Customers should be in a position to place successful orders online and as such make online purchases very easily. They should also be in a position to navigate the prospective website of the item they want to purchase through its shopping cart. But how exactly should a shopping cart look in order to attract and retain customers? Below are tips on how to improve on its functionality for the ultimate online shopping experience.
Identify the problem
The first step to developing the best ecommerce shopping cart is identification of the problem for those online businesses whose shopping cart does not seem to attract their anticipated number of customers. Google analytics comes in handy in this case. By connecting the selected shopping cart to Google Analytics, the exact reason as to why the shopping cart is not working as expected; where the problem really is and what is causing it.
Is it mobile compatible?
Smartphone industry is fast growing and the number of online customers who use mobile phones to purchase via the internet cannot be ignored. The rate at which these new gadgets are being introduced into the market is very fast and the general public is responding well by purchasing them. Your ecommerce cart, therefore, should be optimized for these devices if you are really after gaining more customers.
Avoid external links
When building an ecommerce shopping cart, get rid of all types of links leading to other sites. The whole idea of a shopping cart is to retain as many online customers as possible. Links that direct them to external sites only drive them away and the possibility of coming around to refer to your site will be minimal, especially if they did not like an aspect of your cart. If you have to add an external link, make sure it opens in a new tab. Removing ads and a home button also guarantees the possibility of the online customer staying in your cart for long thus improves the probability of them making a purchase.
Online purchases in most cases, involve a series of multiple and subsequent steps that follow each other in a sequence. Usually, this sequence is made in such a way that what is done at Stage I determines what is done at Stage II and what is done at Stage III is determined by the progress at Stage II and so on. Customers will feel secure and at ease if they are shown the progress of their online purchase procedure in a progress bar located at the top of the shopping cart for instance. You can use the style of ‘Step 1 of 7…’ or generally use percentages to show the online customer how close they are to completing their purchase. This is one of the features that can be built with the best ecommerce software.
Improve customer security
Customers will only make purchases if they feel that the online business in question is legitimate and trustworthy enough to handle their personal information including finances. This also involves being transparent in terms of cost computation and compilation of cart items; do not introduce surprise costs that the customer never prepared for in the shopping cart such as shipping costs. The same applies to shopping items. In general, use well-known security icons to assure customers of safety of their details.
This is a very effective way of retrieving lost customers. If a customer abandons a shopping cart prior to making payment, there must be a reason as to why that is the case. An example can be the aforementioned surprise items and cost. If this is the case the online business in question can use email to lure the customer back into the deal by offering some sort of incentive for instance a discount or a bonus on successful purchase.
The customer review page
The customer reviews page is a very effective way of assuring prospective customers that they are not the only customers to have purchased from your site. The review page can also show the exact number of customers, who have previously made purchases from the website. It is reassuring to the prospective customer especially if the previous customers provide positive feedback about the site.
Optimization of the shopping cart is all about making the customer happy. To do this you will need to reassess your cart for the above mentioned attributes. Happy customers will create a unique bond with your online business and can even go as far as recommending other online buyers to your website thus increasing sales. A good shopping cart guarantees a high visitor-customer conversion rate. Ensuring the clients that your site is secure, give them confidence to make payment.