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An Online Shopping Cart: Why Every eCommerce Business Needs One

Dec 31, 2007
If your business sells products or services online, or you are planning to establish an online presence in the near future, then your business also needs to have an online shopping cart.

This feature is a vital part of ecommerce for many reasons. Here are three good ways that having this feature will benefit your business.

1: It helps you to process payments. When you sell your wares online, you will rely solely on credit card payments and echecks. The alternative is to allow customers to mail checks; however, most shoppers don't like to do that, as it can easily add as much as two weeks to their wait.

Just as in a brick-and-mortar store, an Internet business needs a way to process credit card payments and echecks. Many services include this feature when you purchase an online shopping cart for your website.

2: It helps you complete sales by reassuring your customers. Scams abound online, and many shoppers are wary as to whom they trust with their payment and contact information. This makes you look well established like the biggest businesses, such as eBay and Amazon. This creates confidence in buyers, who are then more likely to complete their purchases with you.

3: It helps you complete sales by bringing customers back to your site. These packages generally have many features that help to encourage customers to buy from you. For example, many allow shoppers to save their current cart, and come back to make the purchase later. If your cart has this option, you should be able to send an automatic follow-up email to the customer after a specified period of time, reminding them that their purchases are still being held for them.

Another useful feature that comes with many online carts is a wish list. Shoppers can choose whether to put an item in their cart, or save it to a wish list to buy later (or in the hopes that someone else will buy it for them). Some carts even remember a shopper's preferences and make suggestions when they return; a feature you may be familiar with from big ecommerce sites such as Amazon.

Finally, an online shopping cart takes customer information as part of the checkout process. Using this information, you can compile a list of customer email addresses, and send out automated newsletters to encourage them to return to your store at a later date.

Every online business needs this feature. You wouldn't open a brick-and-mortar store without a checkout counter and a cash register, so why would you open an ecommerce store without the online equivalent? Just as a checkout counter shows customers where to go when they have decided on their purchases, so an online shopping cart helps customers navigate your website to complete their purchases quickly and without frustration. And just like a cash register, this feature will add up a customer's purchases, subtracts for discounts and promotions, and calculates tax and shipping.

For any online business owner that is serious about their business, an online shopping cart is a necessity not only for doing business, but also for impressing potential customers.
About the Author
AspDotNetStorefront is a premier online shopping cart and storefront provider.
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