The shopping cart is one of the most important aspects of an e-commerce store. In order to keep up with emerging trends, it should be upgraded or amended at least annually. Depending on the shopping cart software or plugin that you use, this could mean installing a simple update or uploading a pre-built module.
Adding new features enhances the online shopping experience, improves marketing efforts, and encourages customers to purchase additional items. It also keeps the website looking fresh and current.
Features for E-Commerce Shopping Carts
Optimized for mobile devices
Shopping online through mobile devices has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Online retailers experience a sharp increase of mobile users especially during Black Friday and other sale events. It is expected that mobile devices will definitely play an ever increasing role in online shopping in the coming years.
Social media connectivity
Allow website visitors to “like” or share products with their friends with a click of a button. For instance, if a viewer click’s on the “like” button for Facebook, the product and description will be displayed on his Facebook profile page for his entire network to see.
Opening the doors to allowing customers to write reviews can be nerve wracking for many businesses. NPD Group, a market research company, found that 62% of their survey respondents said that they are doing their homework before making a purchase. Of those, nearly 50% are doing this homework through online researching. By adding a review section on the website, customers will be less likely to leave the site for conducting additional research.
Live order tracking
This feature allows customers to log into the site to be able to see the current status of the order, plus the tracking number if it has been shipped. Not only is this feature convenient for customers, but it will also reduce the number of calls and emails to customer service. Combining this service with automated emails that notify customers when the package reaches a particular stage is also very welcomed – especially around the holidays.
Up-selling and cross-selling modules
Being able to up-sell and cross-sell products through shopping cart software is standard in most shopping cart software programs. Even though this feature is commonly available to most online businesses, it being overlooked by many. This powerful module allows businesses to notify customers of other products they would be interested in based on what they added to their shopping cart, or to provide them with additional options.
For instance, if purchasing a flight through Expedia.com, they will often recommend reserving a rental car or purchasing tickets for a local tour. Or, if you book a hotel on Hotels.com, you may see a message that for a few dollars more you can upgrade to a larger suite.
Updating Shopping Carts
Check regularly to see if there are updates or additional features added to your shopping cart software. If you are using a hosted shopping cart, then they may automatically upgrade your account so that you can offer the latest. However, if your shopping cart is a software that is hosted on your own server, then it is up to you to upgrade it or upload modules to expand its capabilities. Keeping your shopping cart up-to-date keeps you from falling behind the latest trends and allows you to increase customer satisfaction and retention.