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How to Integrate a Cart Threshold Progress Bar Without Custom Development: blink

February 2022
 minute read
Shopping cart incentive you've unlocked a new discount

Have you ever noticed a little progress bar in the cart of your favorite Shopify store? As you shop, the progress bar fills from left to right as you add more products, ultimately unlocking an incentive. Whether that incentive is free shipping, a limited time discount, multiple discounts, or a free gift will depend on a brand’s ecommerce strategy. These progress monitors, sometimes called cart motivators or cart threshold progress bars have become a staple in modern day ecommerce — and are thus an important baseline feature of blink’s core offering. To get started, let’s look at the landscape.

Shopify Apps

Shopify apps struggle to integrate a seamless threshold progress monitor

There are many Shopify apps that offer this for our non technical merchants. However, these apps have little in the way of benefits, and mostly present drawbacks for a lot of ecommerce platforms. 

When you choose Shopify apps as a merchant, you’ve now introduced a functionality that keeps you on the hook for a monthly charge — forever. That’s a big yikes. You’ll end up introducing foreign scripts to the codebase hurting your Google Pagespeed Insights. You might even introduce a progress tool that is not fully branded or integrated into your design. 

These apps typically offer pretty limited customization options. Sure, you can change the color and text, but something about these solutions always feels like they were slapped on top of the site versus integrated cleanly to create a powerful brand moment.

Custom Developed

If you want a compelling threshold progress monitor to work with Shopify, you’ll have to have it custom developed

Now how about our more mature brands that have partnered with an agency to elevate their Shopify presence? Some of our favorite brands such as Allbirds & Tommy John have excellent cart motivators. Allbirds approach is simple, yet effective. Just an evergreen progress bar motivating prospective customers to unlock a free shipping option. Both of these accomplish the core goal of gamifying the shopping experience for consumers.

allbirds threshold progress bar

The above example is perfectly integrated into the cart drawer and the animations are smooth. Overall, this is a great application of the threshold progress bar concept.

Tommy John’s approach is more multi-step. Based on the total cart value, you can unlock different discounts. They start with free shipping, but can offer up to $30 off if your cart total is big enough. 

This sort of multi-tiered discounting strategy is great for brands with dense catalogs whose average sale consists of more than just 1 product. And this makes sense — Tommy John sells loungewear, which is often sold in sets. How often are you buying just 1 pair of boxers? Their average sale in terms of quantity of products is higher than that of Allbirds, for example, you’re I’m likely only buying one pair of shoes at a time.

Note the in cart representation of discounting. This is pretty custom and very well done using Shopify’s Script Editor tool, which is a feature only available on Shopify Plus

Overall, these integrations are very well done. The question then becomes — “How can we achieve these types of threshold progress monitors without custom development?”

tommy john threshold progress bar

blink’s Approach

Discover how blink powers cart threshold progress bars without the need for custom development

Now let’s look at blink’s core offering around this feature. We looked at brands we admire like the ones we discussed before for inspiration and created a homegrown solution that is available out of the box in blink’s CMS.

blink offers two types of cart motivation. One based on a dollar amount threshold, very similar to what we’ve reviewed on All Birds and Tommy John. The other option is based on the total number of items in the cart. At any time, someone with no development experience can enable the progress bar, adjust its motivation threshold, dictate its motivation text, and its success text. This gives the merchant all of the control and removes the need for outside developers.

Here is an example of blink’s cart motivator.

The above example created with blink is fully integrated with the design of the cart drawer and a seamless addition that helps to increase AOV across the board. 

One game changer with our solution is the ability to automatically apply a discount when the designated threshold has been met. And for bonus points, we also added the reverse logic to remove the discount automatically should the cart fall out of the threshold.

What we have just shown you is not natively possible to achieve on any Shopify site without some hacky custom development. Shopify’s discount codes are pretty limited when it comes to frontend display. They work well in the checkout portal. But, anywhere besides that you are in for a complicated workaround or a choppy app solution.

blink’s native integration with Shopify’s API opens up a lot of doors for cart threshold progress monitors and other integrations we have yet to discuss. For the full breakdown of our discount solution and frontend behavior, stay tuned for a future update.

To Recap: Why does blink win over other threshold monitoring options? 

✅ Fully integrated design

✅ No extra monthly cost

✅ User control of type of motivation and required threshold

✅ Ability to automatically apply a discount with in cart visibility 

✅ No foreign scripts hurting your PSI and SEO health

✅ Future product support with plans to introduce a multi stepped concept

✅ Script editor integration (not discussed in this article, stay tuned for our Plus guide to blink!)

A cart threshold progress bar is just one piece of a successful ecommerce strategy to increase average order value. Be sure to stay in the loop for future blink feature updates and functionality breakdowns!


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