By Jessica Sanders
October 15, 2012
There are a number of ways you can go about choosing the shopping cart software that’s right for your business. From cost effectiveness to user friendly credit card processing, the most important aspect is your customer.
When looking for a successful shopping cart for your eTail storefront, you want to keep in mind two things: what you customer needs to make the purchase and what they want from your ecommerce platform in general.
Top Notch Analytics
The first step in finding customer-friendly, shopping cart software is to seek out superb analytics. While this will be great for the customer, it’s also very beneficial to you. Knowing where they come from, where they go upon reaching your site, and why they abandon the cart allows you to modify the process making it better for them.
- Keyword uses: What keywords are your customers using to find you? This gives you an idea of what they want, allowing you to give them that.
- Overall navigation: Where do they travel when on your site? Does it seem like they’re searching for something they can’t find, or clicking away when you ask for too much information?
- Why they dropped off: Many eTailers are dealing with cart abandonment – dropping off the purchasing cycle before making that purchase. Did they need more customer reviews? Were they misguided by your marketing? Find out what they need to make that purchase.
Specific Customer Needs
When it comes down to it, what your customer wants is what you should be giving them. While you can use analytics to improve your site and navigation, there are specific things you know your customers will need. Consider the following:
- Credit card options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover – do you accept all of them or just some? Do you accept payments through PayPal and Amazon Checkout? Your customers are as diverse as their purchasing methods, and your adherence to that should be a priority.
- Gift certificate use: Do you offer gift certificates? Be sure that they can be used online.
- Coupon capability: If you use coupons, customers should be able to use them at your eStore. Whether you use a code or go by customer name, it’s advantageous to you for the technology to be there.
Designed for the Customer
Finally, you want a solution that is not only equipped for your customers, but designed specifically for them. The only person that can do that is someone familiar with your customer and your business. Thus, being able to customize the program post-purchase will be critical to taking a customer-focused approach to finding the right software. Some customization you might want to consider includes:
- Customer reviews: This might be the difference between making a sale or not. Your customer often needs this positive reinforcement before clicking “check out”, and it should be built into the interface.
- Similar products: Upsell and provide that little extra by offering similar products throughout the process.
You wouldn’t need shopping cart software if you didn’t have customers purchasing from you, so why not choose the right one for them? Consider what they need, what they want, and how you can give that to them with the right software options.
Guest author Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer. As the marketing copyeditor of Resource Nation, she touches on a range of topics such as Credit Card Processing, POS systems and sales software.