How to label a Buy button

I have been working on a retail site and the issue of how to label the Buy button cam e up. Different possibilities have different connotations:

  • Buy – blunt
  • Add to cart – impersonal
  • Purchase – too formal
  • Buy now – too bossy

To complicate matters the site is not traditional in that it sells high-ticket items that people are unlikely to buy more than one of.  That makes the concept of a virtual shopping basket less appropriate than it might be on other sites.

I wanted to check out the labelling that big retailers use to get a pointer on this.

  • Wiggle – add to basket
  • Asos – add to bag
  • Amazon – add to basket
  • Fashionphile – add to bag
  • Chain reaction Cycles – add to basket
  • Yoogis closet – add to shopping bag
  • Harvey Norman – add to cart
  • Pixmania – add to basket

We have 4 “Add to basket”, 2 “Add to bag”, 1 “Ad to cart” and 1 “Add to shopping bag”.

I want my terminology to be consistent with what people are use to, so I will use the phrase “Add to…” on the button. But add to what? I don’t want to use “bag,” as handbags are what the site primarily sells. If they were one of twenty product types it would be ok, but they are the primary one. So that’s out. That leaves “basket”or “cart”.

I think “basket” is the less harsh and more modern of the two, so that’s the one to go for.  We can test it at a later point if we don’t like the conversion rates.