Add to Cart OR Buy Now?

call-to-action-add-to-cart-or-buy-nowWhat should websites that sell online use as call to actions on the product pages in order to attract more clicks on “action” buttons? Add to cart OR Buy Now ? Which do you think is better?

If you look at what top etailers are using as text on the action buttons (thanks to ) you will find it obvious that the right call to action to be used on this type of buttons should be Add to Cart.

Button Text Button Graphics
Add to Cart 58.0% None 48.2%
Add to Bag 9.8% Arrows 17.9%
Add to Shopping Bag 9.8% Cart 14.3%
Add to Basket 6.3% Shopping Bag 7.1%
Add to Shopping Cart 4.5% Plus Sign 5.4%
Buy 2.7% Combo 4.5%
Buy Now 1.8% Unique 1.8%
Add Item(s) to Cart 1.8%
Add Item(s) to Bag 0.9%
Add to My Bag 0.9%
Add to My Brown Bag 0.9%
Add to My Shopping Cart 0.9%
Order Now 0.9%
Source: Get Elastic-The Ecommerce Blog

But, like any other elements of your website (and especially with call to actions), it will be better if this button can look/display different texts based on your business rules and customers’ expectations. It should persuade them to take different actions in different places based on your business objectives.

Let’s analyze a little bit more in detail on this two call to actions.

Add to Cart

  • It somehow impliest that the buying process does not starts by clicking on the button
  • It is not very imperative
  • It creates the subliminal idea of a cart (you don’t use a shopping cart to buy one product)

add to cart


Buy Now

  • It’s very strong and imperative
  • It suggests that once you click on it you will start the checkout process
  • It suggests somehow an emergency

buy now buttonMy suggestion is to display both of them, one at a time, depending on your business objectives:

1. If you wish to increase your average items per order, use the “Add to Cart” button.
2. Analyze your average order value, also. Does the visitor meet your desired value? If so, make him start the checkout process by switching to a Buy Now button.
3. If you have a reliable data about your average order size and for years that number was 1.1 items/order you should use Buy Now and not Add to Cart.

In the next post I will give a great tip for those trying to improve the conversion rates of their websites about dynamic buttons’ text (changing the text button on the fly), so stay tuned.

Pitstop Media offers ROI based internet marketing services such as landing page testing services and conversion rate optimization services. Our A/B and multivariate tests have helped companies increase conversion rates by as much as 75%. Let us increase your conversion rates, too!

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Traian is Director of Search Marketing at Pitstop Media Inc. He has more than 11 years experience in helping small and medium businesses generate and convert organic traffic from search engines. Connect with Traian on Google+. He is also the author of the Ecommerce SEO book.


One Response to “Add to Cart OR Buy Now?”

  1. Top 5 Content Writing Strategies To Secure Conversions said:

    Oct 23, 12 at 7:50 am

    […] you’re ready to convert organic traffic into whatever form you want? Calls to action are a quick way to move prospects throughout your sales funnel. You could be burning your bandwidth […]