Simplicity should always be one of your primary concerns when it comes to developing an effective and efficient shopping cart for your website. With that being said, there are a number of different elements that should be viewed as top priorities when creating the basic foundation of this particular tool. As long as you focus on including these four elements within your overall design, your shopping cart will be off to a great start. Remember that one of the primary reasons that potential customers abandon their carts is a cumbersome multi-step checkout process, with a frustrating amount of bells and whistles. These are people who want to give you money, so why not make it easy for them?
All Required Costs and Expenses
Even though it may seem as if you should focus solely on displaying competitive prices and promotional sales, you need to make sure that your shopping cart also provides customers with direct access to all of the other expenses and costs that they will be required to pay upfront. Don’t fall into the trap of burying shipping costs, for example, within your chosen shopping cart templates because you can actually lose customers by doing so. Shipping and handling costs and any applicable sales taxes should be clearly identified and shown in the checkout process, and an option to email, print or download a receipt should be presented as an option; therefore, going in for a professionally designed shopping cart templates by companies such as Shopify makes sense, since such companies are experienced enough to have everything covered without you having to worry about the same. One study confirmed that 22 percent of consumers completely abandon shopping carts simply because of the company not clearly mentioning shipping costs. Regardless of how much money your company brings in each year, losing more than 20 percent of your interested customers who are actually on their way to the checkout page of your website is never acceptable.
A Wide Variety of Payment Options
Another important element to include within the design of your shopping cart is an abundance of payment options. Never focus on offering only the payment options that are convenient to you, but primarily consider the needs and preferences of your consumers. For example, it has become apparently clear that PayPal is becoming more and more of a popular preference across the board – especially when dealing with eCommerce stores and online payments in general. Therefore, in addition to accepting major credit cards, you should also seriously consider accepting PayPal payments as well in order to increase your conversion rate and keep your customers happy. Other options include PayPal clones like WePay, Google Wallet, Braintree, and other secure money transfer services. Even banking institutions are getting on board with making bank transfers available online to their clients. While not commonly used by the average retail customer, such services can be a boon at the wholesale and international levels. Other options include a mobile credit card slide machine, for those businesses that also do transactions outside of a bricks-and-mortar location or eCommerce website. It’s more secure than writing down credit card information, more likely to be processed and can often be integrated with your shopping cart service.
An Operational Customer Service Hotline
Don’t become too comfortable with the concept of online websites when it comes to designing your shopping cart templates. At heart, your customers still want to know that they can connect to a real live person whenever they may feel the need to do so. Therefore, it should be a primary concern and top priority for you to provide them with access to an operational customer service hotline. While it is not necessary to offer 24/7 service (especially if you cannot afford to do so), you need to at least make sure that your standard hours of operation are covered. This will allow your customers to feel even more safe and confident with their decision to purchase from your online store in the first place. Refusing to do so, however, will only make it easier for them to decide to take their business elsewhere. Often, they want to reach you, not someone at a call center somewhere, so if you can’t provide an immediate answer make sure your client understands your office hours clearly, and provide a way for them to contact you with specific questions and complaints.
Periodic Reassurance of Quality and Support
Keep in mind that your customers will be taking a big chance by simply finalizing their orders within your website, especially if they’re not big fans of online shopping. Many of the benefits of service that they are entitled to within the average brick-and-mortar store aren’t available when they shop on your website. Therefore, you need to periodically reassure them of the quality of your products and overall service. Effective shopping cart templates should include direct links to return policies, product warranties, testimonials and also information about any optional service plans, according to ClickZ. Whether you provide this information in a pop-up box or directly within the actual webpage doesn’t matter; just make sure it is available.