A shopping cart is a collection of selected products that the user can choose to add more products to or remove products from. Further, the user can choose to change the quantity of each product in the shopping cart, and is presented by a subtotal cost of his or her selected items plus shipping charges, VAT, etc. At any time, the user can choose to continue shopping or proceed to checkout – meaning to paying and ordering what is in the shopping cart.
Whenever a product is presented, a complimenting button lets the user add the respective product to the product cart. The cart can be expected at any time in detail by clicking on a “show cart” link.
When the user chooses to checkout, he is presented with a final list of items on the order, as well as options as to how he or she wants to pay (credit card, wire transfer or cash on delivery).
The shopping cart is a well known metaphor for shopping. The metaphor provides the user with the idea, that putting items in the shopping cart does not necessarily mean that he or she is buying those items, as they can be removed before checking out of the store. The shopping cart pattern allows the user to collect a number of items first in order to pay for them all at a later time. The checkout metaphor goes well with the shopping cart as this resembles how the process is at for instance a super market.
A shopping cart (left), permantent link to shopping cart (top right), and product description link to add to shopping cart (bottom right) at Ignition Skateshop.
At amazon.com, a miniature shopping cart is shown on some pages.
At amazon.com, there is a constant link to the users shopping cart at the top of the page.
When adding a product to your shopping cart at bathandbodyworks.com a the product page is shown in a modal box. For me, that was an incredibly disturbing experience - and very obtrusive.