Ecommerce commentary

Elevating Shopify’s cart functionality with bl!nk

May 2024

In the competitive world of ecommerce, every second and every click matters. While Shopify stands as a leading platform due to its robust backend capabilities, many businesses find its frontend, particularly the baseline cart functionality, lacking. This mismatch can deter potential customers, leading to lost sales. Fortunately, customizing your Shopify site to refine the user experience and streamline shopping processes is much easier—and less expensive—now than ever with solutions like bl!nk.

Be transparent about discounts

Four Leaf Rover "Seven 'Shrooms" product description page highlighting dynamic pricing

A key challenge for online shoppers is understanding exactly how much they will be paying at checkout, especially when discounts are involved. This transparency—or lack thereof—can significantly influence purchasing decisions. In traditional ecommerce setups, including many Shopify stores, discounts are often only revealed at the final checkout stage. This lack of upfront transparency can lead to frustration and mistrust, prompting potential customers to abandon their checkouts.

bl!nk separates the frontend presentation layer of a website from the backend data management and business logic. This separation provides more flexibility in how content is displayed on the site. By leveraging our architecture, online retailers can better inform their customers of the actual subtotal customers will be paying during the shopping experience rather than solely at checkout.

As soon as a customer qualifies for a discount—such as signing up for a newsletter or entering a promo code—the reduced prices can be reflected across the website in real-time. This includes updates on product pages, collection pages, search results, and critically, in the shopping cart itself.

Prices can dynamically adjust based on various customer actions or changes in the shopping cart. For example, if a customer adds items that increase their discount tier (like "buy more, save more" offers), the updated discounted prices can be shown immediately across applicable products. Consistent messaging across the board gives customers full transparency into their discount-based savings before hitting checkout so there’s no opportunity for a mismatch between expectations and reality. 

Hone in on subscriptions

Updating the delivery schedule in a Shopify cart between subscriptions and a one-time purchase

Shopify subscriptions offer a valuable revenue model for ecommerce businesses, providing a steady income stream and fostering customer loyalty. However, effectively integrating subscription options into the shopping cart can be challenging with traditional ecommerce platforms, which may lack the flexibility to offer seamless subscription management. bl!nk provides an innovative solution, allowing businesses to enhance their subscription offerings directly within the shopping cart experience.

By default, many stores automatically default to a subscription if it’s offered, and this isn’t always clear to the user, often leading to mistakes when adding a product to their cart. Once they realize their mistake, then the user has to remove it from their cart, find the product again in a sea of product pages, and add it to their cart again. That’s now three additional steps just for one mistake. Instead, with bl!nk, if a subscription version is added to a user’s cart by mistake, it can be changed with the click of a button. 

With bl!nk, businesses can display subscription options directly within the cart page, allowing customers to opt-in to (or out of) a subscription without any additional steps. For instance, a button can be added next to applicable products to "Subscribe and Save," giving customers the option to convert their one-time purchase into a subscription right before checkout.

As customers select or modify their subscription preferences, the cart can dynamically update to reflect changes in pricing, delivery schedules, and potential discounts. This immediate feedback ensures that customers fully understand their subscription details before making a commitment, which can increase confidence in their purchase decision.

Upsell with purpose and meaning

custom product recommendations in Shopify cart

Product recommendations are a cornerstone of effective ecommerce strategies, helping to increase average order value and enhance customer satisfaction by making shopping experiences more personalized and relevant. bl!nk unlocks a new level of dynamic and context-sensitive recommendations that can be integrated directly into the cart.

Traditional product recommendation engines on platforms like Shopify often rely on simple algorithms that suggest items based on general popularity or rudimentary correlations between products. These recommendations might not always be contextually appropriate or tailored to the individual customer’s current selections, which can reduce their effectiveness and even detract from the user experience.

Our approach makes this process a bit more sophisticated. By analyzing the current contents of a customer's cart and their past purchasing behavior, bl!nk features recommendations that are significantly more relevant. For instance, if a customer adds a camera to their cart, the system might suggest specific lenses, cases, or memory cards that are compatible with that model.

Ensure a clean, branded design for mobile

bl!nk mobile experience on Shopify

A crucial aspect of creating a winning ecommerce experience is to provide a visually appealing and user-friendly design that resonates with your brand identity. With an increasing number of customers shopping from their mobile devices, your site needs to look great and function well across all screen sizes. 

  • Simplicity in navigation - A clean design helps customers intuitively navigate through the website without clutter or distractions. This is particularly important for the cart and checkout processes, which should be streamlined to minimize potential points of frustration.
  • Consistent branding - A strong, recognizable brand presence across all pages builds trust and keeps customers engaged. By leveraging bl!nk, you can maintain consistent branding throughout the shopping journey. This is especially relevant on mobile, where elements like logos, color schemes, and typography need to remain clear and distinguishable.
  • Mobile responsiveness - Mobile shopping is more prevalent than ever. bl!nk allows businesses to implement mobile-first designs that adapt seamlessly to different devices, ensuring that navigation, cart functionalities, and content are optimized for touch screens. This guarantees that buttons are adequately spaced, product images load quickly, and text is readable.
  • Effortless mobile checkout - Simplifying the checkout process for mobile shoppers minimizes cart abandonment. Clear discount transparency and subscription management are especially crucial for mobile users who seek quick, reliable information about costs and savings.

By implementing a clean, branded design that works well on mobile, businesses can offer their customers an engaging and intuitive shopping experience. This, in turn, leads to increased satisfaction, reduced cart abandonment, and stronger customer loyalty.

Improve load speed

Clunky Shopify themes are notoriously slow. Website users are notoriously impatient. Speed and responsiveness are crucial factors in the user experience of any ecommerce website. I

Slow-loading pages can lead to increased bounce rates and decreased conversions, as modern consumers expect quick and seamless interactions. While Shopify provides a robust platform for ecommerce, its traditional architecture can sometimes result in slower load times, especially when handling complex designs or heavy traffic. bl!nk offers a solution by decoupling the frontend presentation layer from the backend logic, leading to significantly faster load times and a more customizable user experience.

The frontend of a site can use modern web technologies like React, which isare designed for fast rendering and efficient data handling. These technologies can improve the speed of dynamic content updates and interactions on the site.

With this approach, static elements of the site such as product images and descriptions can be cached separately from dynamic elements like cart data. This means that pages load faster because the browser can reuse cached content without needing to reload everything from scratch each time.

Since the frontend is decoupled from the backend, many interactions that don't require server-side processing (like viewing different product images) can be handled directly on the client side. This reduces the load on the server, which can speed up response times for interactions that do require server processing.

Speed and ease of use are critical factors in converting browsers into buyers. Improvements in these areas can lead to significant increases in conversion rates. A faster, more responsive site encourages users to explore more pages and interact more with the site’s content, making them less likely to leave the site out of frustration.

When you make all these improvements to your cart AND improve your site speed, you officially have the secret recipe needed to create an exceptional ecommerce experience.

Like what you’ve heard so far? Ready to take your store to new heights? Then you’re gonna love bl!nk.

Headless commerce offers more than just an improvement to Shopify's frontend—it provides a comprehensive strategy for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital age. By adopting headless solutions, retailers can leverage the full potential of Shopify’s robust platform while overcoming its limitations. Now is the time to consider how transitioning to a headless architecture can propel your online store ahead of the competition. With a headless solution like bl!nk, you can finally take full control over the frontend of your website and curate a meaningful experience for your customers. Reach out to our team today to see how we can help.

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“In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.”

“In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.”
— Olivia Rhye, Product Designer

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