When you head off to the department store, everyone is pushing around a shopping cart to put the items in that you wish to purchase. Well, it’s really no different online.
Websites that sell products need a shopping cart, unless they sell only one product. Having a shopping cart will allow your customers to shop through thousands of items, virtually cruising the store isles, and putting the items into their shopping cart. When done shopping your customer checks out and pays through a secure checkout.
The cart stores all the items that your customer wants to purchase and then tallies up the amount owed, collects the payment, and places the order for shipping.
Of course, not all shopping carts are created equal. Some are better than others. A shopping cart that is simple and easy to understand is the best kind. Your shopping cart should be intuitive. Your customers do not want to be having to try to figure out how a shopping cart works. If it’s complicated, they’ll abandon their shopping cart without completing their purchase.
An online shopping cart needs to be simple, work with different operating systems, and function the same in all browsers, which is why an HTML shopping cart is better than a flash cart or one that requires plugins.
Your shopping cart should also not require that the customer register for an account. The majority of people won’t take the time to register. They want to shop not have to learn how to shop, or register in order to shop.
A good shopping cart will have images that are full size, detailed descriptions that have enough information to meet the customers’ needs but not so much that it becomes overwhelming, and offer a secure checkout.
You should also find out whether the service provides the necessary service to take credit cards, whether it uses PayPal’s service, or whether you will be required to get your own merchant account, which will be an additional monthly cost for you. There are additional requirements for a merchant account, and you will want to make sure that your sales will justify the additional cost, especially when so many shopping carts/checkouts offer credit card processing.
A shopping cart and checkout are essential to every e-commerce website. Without a way to add virtual items to a virtual shopping basket, your customer wouldn’t be able to make multiple purchases easily. Price shop around, and make sure you find the right shopping cart for your business and your budget.