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6 Tips for Selecting the eCommerce Shopping Cart to Maximize Your Sales


The right eCommerce shopping cart is the key to the success of an online store. You should, therefore, be diligent when looking for a shopping cart for your e-store. Unfortunately, not many businesses focus on this aspect of their eCommerce website. Reports indicate that over 50% of shopping carts are abandoned prior to purchase. While your marketing strategies and website/product page design are critical to enhance your sales figures, you also need to focus on shopping cart usability to reduce cart abandonment.

The shopping cart keeps your online store running smoothly. In order to take your customers along for the ride, opt for the cart that not just meets your needs but also consider the customers’ requirements. According to a Nielsen Norman Group report on “eCommerce User Experience,” shoppers widely use carts to collect products they’re considering but aren’t sure if they need, or want, to buy them. If you compare it with a brick and mortar store, eCommerce shopping carts are like changing rooms in a fashion store where people consider items before making the purchase decisions.

6 Tips for Selecting the eCommerce Shopping Cart to Maximize Your Sales

But in the world of eTailing, they need to be more than a space to collect product information. Your shopping cart must assist customers in making the purchase decisions. The goals and budget of your business determine which shopping cart is ideal for your e-store; however, there are certain eCommerce shopping cart features that can help to improve your buyers’ experience, boosting customer confidence in your store that also encourage repeat sales.

What you need is the most robust eCommerce shopping cart that comes with the reliable technology solution to boost your business. The following are 6 tips to help you select the right shopping cart to maximize your eCommerce sales.

#1. Decide What You Need: Hosted or Non-Hosted Shopping Cart

This is the most basic question you need to grapple with while looking for a shopping cart for your online store. If you are opting for hosted shopping cart, it means that you are just “renting” or “paying a fee” for the service while the vendor owns the eCommerce shopping cart server. You won’t have a lot of control with this kind of service as the service provider manages most functions.

The licensed or non-hosted shopping cart involves purchasing it and setting the software up on your own server. While it may seem costly upfront, in the long term non-hosted shopping cart is more cost effective. This is the better option for small businesses that host their own secure eCommerce websites and also have their own in-house technical team to set up as well as maintain the shopping cart.

#2. Consider the Shopping Cart Features

After you have decided whether you want a hosted or non-hosted shopping cart, the next thing you need to look for is its features and abilities. Draw a checklist of the desired features you want to include and start looking for the shopping cart that possesses all the features.

For the first timers, this is going to be a rather challenging task as they generally are not sure what features to include. A good place to begin your research is start evaluating what leading retailers and your competitors are doing. Study their storefronts and create a list of features you want to replicate in your business.

Some of the features your shopping cart must have to satisfy your customers, including fast site search and browse, real-time inventory, wish-list, express checkout, easy payment options, order tracking, and a solid security. In addition, look for that shopping cart that allow you to set up mobile and social commerce storefronts quickly and easily.

#3. Decide your Budget

Once you have created a checklist for your eCommerce shopping cart features, decide the budget you have allotted for the same. Now, recheck the features based on your budget and if required revise your budget to ensure that you have all the required features.

There are large varieties of shopping cart tools available in the market, including both costly and cheap products. Besides, there are several open source eCommerce shopping carts that you can use for free. However, you need to have need some technical knowledge to install and manage such tools and they are not really a very good option over the long term.

#4. Shop Around

There are hundreds of companies selling eCommerce shopping carts, web to print and other eCommerce solutions to businesses, however not all are the same. Their functionalities and qualities vary greatly.

That being said, eCommerce shopping carts come with vast choices. Make sure you are not settling for anything mediocre. Browse through the various online shopping cart solutions and settle for one that best suits your needs as well as is more budget-friendly.

#5. Opt for a Scalable eCommerce Shopping Cart

When buying any eCommerce solution always think long term. This is also applicable to shopping carts. Consider your current as well as future needs. Where do you see your eCommerce business five years from now? Will your present shopping cart solution be enough to support the growing needs?

Remember that the cost of initial setup is usually higher. It is therefore not a very feasible idea to install a new shopping cart solution every few years. Instead, opt for something that would be scalable enough to meet your future requirements.

#6. Consider the Support Your eCommerce Shopping Cart Vendor Provides

Last but not the least, consider the level of support your shopping cart vendor provides. For businesses that lack in-house technical expertise, this is a critical consideration when purchasing the eCommerce shopping cart solution. You need to update and maintain the tool over the long term, apart from the initial installation. All these need proper technical knowledge and it would be an ongoing cost if you have to hire a third-party for such services.

It is therefore recommended to opt for a vendor that offers proper support not only during the initial years but throughout the product’s lifetime.

Conclusion

While these are some of the most important considerations when selecting an eCommerce shopping cart to boost your sales, this is not an extensive list. There are many other factors you need to think through. For example, make sure the tool is compatible with various payment gateways. In addition, consider the communication and marketing features of the tool as well as its shipping and delivery mechanisms. Most importantly, keep customer satisfaction in mind when selecting the right eCommerce shopping cart for your business – something that will help you gain customer loyalty.

Images: “shopping cart cloud shape/Shutterstock.com

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Abhishek Agarwal is the Co-founder & CMO of Design 'N' Buy, which offers online Web-to-Print Design Tool Software. With an entrepreneurial experience of 13 years, Abhishek is a visionary who proactively looks out for the next big thing. http://www.designnbuy.com/

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Comments
  • Welcome to Tweak Your Biz Abhishek. I didn’t realise there were so many options to consider with shopping carts so thanks for sharing your expertise with our readers.




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