Client wants to display a conditional message on the category list.phtml page depending on whether or not the cart has ANYTHING in it

I've found a lot of posts about creating a custom module to be able to assess cart items etc. but surely there must just be a simple way of identifying whether the cart contains anything or not without the need for a whole module to do so.

I don't care if we're counting items, reporting totals, assessing whether a cart exists or however it's done I just need a 'cart_empty' true or false variable

Any ideas?

UPDATED: reading a little more on this, I think the issue may be because we have caching in place on the product list page for performance reasons

This being the case do I need to access the cart using AJAX in some way?

2 Answers 2


You should use minicart knockout, otherwise cache will be a problem. Just name the scope different like 'cart_check'. In your list.phtml

<div data-bind="scope: 'cart_check'">
<!-- ko ifnot: getCartParam('summary_count') -->
  <div class="block-content no-display"
       data-bind="css: {'no-display': getCartParam('summary_count')}">
        <span>NO</span>
<!-- /ko -->


<script type="text/x-magento-init">
    "*": {
        "Magento_Ui/js/core/app": {
            "components": {
                "cart_check": {
                    "component": "Magento_Checkout/js/view/minicart"
  • Works perfectly - thanks!
    – freestate
    Apr 11, 2021 at 18:58

Maybe below is the simple way in any list.phtml file.

$cartHelper = $this->helper(Magento\Checkout\Helper\Cart::class);
if ($cartHelper->getItemsCount() === 0) {
   // write your code       
  • Thanks but this isn't working for me - I don't think it's working because getItemsCount always shows as 0
    – freestate
    Apr 11, 2021 at 14:38
  • check all function from "vendor\magento\module-checkout\Helper\Cart.php" and get current quote or cart object, or checkout session and you can get count or number of items from current quote object. Apr 11, 2021 at 18:39

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