If you are thinking about opening an online business, you may feel confused about the role of shopping cart applications and features in the e-commerce platform. You may have read that it was important and worth investing in, but may not know why. With the exponential growth of online stores, online shopping carts have become the cornerstone of a successful online business. This software may be the key to increased sales and higher conversion rates. This article explains why quality shopping cart features are essential to the health of your e-commerce venture.
How Do Online Shopping Cart Features Benefit Customers?
If you are an online customer rather than a seller, you may want to know how such applications can benefit your online shopping experience. Ecommerce.about.com explains that an online shopping cart acts a lot like a cart in a supermarket. Imagine yourself in a grocery store where there are no baskets or carts. If you have to buy food and other necessities for the entire week, you may have to collect a few items, check them out, then have to come back to the store and repeat the process a few more times. If there was no online shopping cart, customers would have to buy each item separately, which would be time consuming and inconvenient. Fortunately, shopping cart features enable you to choose several items, modify your order, and check them out all at once at the time of purchase. The shopping cart also plays the role of a cashier and automatically calculates your total and offers different methods of payment and shipping to choose from.
How Do Online Shopping Cart Features Benefit Sellers?
There are many benefits to using an online shopping cart for an online seller. Without an online shopping cart which has various features, you are without the ability to properly display your product and checkout the payments of your clients. Here are the main reasons why it is almost mandatory to use an online shopping cart for your online business to grow:
You Can Process Multiple Types of Payment
Payment processing features enable you to checkout purchases of customers using all major credit cards, echecks, money orders, PayPal, and other means of payment. In doing so, you are opening your business to a variety of clients, including those from out of the country. Such an application can help boost sales.
Giving You an Overview of Your Performance
Sometimes it is difficult for an online business owner to know exactly how the ecommerce venture is doing. Analytical online shopping features can help you know the numbers behind your online boutique. You can consult any type of data from the traffic on your website to your sales revenue per day, week, month or year, and compare it to competitors or to your sales at another time. You can also find out which product in your inventory sells the most, and which clients buy the most from you. Such data could not be used without the help of an online shopping cart. Similar options are also available for inventory and enable you to know when a specific item goes out of stock.
Delivery and Protection of Your Digital Products
If you are selling an online product or service, you will not have to worry about holding an inventory or delivering products to your clients. However, your content or services may be stolen or shared freely by fraudulent individuals. You also risk not being able to send the particular object to your customer quickly and efficiently after the purchase. Safety and data encryption features protect you from these risks. Such applications also ensure that your client’s payment data as well as your business information is safe from computer viruses and hackers.
Efficient Marketing Tools
If you don’t have time to market to your target audience and to each of your clients, most online shopping cart applications will do it for you. Talk.payloadz.com explains that you can set your online shopping cart to send automatic e-mails to your customers on a regular basis to tell them about seasonal sales or remind them about an abandoned cart. You can also create online discounts and enable customers to enter coupons code to lower their subtotal at the end of their purchase. Additionally, most online shopping carts offer Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools that will help your content be available to plenty of customers on search engine pages.
Peace of Mind about Your Business
Online shopping cart applications help you have a peace of mind about your online venture on a day-to-day basis. You may not have time to check on your business every single day, and finding out that one of the software you installed isn’t working may seriously impact the reputation and well-being of your venture. Some online shopping carts features are completely included in a hosted e-commerce platform, which means that a provider takes care of everything: the codes are already pre-written, templates are established and all you will need to do is enter in your product information. Such services also update your online shopping cart features for you. If you are a young online business owner, this may be the best option for you. Keep in mind that self-hosted as well as hosted shopping cart applications also have support systems you can call or email in case you have a problem or a question.
When thinking about opening an online store, online shopping carts don’t always come to mind. However, it is critical for the well-being of your e-commerce venture to find a high-quality, reliable online shopping cart application. Doing so may drive up your sales, help you with collecting your business data, take care of some basic marketing tasks, process your payments and even protect your online products and services. Such software also benefits your clients by helping them navigate through your site, create an order and easily purchase the items they are interested in. Online reviews and public forums are great resources to start looking for online shopping cart providers and identify the services that are best for your venture.