Persistent Navigation Bar with Shopping Cart

9 Mar 2011 - 6:33pm
5 years ago
5 replies
1937 reads

Has anyone run across an e-commerce site that utilizes a persistent navigation bar at the bottom of the browser that also includes the shopping cart. Traditionally an entry point to the shopping cart is found in the top right of an online shopping site. 

Here are a couple of examples: <br /><br /> 
Once you log into this one, the "Buy iStock Credits" on the right of the bar turns into the cart. 

I'm currently redesigning a shopping experience and am wondering if this experience is a growing trend and if it's something worth while pursuing considering the vast majority of shopping sites have the cart in the top right. I think this would be a very interesting concept to pursue and design for. 

Thanks for any feedback on this. 


10 Mar 2011 - 1:03pm

I never say never ... but you should have really good reasons if you are going to do something different.

But in both cases you have mentioned - You should keep in mind both cases the customers of both sites are  primarily power users. Both target groups are able to deal with uncommon and extraordinary interaction patterns and circumsstances.

I have seen such patterns and interaction concept (floating shopping carts) on e-commerce sites of t-shirt designers - and I liked it - but it costed always a learning curve - and it might cost you customers.

The shopping cart and the checkout process one of your most important parts of your site.

wish you success!

11 Mar 2011 - 12:20am
Paul Bryan

Crate and Barrel's CB2 site used to have this persistent bottom bar, but they seem to have taken it off (might be because I'm in Germany and sites keep forcing me to their Europe version). 

Take a look at the Retailer Social Commerce Scorecard (, where you can click through from one page to screen captures of 62 top retailers. As far as I recall, not one of them use the persistent bottom cart approach. They push all the innovation to the hero area and shopping process aids (product videos, find product in store, virtual try on, shopping lists, product quick save, shop by outfit, etc etc), NOT to the catalog navigation, view cart, or checkout. I think this is because they don't want even a tiny percent of millions of people per week to be confused about how to buy something on their sites, once they've found something they like. The two sites you showed are well done, but their target audiences are very Internet savvy people, not the general public.

Paul Bryan


Linked In: Digital Design Strategy group


11 Mar 2011 - 2:31am

I personally haven't seen persistent navigation bar at the bottom of the browser that also includes the shopping cart. This is not advisable. If it is available both at the top and bottom you might think so.

The examples you have sited could for a particular segment of audience and also like what paul had mentioned internert savvy.

Again for the site you are re-designing, it depends on you user groups and their preferences. I would allways prefer to go by the  user study rather than generic/industry standards.


11 Mar 2011 - 9:43am

I don't know about EA, but another feature of iStockPhoto that may make it a unique case is that the shopping experience is more like a debit account where you buy a bunch of credits up front, and then deplete them over time. You might only interact with the shopping cart once every four or five (or more) visits. 

22 Mar 2011 - 10:59pm

Thanks all for your great comments.  The information you all have provided are very insightful.  I will add this to the research I have gathered.



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