I'm looking for an icon that will clearly identify the "shopping cart" for an apparel store. A shopping bag? A Cart? Is there any other specific icon?

If we go further, do you think it is better to display an icon? only text (bag / cart?) or both?

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    There are two metaphors which are commonly used for icons: a shopping trolley (cart) and a basket [is that the US word too?] – Andrew Leach Jan 30 '14 at 13:32
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    I can't tell you. I'm French.. – Dr Jb Jan 30 '14 at 14:31
  • We don't usually say shopping trolley, we'd say shopping cart or basket. In Texas we call them shoppin' carts! – Circle B Jan 31 '14 at 0:24

The three icons I commonly see in use are:

  • A Cart (Amazon, Overstock, etc)
  • A Bag (JCPenny, LL Bean, etc.)
  • A Basket (err.. can't think of reference)

Most online apparel stores I see use the "Bag" reference and some form of icon for a bag.

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  • I'd never thought about it before, but I suppose it makes sense that places like clothing stores would want to avoid anything like shopping trolleys/carts that would make people think of supermarkets and high volume, low quality discount shopping. Likewise any shop that is its own luxury/exclusive brand. – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 30 '14 at 16:11

Oh, there are a million! Of course, depends on use, size etc, but here are some suggestions. These are taken from icomoon and they have a lot more. What makes sense, is either a shopping trolley or a shopping bag a lá google store:

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • If you go further, Do you think it is better to display an icon? only text (bag / cart? or both? – Dr Jb Jan 30 '14 at 14:31
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    @DrJb my preference when using sites is to have both, but they don't need to be next to each other or in the same location at all. An icon at the top of the page should be all I need, but if I can't locate it then I'll quickly Ctrl+F for "Cart" to try and find it. So, an icon at the top and a text link perhaps in the footer would be my preference – JohnB Jan 30 '14 at 16:30

The shopping cart is essential to a shop and it is easy to display this function as an icon. So I would definitely use an icon and if you have enouph space available, put the label on it as well. Use a cart if you would buy your products in a cart in real life (hardware, food, etc.), and use a bag, if you would buy your products in bags in real life (clothes, jewlery, etc.)... ;)

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  • That makes sense. – Dr Jb Jan 30 '14 at 15:15

As you and others have mentioned, a shopping trolley/cart, a basket and a bag are all well known icons for this purpose. As user568458 pointed out, a bag is probably best for clothing as a trolley or cart could make people 'think of supermarkets and high volume, low quality discount shopping'

With that in mind though, how about a gift box icon as an alternative to a bag? enter image description here

As user568458 pointed out in the comments an open box may be preferable to avoid confusion.

Open box

In some clothing stores, they wrap your purchases in paper and place them in a box, if this is something that the store that you have in mind might do then you could mimic this for the online shopper by using a gift box icon, perhaps with the logo of the store on it.

As for displaying icon/text/both I would suggest icon only but if you hover over it then a little text box comes up. This of course is dependent on your design though and how quickly you think your users will understand your icon.

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    Could work, but there's a risk it could be mistaken for wishlists or gift lists or gift wrapping options, which many online stores have. I'd suggest having it as an open box else it looks like something to do with completed orders - the 'basket' metaphor works because you can put things in and out of baskets as much as you like while deciding what to buy. – user56reinstatemonica8 Jan 30 '14 at 17:48
  • I agree, context definitely dictates - open box is the better option, I'll edit :) – Jenna Jan 30 '14 at 17:57

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