The online shopping cart within your eCommerce website is the yellow brick road that turns your window shoppers into paying customers. Aside from developing a high-quality website with quality content and product images, your shopping cart needs to be developed and configured accordingly. Achieving this goal is much easier than you might think as long as you remember to focus on six key features of your online shopping cart solution.
Just because your gallery and other pages throughout your website have a vast collection of product images doesn’t mean that you should not include them in your actual shopping cart as well. Quite a few reports have confirmed that including product images within your online shopping cart service will actually keep your customers hooked and interested. Otherwise, the old “out of sight, out of mind” concept can backfire on you and cause your customers to lose that interest all together.
When choosing the perfect images to use, make sure that you cover more than one view and angle. You want your customers to be able to see the products that capture their attention from a variety of different angles and perspectives, according to Yahoo Small Business. Think outside of the box as well, especially when it comes to allowing your pictures to tell a complete story. For example, online clothing stores should have pictures of their products being worn by actual people, not just models. If you sell electronics, a picture of those devices being used by real customers can also come in handy.
You should view a guest checkout feature as a requirement for your online shopping cart instead of an optional luxury. One study confirmed that 14 percent of interested customers will actually abandon their shopping carts if the company does not offer a guest checkout feature. Forcing these customers to spend more time registering information, setting up a password and completing other steps that are not directly related to their purchase is a relatively quick way to give sales away to competitors.
Keep in mind that you will already capture most of the information necessary to set up a customer account (e.g., name, addresses, phone numbers, etc.) just by allowing them to process their orders regularly – without any interruptions. It would be much better to use this backdoor approach to capture that information while closing the sale than to risk losing the sale completely by requiring this information upfront.
A Progress Bar
As soon as your customer reaches your website, an invisible time clock starts and determines just how long they will wait on your website to provide them exactly with what they need. Therefore, you need to make sure that your online shopping cart comes with some type of progress bar. According to Geek Time, this will allow them to have a visual aid specifically to let them know how much more time is needed to complete their purchase. As mentioned earlier, every second counts so a progress bar will decrease the chances of your interested customers jumping ship for one of your competitors. However, you need to make sure your progress bar is clearly visible, presented in a clean manner and concise in nature.
Shipping Costs and Expenses
Even though it is not an actual feature, you still need to remember to include your shipping costs and associated expenses accordingly. It might be fairly tempting to leave this information buried within several lines of fine print toward the very bottom of your webpage, but doing so clearly would be a major mistake. While more than 40 percent of customers abandon online shopping carts due to high shipping costs, more than 20 percent will also leave because the shopping cart did not clearly disclose shipping costs.
If your shipping costs are too high to be competitive, consider searching for more affordable options. You can research a wide variety of shipping carriers along with their respective rates and services to find the most competitively priced web shopping carts to accept payments online. Even if the most affordable service might force you to break away from your comfort zone, the resulting increase in your conversion rate and generated revenue will make the sacrifice worthwhile.
A Welcome Mat
Another feature that needs to be included within your online shopping cart solution is a virtual welcome mat for your returning shoppers. Keep in mind that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is well more than 65 percent – but this does not necessarily mean that their abandonment was intentional.
Your consumers might be interested in returning to your website shortly after they left for one reason or another, so making sure that their existing shopping carts are still saved and ready to finalize is an important part of this process. One study states that close to 90 percent of sales processed online come from shoppers that have already visited the same website, according to Practical eCommerce.
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