Do you Really Need a Quantity Box?

Product Quantity Dropdown ListThe other day I was browsing an e-commerce clothing store and the Quantity box suddenly seemed odd to me:  “Who would buy MORE THAN ONE of this shoe – in the EXACT SAME STYLE AND SIZE??”

I wondered how many people EVER buy more than 1 IDENTICAL piece of clothing? (We’re talking same SIZE, STYLE, COLOR, etc…).  I asked my good friends over at Gongshow Gear (makers of awesome hockey inspired clothing) if I could have a peak at their Analytics data, and here are the results:

  • On average, only 1 out of 50 people will buy more than 1 of the same item
  • For non-clothing items that come in a single size & color multiple qty purchases increase (to between 12% and 40% — but still a minority of your customers)

Do we need the Quantity field?

For products where 98% of customers buy a single item I would recommend removing the Quantity field.  If someone really wants to buy 2 of something they can just add the product to the shopping cart twice or change the quantity directly in the shopping cart.

Note: The Quantity field is useful for items where you EXPECT the customer to purchase more than 1 – make sure you dig into your analytics before making your final decision.

Most usability studies show that reducing the number of form elements usually improves usability and so conversion rates should improve by removing the quantity field.  Zappos seems to agree as they have removed the Quantity field from all their product pages.

Does it really matter?

Probably not.  The quantity field usually defaults to 1 item so you never have to touch it anyway.  I have a hard time believing that the quantity field will make a measurable difference to conversion rates for most sites.    If there is a difference, it is probably very very small.  Then again I assume that Zappos measures everything they do on their site and THEY removed the Quantity box.

If anyone decides to run an A/B test to get stats on this, I would love to hear your results.