The shopping cart can be considered as the ‘make-or-break’ agent in closing online sale transactions. Online businesses all have to deal with ‘Cart Abandonment’ issues. They observe visitors who drop in, browse product listings, add items to their shopping cart, proceed to the checkout page, then suddenly leave without completing their purchase.
Many can be attributed as causes for cart abandonment. In a 2013 Pulse of the Online Shopper Study conducted by UPS (in which over 3,000 US Consumers participated in the survey), ease of check-out and clear disclosure of product and shipping cost and options are what buyers consider when purchasing online. The study revealed that over 50 percent abandon carts because total costs were not as expected. Other letdowns were slow loading of web pages, a long and confusing check-out process, and incomplete information on products and charges.
The online seller should conduct a regular evaluation and review of his website; this is very important in boosting sales and in keeping customers coming back for further purchases. The best shopping cart would ensure that visitors are well assisted online, and store pages are as informative as possible, easily understood.
Essential shopping cart features are as follows:
Ease and Speed of Navigation
Further causes of cart abandonment were provided by Statista, one of the leading statistics provider online. Among those mentioned were: ‘website navigation too complicated’, ‘website crashed or timed out’, and ‘process was taking too long’. The appeal of online purchases is speed and ease. Customers looking to purchase from your online store expect a smooth and quick transaction. A common complaint among ‘would have been’ customers was that there were too many unnecessary actions and information disclosure required of them. A good shopping cart is one that is most functional at the least inconvenience and delay. The more you delay a customer from clicking that ‘Final Purchase’ button, the higher is your risk of losing the sale.
Full disclosure is a must. Supply full representation of items for sale. Be as descriptive as you can in as few words as you can.
Product details must be complete, easily accessed via the main product pages as well as via the shopping cart page. A number of customers confess to have disregarded and deleted product items from the cart simply because they are not able to recall product information since no related clickable links were easily available for final review.
Eye-catching and good-sized product images attract. Get your visitors interested in clicking product items by incorporating large and good quality images on your site. Image resizing should be a feature, as well as, image zooming or image clicking for larger product image views.
Product Reviews and Consumer Opinions
Product recommendations greatly encourage visitors to complete a purchase. Let your shopping cart provide relevant information such as product rating, consumer purchase insight, and positive reviews from reputable sources. Twenty five thousand Internet consumers worldwide were surveyed in 2009 and 70 percent of them said they relied on consumer opinions posted online, according to Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey Reports.
Product Option or Substitution
Should an item be unavailable for final purchase due to stock unavailability or stock phase-out, make sure your shopping cart is able to provide shoppers with related and alternate products they can purchase; this allows you to keep the intended sale. The best eCommerce website makers would have sufficient automated tools provided in order to easily facilitate this feature for you.
Secure and Multiple Payment Gateways
A good shopping cart can guarantee safe and multi-featured online purchasing, according to Andrew Minalto of eCommerce Magnates. He is an online entrepreneur and best-selling author. Your website maker should provide you with a package that allows for multiple payment gateways, making payments a breeze; just make sure that the software programs used are certified compliant with the Payment Card industry Data Security Standards.
Buyers should not be limited as to the means of payments available for them; else, you’ll be losing customers. There are available merchant accounts which your shopping cart can seamlessly work with, some of which are PayPal, Amazon Checkout, and others. Inquire from your shopping cart company regarding this.
Simple and Fast Checkout Page
Make sure that your shopping cart facilitates purchases as quickly as possible. Everyone is looking for the shortest ‘waiting line’. Keep your checkout form on one single page only. It is not recommended to have multiple pages loading during the checkout process. The rate of cart abandonment greatly decreases if you have this shopping cart feature. Also, one page checkout processing keeps your website user-friendly.
Coupons, promotional offers, and other discounts should easily be applied during checkout. Everything that needs to be deducted should be immediately done so. Customers are turned off by deductions that can only be availed at a later time or during a future purchase. Process all discounts in real-time during the item purchase.
Customers dislike unexpected purchase totals at the very last step of the purchase, so make sure that all costs are presented in a straightforward manner. All charges like shipping costs, insurance costs, and other purchase related costs should be made available as early as possible during product selection and purchasing.