Tag Archives | Shopping Experience

Shopping Cart Advanced Features

Shopping Cart Advanced Features

Advanced features is what sets apart the basic, simple shopping carts from those that offer merchants the chance to gather information from customers that can be used in marketing decisions, or allow merchants to gather and keep track of customer’s names and addresses to a shopping cart that has the ability to email the customer a purchase confirmation or notify past customers of a sale that is happening on the site. Advanced features can also help the customer to make buying decisions such as recommending product selection based on buyer preferences based on past order history.

A customer may be able to look at their past order history, check the status of recent orders or track a package that is in transit to them. Cookies on the shopping cart can identify a customer as a past customer and provide data on that customer that will enhance and improve the present shopping experience of that customer.

Advanced features may vary from one shopping cart to the next but some common advanced features include: Order management, which is the ability to view new orders, or to view past orders, to print invoices and packing slips for each order. Product Management, which is the ability to add and edit products quickly or to view statistics in the product database. Web Page Management, which is the creation and updating of the entire Website. Advanced shipping would include custom shipping methods or the ability to utilize real-time shipping calculation from major carriers such as USPS, UPS and FedEx.

Tracking of Inventory, which would include managing and updating items for sale, and pricing of items. Featured Items in which select items appear on a special section of the home page or all pages in areas that would be eye-catching to site viewers. Sales Reports that might include a printout of all sales in a given time period, and the ability to view and compare weekly, monthly or yearly sales comparisons, sales trends, and to evaluate these trends. Order Status is the ability to update the order and the shipping status available to the customer in the customer login area.

Multiple Currencies and exchange rates for all product categories. Customer Management, which would include the ability to find, updates, and view archived information on all customers. Email list management is the ability to email a customer after a purchase to confirm the purchase and to thank them for their business, or to email out notices of an impending sale or special discount, or to announce new products.

Ad tracking ability that can track all click-through advertising and resulting sales. Affiliate Manager to allow the Website owner to run an effective affiliate program to promote the site Wholesale Manager, which would allow the site owner to offer a wholesale membership option. Other advanced features include volume discounts, customer discounts, minimum purchase, promotional codes, coupons, and gift certificates, digital download manager, Bill Me Later capabilities, Traffic and Hit Counter, Ticket manager to care for problems with orders, a Will Call capability and an online manual and documentation to help get the shopping cart up and running.



New To Online Shopping Carts

New To Online Shopping Carts?

If you are unaware that shopping carts exist online than you will learn a lot from this article. Website owners who sell more than just a few items on their site will usually have a shopping cart so that customers will have a more pleasant and efficient shopping experience while on their Website. Unlike a physical shopping cart that is made of metal or plastic a online shopping cart is a piece of software, or a script, that allows customers to put items they wish to purchase into a virtual (online) shopping cart so that they can save them to purchase when they are done browsing.

An online shopping cart will usually allow the customer to have a running dollar total of the merchandise they have placed in the online cart. Sometimes the running total will even include the shipping fee.

If a customer frequents the same Website multiple times some shopping carts will save the shipping information so that the customer does not have to keep entering it each time they shop on the site.

Online shopping carts can even keep track of inventory levels that can save the customer a lot of frustration and time. Some shopping carts are even smart enough to make suggestions based on the customers past preferences while shopping on the site.

Online shopping carts can make your shopping experience faster, easier and hassle-free. Shopping carts have also been known to send out an email thanking the customer for shopping and confirm the order – can physical metal or plastic shopping carts do that?

Online shopping carts allow customers to add to the cart, delete items, change the quantity of items already in the cart, and also input the size or color of an item.

The online shopping cart can help the Website owner to appear more professional, and can help to create a secure and friendly atmosphere in which to shop. The shopping cart should match the theme of the Website and look like it is a part of the site and not a separate entity. Website owners should choose a shopping cart software that is easy for customers to navigate and have the features that are helpful for both the owner and the customers.

Shopping cart solutions for Website owners can be simple or complex depending on the number of items and the number of transactions that the Website usually handles each month. Shopping cart solutions can be free or they can be very expensive depending on the services provided and the number of features provided with the shopping cart. Some shopping carts are complete storefront solutions and others are basic shopping carts.

