Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quest 100% Ecommerce Company

Companies spend millions of dollars on their online marketing efforts in the hope that eventually people will click that little shopping cart button tucked away discreetly in a corner, and complete the process with a purchase. Their pessimism is not unfounded. Studies reveal that a vast majority of shopping carts are abandoned along the way, and these don't even have squeaky wheels! While there could be a number of reasons to explain this behavior, marketers will do their chances no harm if they give their shopping cart design some thought.
Believe it or not, the online shopping process actually has a larger number of "to-do steps" compared to a quick trip to the local Wal-Mart. That's because apart from finding, placing, checking out and paying as we do in a brick and mortar store, there's the additional review of the shopping cart with each new item, an account creation process (if one doesn't have it already), followed by a log-in, followed by an online payment process, followed by a "buy now" confirmation and a log out... phew! Can we blame them for preferring to drive a couple of miles and spend ten minutes finding that elusive parking slot? At least the actual shopping isn't such a pain!
But before you throw the baby out with the bathwater; take a look at some common shopping cart design flaws which contribute towards a high drop out incidence. Avoiding these mistakes on your website may help retain customers with a genuine intent to buy.
What's in a name? Plenty, apparently! Shoppers anywhere are simple minded people. They're usually the find cart- fill cart- pay- get out variety. No reason to believe online shoppers are any different - they're expecting to find a shopping cart, so please give them one. Don't experiment with names like basket, barrow, bag... It'll only serve to confuse them. Add a cart icon for good measure!
Loading the cart is not the same as buying. Some online shopping sites feature a "buy" button even when the customer is merely looking around or loading the cart before taking a final decision. "Buy" suggest an irrevocable commitment and will drive many people away. "Add to cart" is much less pushy.
Tell them how many. Quite often, an online buying process will allow the customer to continue adding items, without going back to the shopping cart. While this is supposed to make it more convenient, it can be quite unsettling if the customer cannot see what has been stacked up so far. The shopping cart design must include a feature whereby a summary of the items in the cart is displayed at the top of each page. This also assures the customer that he or she has successfully added all the required items to the cart, or removed them from it, as the case may be.
Don't ask them if they want fries with their order. Some shopping cart design models have a built-in cross-selling feature that pops a question as soon as something is put into the cart. This is the online equivalent of being stalked by an overenthusiastic salesperson. When a buyer is busy filling the cart, all he or she seeks is confirmation of that process. Don't spoil it.
Putting the cart before the horse! Sometimes, buyers are asked to register, provide shipping, billing and even credit card details before they have a total cost of items in their cart. Taxes, freight and service charges are added at the end, and could make an impact on the decision to buy. Asking the customer for so much personal information before they even know what it's going to cost them, is not a smart idea!
Keep it simple. An effective shopping cart design will ensure that the buying process is simple, intuitive and as painless as possible. Some sites actually issue instructions on how to use or update the shopping cart. Others require users to type a "0" in the quantity column if they wish to cancel an order. Spare your customer. A "remove or delete item" button works best.
Remember, a shopping cart is much more important in the scheme of things, when it comes to online selling. Ensure that you design yours well, to maximize chances of converting a casual visit into a sale. The next step is to choose a reliable vendor* for setting it up. Getting the basics right will help you go a long way.

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