The future is e-commerce, and the Covid 19 pandemic has been keen to highlight how important this technology is.
Your desire to reach more customers in the current times has probably already got you to realize that e-commerce features on your website will keep you well ahead of your competition.
Your business success online is anchored on the kind of customer experience you offer to your existing and prospective customers? After all, you don’t want your prospects bouncing off your website even before completing a transaction, all thanks to a bad online experience.
Cart abandonment has become a real thorn in the flesh for many businesses. You don’t want to be one of them.
Is avoiding lost business the only reason your website should have a shopping cart?
Why Your Website Should have a Shopping Cart
Your website is only as good as the features that make it easy for your customers to transact with you. So, since a happy customer is a good thing for your business, why not get your business a website that will give your customers the best shopping experience?
That is what you will achieve when you install a shopping cart for your website.
You are probably just getting into the e-commerce space and wondering what I’m going on about. What is shopping Cart Software anyway?
Allow me to bring you up to speed.
First, let me explain what software means.
Any functional electronic device comes with a set of commands referred to as software. A software, therefore, is simply that program or instructions on which any electronic device runs.
A shopping cart software is a program with instructions that will make it easy for your customers to shop on your website. It allows customers to “pick” what they like and hold it in a virtual cart. The customer can view products in the cart, add more products or remove them from it. Once the customer is happy with the contents of his virtual cart, he can virtually check out, and that information is relayed to you as the seller to fulfill the order and process payment.
If you are still wondering if you should get your business a shopping cart software, here are five reasons why you should jump right into it.
- You will save on cost – A reliable shopping cart will do work that you would otherwise need several employees to deliver. Employees will need salaries which would be more expensive than maintaining a shopping cart.
- You will have access to new retail channels– Having an e-commerce shopping cart means you can sell to customers anywhere in the world without limitations that come with a physical location. That eventually translates into more sales.
- You will enjoy payment Convenience – If your budget is limited like most are, you will appreciate having everything together from inventory management to the payment solution, all in one convenient pack.
- You will save on labor hours – Are you wondering where to find more time to concentrate on growing your business? Install a shopping cart software and allow it to take away all the little tasks off your hands.
- Your customers will have an easy time transacting with you – Whenever a customer needs something from your online shop, it’s a no-brainer. The system will autofill information filed initially during the first transaction. It’s convenient, easy, and time-saving for your customers.
Choosing the Best Software for your business
Now that you know the benefits you and your customers will gain from investing in a shopping cart, you are now probably ready to take the plunge. But with so many options in the market all claiming superiority, which one should you settle for?
Categories of Shopping Cart Software to Choose from
They say information is power. Knowing what to look out for will help you make a better decision when choosing one over another.
Shopping carts fall into two categories including:
Hosted Shopping Carts
This option is referred to as SAAS (Software As a Service). It is perfect if you prefer the flexibility and ease of use that comes with accessing the service from a third party for a fee over owning, maintaining, and upgrading the shopping cart,
Self-hosted Shopping Carts
Also referred to as an open-source shopping cart, this option will work well if you prefer not to pay any license fee. You will have access to the original code allowing you to adjust or modify the cart as you wish. That means you have the freedom to decide the kind of experience you will offer to your customers. On the other hand, however, it will require more hands-on technical work, unlike the hosted shopping cart option.
How to Choose the Best shopping cart software for your business
Whether you settle for a hosted or self-hosted shopping cart, ensure that it checks all the following features:
- It must be secure and PCI compliant
- It should be mobile-friendly
- It must be easy to customize
- It should be easy to update
Beyond the features, a good cart should also promote and not hinder your business growth. For that, you need a good plan, and here it is in 5 easy steps:
Step 1– Clearly establish the reason you want to go online. What goals would you like to achieve, and how?
Step 2 – Decide on features that are important for you. Use step one to decide on the features you will need to deliver your goals.
Step 3 – Choose between hosted (SAAS) and self-hosted shopping cart. Weigh the pros and cons for each and decide which one of the two aligns best with your goals.
Step 4 – Test the system to find if any bumps will downplay the intended excellent customer experience and work on it. While at it, customize what you can.
Step 5 – Confirm that you have the technical support you require any time you need it.
Taking your business online today is a crucial part of its success. The market has many solutions for that, and all come claiming their prowess in helping you achieve that success.
However, you can’t blindly pick one and pray that it will work. You need to know what will work best for you, what to look out for and what to expect from choosing one solution over the other.
This article offers all the information you will need to pick the best shopping cart software. So if you need a solution that will be effective efficient for your e-commerce website, start right here.