Why “Checkout is Not Available Whilst Your Cart is Empty” Matters


In the world of e-commerce, the shopping cart is the virtual basket that holds the hopes and dreams of eager online shoppers. It’s the vessel that carries their carefully selected items, ready to transport them to the checkout page. However, there’s a peculiar message that online shoppers often encounter – “Checkout is not available whilst your cart is empty.” But why does this message matter, and what’s the story behind it? In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of this message and explore its implications for both e-commerce businesses and their customers.

The Cart: A Shopper’s Digital Basket

Before we dive into the message itself, let’s take a moment to appreciate the role of the shopping cart in the online shopping experience. The cart serves as a temporary repository for items that customers intend to purchase. It’s a space where they can review their choices, modify quantities, and proceed to the checkout when ready. In essence, the cart is the bridge between browsing and buying, and it plays a pivotal role in the conversion process.

The Message: “Checkout is Not Available Whilst Your Cart is Empty”

If you’ve ever shopped online, you’ve likely encountered the message “Checkout is not available whilst your cart is empty.” It’s a seemingly straightforward notification that appears when a user attempts to initiate the checkout process with an empty cart. On the surface, it may appear as a minor inconvenience, but it carries significant implications for both customers and e-commerce businesses.

Why It Matters for Customers

  1. Clarity: The message serves as a clear indication that the cart is empty. This prevents confusion and helps users understand why they can’t proceed to checkout.
  2. User Experience: It’s a user-friendly feature that ensures customers don’t accidentally start the checkout process without items in their cart.
  3. Efficiency: For users who may have inadvertently clicked the checkout button, this message saves time by redirecting them to the cart to add items.

Why It Matters for E-Commerce Businesses

  1. Reduced Abandonment: By preventing empty cart checkouts, e-commerce businesses reduce the chances of abandoned checkouts, which can harm conversion rates.
  2. Streamlined Operations: It ensures that the checkout process is initiated only when it’s meaningful, streamlining the operational side of the business.
  3. Enhanced User Experience: Providing a clear and informative message contributes to an improved user experience, which can lead to customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Customizing the Message

While the default message is functional, some e-commerce platforms allow businesses to customize it. This customization can include adding a call-to-action to encourage users to continue shopping or offering discounts or suggestions for items to add to the cart. By personalizing the message, businesses can further enhance the shopping experience.


“Checkout is not available whilst your cart is empty” may seem like a simple message, but it plays a significant role in the e-commerce journey. It ensures clarity for users, prevents abandoned checkouts, and contributes to a streamlined and user-friendly online shopping experience. As e-commerce continues to thrive, these small yet vital details make a world of difference for both customers and businesses. So, the next time you encounter this message while shopping online, remember that it’s there to make your experience better and more efficient.