have been trained to look for some sort of option to get back to where they were before they clicked the checkout option. Retailers need to make sure they continue enabling consumers to continue shopping.

Image: Writers Write, Inc.

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