A Website that is offering goods or services that does not have a shopping cart may turn customers away if they are already used to the convenience of using online shopping carts.


The Benefits of Having a Shopping Cart on Your Website

The Benefits of Having a Shopping Cart on Your Website

There are many benefits that a shopping cart will bring to your ecommerce business. To discover some of the many benefits of having a shopping cart on your Website continue to read this article.

A shopping cart on your Website can actually increase your sales. The purpose of the shopping cart is to hold items you are thinking of purchasing as you continue to browse the Website. Shopping carts give customers freedom to explore your Website without losing track of where the items are that they wish to purchase during their browsing. A shopping cart allows the customer to do all the shopping on your Website in one transaction. Customers who are forced to check out every time they wish to buy an item, return to shop again only to checkout if they find another item will become frustrated if they have to do this multiple times.

A shopping cart can also display the cart total price so that as the customer adds items to the cart they are aware of how much money they are spending so that they don’t get any nasty surprises at checkout. Customers who are denied a way to check prices will not be as likely to purchase multiple items.

You will want to stay clear of shopping carts that load too slowly because in today’s world people want things fast and if they have to wait they just may move on to the next Website. So it is important not only to have a shopping cart but also to have the right one.

The presence of a shopping cart on your Website also says, “Professional” to your customers. A shopping cart tells your customers that you care about their shopping comfort and will provide what they need to make their shopping experience an enjoyable one. If they are made comfortable while shopping on your Website they are much more likely to return.

Some shopping cart software programs have the capabilities of being your storefront even being your entire Website. The benefit of a shopping cart with a storefront is that you don’t have to bother with any other Website designing.

A shopping cart makes shopping more convenient for your customer. Without a shopping cart you force your customer to browse and remember where items are located that they are interested in. This might cause them to forget items, misplace them, or just leave in frustration. Try shopping for multiple items in a physical store without a shopping cart and see how frustrating it can be. Without shopping cart customers buy less, think about it that shops without a cart? The person buying only one or two items shops without a cart. Do you want your Website visitors to buy just one item or do you want them to purchase multiple items? If you answered, multiple items, then you had better have a shopping cart on your Website.


Improve Your Shopping Cart

Improve Your Shopping Cart

If you want visitors to your site to use your shopping cart you need to make improvements to the usability of the cart and to make the purchase process as simple and short as possible.

Did you know that the checkout process is where more sales are lost than any other time during the buying process? Check your analytics and see if you have a large number of individuals leaving your site before finishing the checkout process, if this is happening than you know that you definitely need to make improvements. In order to determine where you need to make shopping cart improvements you can ask someone who is not familiar with your website to go through the process and check out the usability of your shopping cart. Ask them to specifically comment on how accessible the shopping cart is, if it is easy to use, if they ran into problems were they able to find instructions on how to use the cart, and did they find the shipping and payments methods that they prefer to use?

Investigate how easy it is to navigate around finding products. Do you have a search feature and does it give accurate results?

If you belong to any business forums ask members to rate your site and their shopping experience.

Ask yourself how organized your site is, how secure do people feel making purchases and how user friendly is the shopping experience on your site?

Your shopping cart is one of the most important parts of your Website. Periodically evaluating the shopping cart from a user’s point of view can improve not only your shopping cart but improve your sales as well.

Look at your shopping cart objectively does it meet all of your needs as the administrator? Can you manage all of the product fulfillment, payment and shipping needs in a timely manner without mistakes? Evaluate the hosting, customer service and technical support of the company who’s shopping cart you are using. How happy are you with the features? When upgrades are available is there an additional fee or are upgrades free to existing customers?

Does your shopping cart blend in well with your Website? Do you receive the information you need about your customers and their sales? Does your shopping cart have the capability to have an affiliate program, produce a newsletter or evaluate the shopping experience of your customers?

Does your shopping cart grow with your business or have you outgrown the shopping cart?

What do reviewers say about the shopping cart you are using? Can you find customer reviews of the shopping cart and if so, are they favorable?

After evaluating your shopping cart is customer service responsive to your need to make improvements? Do they give you suggestions or upgrades?

Seeing how important your shopping cart is to the success of your online business spending time evaluating how well your present shopping cart is performing and finding out what your customers think about your shopping cart is important and should be done on a regular basis.