Spot good shopping cart software!

With the price of property rentals exponentially increasing in major cities, it’s no surprise why many smaller companies opt to sell online.

Your online shopping cart software, therefore, creates an important connection between you and your customers. It must therefore help you achieve three goals:

-Deliver the best and most secure experience for your users;
-Make it simple and desirable for them to complete transactions;
-Minimize common ecommerce hurdles (such as shopping cart abandonment).

So what you do to enhance the online shopping experience and keep your customers coming back to your virtual store? Apparently, quite a bit according to a new solution by Salesforce and a third-party developer that aims to do the following:

Enhance user experience

Your customer’s journey doesn’t end once they reach the shopping cart, and the same expectations for ease, innovation, and efficacy still apply.  You must be ready to fulfill these expectations, hold their attention, and guide them through the finishing steps of the buying funnel.

First and foremost, customers expect consistency, reliability, and speed. Most users are now accustomed to the speeds facilitated by broadband Wi-Fi and omnipresent LTE mobile networks.

Source: Demandware.com

Your shopping cart software needs to be configured so that any pop-up menus appear nearly instantly. There must also be minimal lag time between page transitions — or you risk losing the sale.

Research indicates that 78 percent of ecommerce consumers completed a purchase on their mobile device in 2016.

We can likely assume that percentage has only increased. Therefore, delivering experiences that embrace mobile best practices has to be one of your primary concerns as you choose a solution.

Your buyers also want an integrated product search function that delivers accurate results. They need helpful results whether they know the exact keywords, or are simply browsing more generally.

Make sure your search function features a variety of filters that customers can use to quickly refine their results.

Finally, include an easily accessible chat support system so your website visitors can quickly resolve issues that arise.

Online purchasers increasingly prefer chat to other contact methods — 44 percent say that a live chat function during their purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

The absence of a chatbot may cause frustrated buyers to abandon your store and visit a competitor’s website.

Highlight your products’ benefits

Your shopping cart software needs to represent your products as honestly and accurately to help build lasting relationships with your customers.

Your product descriptions must be accurate and updated accordingly. This means having software that makes it easy to adjust specifications due to product changes.

Product images are one of the most important parts of the ecommerce experience. Your shopping cart solution should render high-quality images that showcase your products the way they were meant to be seen.

They should be large and feature zoom functionality as well.

Another effective method for building trust and relaying experiences to prospects is to include product reviews directly in the shopping cart journey.

Not only do 91 percent of online buyers read reviews when researching a purchase, but 84 percent of them trust these reviews as much as a personal recommendation, too.

Reviews can help all your buyers make informed buying choices and potentially give them tips for using the product effectively.

Offer simple checkout options

Think about the checkout experience from a brick-and-mortar retail perspective. In a store, you are likely looking for the shortest checkout line that will allow you to complete your purchase and quickly move on to another task.

Delays are frustrating, but physical retail stores have an inherent defense against purchase abandonment: Customers have gone through the trouble of traveling to the store and already have the product in their hands.

The same principle applies to online shopping. As you choose your shopping cart software solution, pay close attention to the overall checkout experience.

Additionally, consider including an express checkout option for returning users who already have their data saved in your system.

Ensure your website & payment methods are secure

Trust is obviously a huge part of establishing a valuable relationship. Your shopping cart software is an extension of your brand, and your buyers must trust it with their personal and financial information.

It all starts with SSL encryption, which is an absolute necessity for any website that houses any sort of data transaction, be it financial or otherwise.

Prominently display your security and encryption badges throughout all pages of the shopping and checkout experience. This way users can see you are committed to securing their data.

As buyers turn away from direct credit card purchases in favor of potentially more secure methods, your company must be prepared to feature these other options. Customers appreciate the security and ease of mobile wallet payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. This is because they can complete purchases using a single-use virtual credit card number.

Give them the ability to use these alternative payments (Cryptocurrency incl.), as well as PayPal payments, in addition to the typical major credit cards.

Invest in ongoing platform improvements

You aren’t just buying shopping cart software for your present needs. You need to look for a platform that will grow, change, and adjust with you as your business and your customers evolve.

What most retailers need today, however, is a shopping cart platform — a management tool that helps companies process transactions, run their stores, and do more behind the scenes.

Additionally, a platform can integrate with their marketing and customer service platforms to provide a holistic customer experience.

Platforms with these kinds of advanced features rely on the cloud to run as software as a service (SaaS). This means you have all the benefits of the cloud and none of the detractions of traditional software.

Updates are seamless, the vendor handles security measures, the platform is multi-tenant, and all user activity is automatically updated across the system. Everyone in your company has up-to-the-minute information, and no details are lost.

The latest innovation in shopping cart software is the use of artificial intelligence, and customers have come to expect the benefits AI-powered software offers. Machine learning and other AI capabilities help ecommerce retailers reach their customers with the right products at the right time.

Leverage sophisticated analytics & data management.

Creating a more intuitive, secure, and user-friendly shopping cart experience is a never-ending process. It requires the use of advanced analytics. The best shopping cart software solutions feature numerous options for tracking user activity and reporting sales statistics.

You want a system that tracks product sales and customer activity with as much detail as possible, and that can also sort transaction data across a multitude of categories.

Reporting is a critical concern as well. It should be simple to execute and export sales and user reports directly from the shopping cart software.

The right software platform will give you unparalleled flexibility in analyzing how your customers interact with your shopping cart experience.

Ultimately, the right online shopping cart will be easy to optimize and manage your sales better. Allowing you to showcase the best features of your products and reduce friction for conversion.

This slightly modified feature was originally written by Danny Wong for Salesforce.

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