#1: Payment Options
Most visitors to online stores prefer
to pay by credit card. If you want to use your eCommerce shopping cart
software to process credit card transactions with a real-time payment
gateway, you'll have to open a merchant account.
Although the majority of shoppers at online stores will make a credit
card transaction, choosing an eCommerce shopping cart that also allows
you to accept alternative payments will please customers who remain
resistant to providing such information online. Offering options such as
PayPal®, Google® Checkout, checks, and/or money orders allows more
people to feel comfortable checking out on your site.
#2: Site Search & Browse
Visitors to online stores have
a need for speed - and it starts with time-saving search. Consumers
expect online stores to allow them to search for a product and quickly
find the product they want. Customers also navigate via categories,
along with browsing by price, category and brand distinctions. If your eCommerce shopping cart does not include a search feature for your site,
your visitor may simply decide to look elsewhere.
#3: Product Reviews
No matter how well online stores
promote their own products, reviews by other customers will have a
greater impact. In fact, 63% of consumers indicate that they are more
likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews,
according to a CompUSA® and iPerceptions® study. Choose an eCommerce
shopping cart that allows for product ratings and reviews - and let
"word of mouth" work for you.
#4: Wish List/Registry
Customers at online stores often buy
gifts for special occasions, which is why many eCommerce shopping carts
feature a registry option that makes the process easier. Also,
so-called "wish lists" allow customers to save items at online stores
and return at a later date to purchase those items. In general, when
your eCommerce shopping cart allows your customers to manage their items
the way they want, the result is higher satisfaction.
#5: Real-Time Inventory
It's a common complaint from those
who frequent online stores -- a customer goes through a lengthy process
of placing an order, only to find out later that the item purchased
wasn't really in stock. eCommerce shopping carts should allow for
real-time inventory management, which ensures that what customers see on
their screen is what's actually available for delivery to their
#6: Express Checkout
The checkout process at many online
stores can be as frustrating -- if not more so -- than standing in a
long checkout line at a brick-and-mortar store. When visitors are ready
to buy, your eCommerce shopping cart must make it as simple as possible.
Some eCommerce shopping carts offer registered users an express
checkout option, which pulls up their stored payment and billing info
when they log in.
#7: Order Tracking
An eCommerce shopping cart can help you
keep customers informed every step of the way - even after their order
is placed. Automated order confirmation emails and shipping notification
emails build customer's confidence in their purchase and in your brand.
If a customer registers, they should be able to track their order by
logging into an account created upon registration.
#8: Special Offers
Looking for a way to woo new customers -
or existing customers you haven't seen in a while? eCommerce shopping
carts can help you promote special offers like order discounts, coupon
codes, free shipping and gift cards. These offers serve a dual purpose
-they encourage customers to take advantage of a "good deal" while also
helping you compete in today's competitive online marketplace.
#9: Website Security
Choose an eCommerce shopping cart with
built-in SSL data encryption for website security. When online stores
display SSL Certificate seals on their home pages, customers feel
confident that their personal information will be protected and are more
likely to complete a purchase.
eCommerce shopping carts are key to the success of online stores.
When choosing an eCommerce shopping cart for your online business, keep
customer satisfaction in mind and you'll be rewarded with customer