While e-commerce was initially met with poor projections, consumers quickly showed that they are comfortable buying products online. Today, a significant fraction of products are bought through online stores, and the low cost of creating an online store encourages many to launch their own e-commerce website. The most important component of an e-commerce site, the shopping cart, does require some special attention. Here are a few ideas to consider when creating an online shopping cart.
Building A Shopping Cart For Your Ecommerce Site
Credit card processing is mandatory
Some who create e-commerce stores try to get by using options other than credit card processing. Credit card processors will require lengthy applications from potential clients, and many website operators try to avoid this hassle and use alternative payment routes. Almost all online customers, however, strongly prefer to use credit cards. In addition, websites that do not accept credit cards may send the message that they are not run professionally. While it may take weeks to find the right credit card processor, the effort is necessary.
Function over form
When creating an e-commerce website, it is important that the entire site is honed towards generating sales. One mistake many make is to use themes and design motifs that complicate the shopping experience. Anything that may confuse visitors should be eliminated, and each step of making a purchase should be a simple as possible. Most of the complexity on e-commerce websites comes from the shopping cart, so it is important that special attention is paid to the last few steps of the online shopping experience.
Professionalism over beauty
A similar mistake many make is to go with flashy themes. While having an attractive website is a desirable goal, it is more important that the website demonstrates professionalism. A professional look will send the message to a potential customer that he or she can expect top-notch service, and users tend to believe that sites that look like they were designed by professionals will have better security measures in place. Users are no longer wowed by flashy elements, and most simply want an interface that does not get in their way.
Integrated shipping and inventory
Almost all e-commerce platforms provide means of integrating shipping into the shopping cart experience, and most allow websites to show users current inventory statistics. Many who run e-commerce sites, however, fail to implement these features. Both integrated shipping and inventory information demonstrate a level of professionalism, and they may encourage a visitor who is on the fence to make a purchase he or she would not have made otherwise.
E-commerce delivers to users a wealth of opportunities that are not available through traditional retail locations. The competition of e-commerce, however, makes it important for those who run an e-commerce site to create the best side available. By focusing on the shopping cart, it may be possible to generate sales from users who would have otherwise turned elsewhere.
Written by Monica Chamber
Monica is an online marketing specialist based in Sydney, Australia. She specializes in Google Analytics serviceand on-site SEO strategy.