Add To Cart (ATC): E-Commerce Explained

Discover the ins and outs of Add To Cart (ATC) in e-commerce with our comprehensive guide.

Understanding the Add To Cart (ATC) Process

The ATC process is a fundamental step in e-commerce that allows customers to purchase products online. It starts when a customer finds a product on an e-commerce website that they want to buy. This could be through browsing categories or searching for a specific item. Once they find the product, they typically land on the product page that displays details such as the product name, price, description, and images. At this point, the customer decides whether they want to buy the product or not.

If they decide to buy, the next step is to add the product to the shopping cart using the ATC button. Clicking the button triggers a series of behind-the-scenes actions that add the product and its details to the cart. The customer can then continue shopping or proceed to checkout. If they continue shopping, they can add more products to the cart and repeat the process.

One of the benefits of the ATC process is that it allows customers to compare products and prices easily. They can add multiple products to their cart and compare them side by side, making an informed decision about which product to buy.

The Importance of ATC in E-Commerce

The ATC process is crucial for e-commerce businesses for several reasons. First, it facilitates the purchase of products by making it easy for customers to add products to their virtual shopping cart. This means that customers can buy more products, increasing sales for the e-commerce business. Additionally, the ATC process allows businesses to track customer behavior, analyze buying patterns, and make data-driven decisions based on this information.

Moreover, the ATC process is an essential part of the customer journey. It is the point at which a customer transitions from browsing to actively considering a purchase. A well-designed ATC button can encourage customers to add products to their cart and increase the chances of them completing the purchase.

How ATC Works: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here are the steps that occur when a customer clicks the ATC button:

  1. The product is added to the virtual shopping cart, which stores all the products that a customer has added during their shopping session.
  2. A summary of the cart appears, which shows the total cost of the items including taxes, shipping, and any discounts applied.
  3. The customer can proceed to checkout, which takes them to a page where they enter their shipping and payment details.
  4. Once the customer completes the checkout process, the e-commerce business fulfills the order by packaging and shipping the product, and updates the customer on the status of the delivery.

The ATC process is a crucial part of the customer journey, and it's essential to get it right. A well-designed ATC button that is easy to find, visually appealing, and functional can make a big difference in the customer's experience.

Common ATC Features and Functions

Most ATC buttons have several features and functions that make the process more efficient and user-friendly. These include:

  • Quantity selector: allows customers to choose how many of a product they want to buy. This feature is especially useful for products that customers may want to buy in bulk, such as office supplies or groceries.
  • Variant selector: lets customers choose different variants of a product, such as color or size. This feature is particularly important for products that come in different options, such as clothing or electronics.
  • Save for later: enables customers to save a product to their wish list for future purchase. This feature is useful for customers who may not be ready to buy a product yet but want to keep it on their radar.
  • Delete item: allows customers to remove a product from their shopping cart. This feature is essential for customers who may accidentally add the wrong product to their cart or change their mind about a purchase.

Overall, the ATC process is a critical component of e-commerce, and it's essential to get it right. By understanding how it works and incorporating common features and functions, businesses can make the process more efficient and user-friendly, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

Designing an Effective ATC System

Designing an effective ATC system requires careful consideration of user interface and user experience principles, mobile optimization, and integration with other e-commerce tools.

User Interface and User Experience Considerations

The ATC button should be prominently displayed on the product page, and it should be easy to find and click. The button should also be visually appealing and stand out from the rest of the page. Additionally, the shopping cart should be easily accessible, and its contents should be easy to understand.

Mobile Optimization for ATC

With the rise of mobile shopping, optimizing the ATC process for mobile devices is critical. This includes designing the ATC button to be mobile-friendly and ensuring that the shopping cart is easy to access and navigate on a small screen.

Integrating ATC with Other E-Commerce Tools

The ATC process should be seamlessly integrated with other e-commerce tools such as inventory management, shipping, and payment processing. This ensures a smooth buying experience for the customer and reduces the workload for the e-commerce business.

Enhancing the ATC Experience

Personalization, product recommendations, streamlined checkout, and promotional offers are all ways to enhance the ATC experience and drive customer loyalty.

Personalization and Product Recommendations

Using data analytics, businesses can personalize the buying experience for customers by making product recommendations based on their past behavior. This not only enhances the ATC process but also increases the chances of a repeat purchase.

Streamlining the Checkout Process

Streamlining the checkout process by reducing the number of steps required, simplifying forms, and offering guest checkout options increases the chances of successful conversions and reduces cart abandonment rates.

Implementing Discounts and Promotions

Offering discounts and promotions such as free shipping, bundle deals, or limited-time offers can incentivize customers to complete their purchase and add more products to their cart.

Analyzing and Optimizing ATC Performance

Measuring ATC performance using key performance indicators (KPIs) and A/B testing is critical to improving the process and increasing sales.

Key Performance Indicators for ATC

The following KPIs are vital for understanding ATC performance:

  • Add-to-cart rate: the percentage of visitors who add products to their cart.
  • Cart abandonment rate: the percentage of visitors who leave the cart without completing the checkout process.
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who complete the checkout process and make a purchase.
  • Revenue per visitor: the total revenue generated by the e-commerce business divided by the number of visitors.

A/B Testing and Data-Driven Improvements

Using A/B testing to experiment with different ATC designs or copy, and making data-driven improvements based on the results can significantly improve ATC performance and positively impact sales.

Addressing Common ATC Challenges and Issues

Common ATC challenges and issues include cart abandonment, technical glitches, and inventory management. Addressing these issues through proactive measures such as offering incentives to complete the checkout process or implementing better inventory management tools can help improve the overall ATC process and drive more sales.


The Add To Cart (ATC) process is a crucial part of the e-commerce purchasing journey. Properly designing, optimizing, and enhancing the ATC experience can drive sales, increase customer loyalty, and positively impact the bottom line of an e-commerce business. By continually analyzing and improving the ATC process, online stores can stay ahead of the competition and build a successful e-commerce platform.

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