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    Checkout Page Button Color - Following the crumb trail

    Brian Schmitt from CROmetrics does split-tests on websites all day long, and this is one simple change anyone with an eCommerce website can do today:


    Brian here.  I’m going to show you how acting like Elliot from ET can immediately get more people to buy from your site (technically this is called “reducing cart abandonment”).

    I know you’ve been on sites where you’re buying your favorite protein powder and land on the checkout page.  After spending 10 minutes Googling for a coupon code you come back to the site ready to checkout…..

    …but which button do you click? There’s like 7 buttons and they’re all the same color:

    ecommerce-brian-image04(squint your eyes and briefly glance at that screenshot…..and it’s hard to IMMEDIATELY see what to click next).

    Remember how Elliot lined up Reese’s Pieces from the shed to his bedroom so ET would follow him? The clear trail of candy kept that ugly alien focused and moving forward, never doubting where the next candy was or where he should look to find it.

    This is exactly what you should be doing throughout your website for your customers.

    The candy usually starts with a “Shop” button or whatever to get your visitors to the product details page. It’s obvious and universally understood. Then you begin putting candy on your page starting with obvious “Add To Cart” buttons:


    The button should be easy to pick up and eat…..or click  :)

    When I get to the Checkout page in our example, the buttons are like scattered candy everywhere. I want to find the jackpot. The point where I’ve paid for the product and have a great receipt page.

    But they’ve stopped me cold in my tracks. I’m now looking around and have to decide whether I want to go look for a coupon code on Google, see what my shipping charges might be, delete something from my cart, or…Ah, there it is, my next piece of candy.

    You have to elevate your most important action item on the page so it consistently stands out from all the other possible actions that could be taken.

    One way to do this is to keep a consistent color and placement for the button that takes them one step closer to a successful checkout.

    What this page’s buttons SHOULD look like:


    Now we’ve got a clear trail of candy! Our Proceed to Checkout button is now the only button on the page in bright orange and it leads users down the trail we want them to take.

    The other buttons now take a back seat and there is less thought required to make a decision.

    I’ve seen this small tweak produce a solid 6% to 14% increase in the number of completed checkouts.

    An increase at this point in the checkout is almost directly carried to your bottom line. Did you catch that? When you increase the number of people going from the cart page to the payment page a very high percentage of them will complete the purchase. Unless you take away their trail of candy.

    After you buy some Reese’s and get your sugar fix, go fix your checkout page’s button colors so your customers have a clear trail of candy to follow all the way to a great receipt page.

    Your candy crunching friend,

    Brian Schmitt – CROmetrics

    Neville here again!  

    ::kicks Brian off the keyboard::


    So I actually actually did this back in the day when I still owned HouseOfRave.com and saw a consistent 10% increase in checkouts.

    The shopping cart I originally used looked fine to me since I’d seen it thousands of times…..but to new customers it was often VERY confusing!

    Why?  Because like Brian said above, all the buttons looked the same:


    It was almost impossible for people to tell what to click at a single glance, and that was a big problem.

    People had to consciously stop and think about what to do, instead of SUPER EASILY click through to the checkout page.

    From analytics, I found out a lot of people were accidentally clicking the “Recalculate” and “Empty Cart” buttons by mistake.  THIS SUCKED because if people spent a bunch of time shopping around, then accidentally clicked “empty cart” it makes them frustrated and less likely to buy.

    So I did a little modifying and grey-ed out the buttons to make them less prominent:



    The next step was to clean up that damn checkout button area!  It looked hideous and confusing!

    A friend of mine high up at Google back in the day told me how on any page they wanted people to take an action (like click a button), they would put up a “Big F’in Blue Button” that told people what to do.

    The “Big F’in Blue Button” both visually and textually showed you what to do.  So I changed the whole HouseOfRave checkout process to make people just follow a simple trail of crumbs.

    First thing they click would be the BIG BLUE Add To Cart button:



    Next they would click would be the BIG BLUE Checkout button:



     Finally they’d click the BIG BLUE Submit Order button:


    These changes produced about a 10% average boost to my store!  It was like free extra money.


    So remember, each button should:

    1.) Be super duper obvious it’s the next button to press.

    2.) Be the same color to “advance” the order.

    3.) Literally say in text what will happen.  


    If you have an ecommerce store, go do this now!


    P.S.  Send this to any friends who run an ecommerce website.  Simply changing a few simple buttons could boost their conversion rates and give them some extra free profit.

    P.P.S.  Thanks to Brian at CROmetrics for doing tons of tests proving this concept…..I only had experience from my own sites to prove this.






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    Recommended Comments

    Guest Allen


    Greased Slide!

    Best split test I ever did: removed a buy button from the top of a page (long copy). Forced visitors to scroll/read a bit before they could see the price (high). 60% increase in conversions.

    Link to comment
    Guest Neville


    NICE! I'm sure having people understand more context about the product before seeing the price helps tremendously
    Link to comment

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