Creating a website for your business can be a good amount of work, but when you add a shopping cart aspect to it – it is another level of work. With my first business, I researched for weeks and it was completely overwhelming trying to understand what I needed for my shopping cart. I had to decide which shopping cart was best for me, not an easy task.
Don’t be overwhelmed with all the bells and whistles that a shopping cart company boast about.
Very simple, yet extremely important. You want a shopping cart that has an option to capture customers emails to also use with your email marketing program. We are constantly on our phones and emails come right to them, it’s an instantaneous way to keep your company in mind. You are speaking directly to your customer verses hoping they see your tweet or YouTube video. They say if your subscribe option is at the top of your site, you have a 65% higher opt in rate than rather it being at the bottom. In addition, a great way to increase sign-up is to offer an immediate discount for signing up.
Multiple Payment Gateways
In our Payment Gateway series you know why this is very important to your business. When consulting, I always urge them to have multiple ways to receive payments from customers. If PayPal is down tomorrow, could your customers still shop with your online store? If the answer is no, you want to make sure your shopping cart allows other types of payment gateway options. Bigcartel just integrated Stripe. Squarespace comes standard with stripe, but you’ll need a developer to integrate PayPal. Look into the variety of gateways and chose 3-4 to have on your site.
Blog & Social Media Integration
Blogging is not for everyone, but it is something you really should consider for your business. You want customers or clients to know more about you. Having a blog gives them a peek into your company and what it does. It mainly builds trust because they are getting to know you on a personal level in some sorts. In addition, it helps your SEO. you’ll find that a majority of shopping carts have social media plugins as standard. However, some only offer 3 or 4 platforms, find the cart that has all the social media channels you use. From there, make sure they point to your actual page not just the social media channel: also that they open in another window. This keeps your bounce rate low.
Abandon Cart Plugin
This is a huge one! Out of all of the ones listed, this is something your site should have. Abandon cart issues are one of the biggest problems small businesses have and do not even realize it. Abandon cart issues is when someone is shopping your store and they put a million things in their shopping cart and then just leave it. Either they end up closing the window or just simply get distracted. An abandon cart plugin will notify customers automatically stating they have left their cart at your store. Some systems are automatic and do it within an hour, or for some, twelve or twenty-four hours. You can program it to even notify them that you will offer free shipping or a discount. Whatever your preference is, regardless – it is brilliant.
For most shopping carts it takes 4-6 steps before a customer can even pull out their credit card to pay. At most you want 3 steps. Have the address, shipping, card information and coupon code all on one page – It makes it easier. I was shopping a boutique and they were advertising a 40% off sale with a coupon code. When I got to checkout, I had to put in my card number first, I didn’t know they wanted you to put in the code after. I had to let them know. They emailed me back saying after you put in your information via PayPal, you will find out shipping cost and at that point you can put in your coupon code. That is a HUGE no-no. Customers don’t want to be surprised with shipping cost, so you must make it seamless. Your main goal is to have people stay on your site, directing them to pay outside your site only causes higher bounce rates.
All of these are essential pieces you need for an amazing shopping cart. Does your current shopping cart have these functions? What are your thoughts about abandon cart and simple checkout?