Comprehensive ecommerce shopping cart solutions make building an online store easier as never before. Nearly a half of small and medium businesses in Europe and the USA are present both online and offline. I can hardly believe that all of them or even 20% create their own selling software. Surely, there always exist several IT geniuses who adore passing hours and weeks on developer forums and sites. But most of vendors prefer to save time and buy a ready-to-use application. Which means that every year shopping cart creators sell thousands of licenses to new clients and renew annual subscription for already-existing ones. Ecommerce online presence grows about 23% every year, and just to have a web shop is not enough anymore. To capitalize on web selling you need a clear strategy and effort targeting. But targeting is effective only when it concerns ready-to buy customers. The question is: “What can you do to turn common prospects into clients who want to pay for your product?” There exist numerous tricks, like marketing, visual attractiveness, product diversity, unique products, and others. All these aren’t particularly difficult to realize, but are often time and/or effort consuming. Let’s see in general what are the instruments you’ll probably need to carry them into effect.
Marketing pays off only when targets the special audience. To get acquainted with your potential customers, you can surf the web for up-to-date statistics and data on online buyers in your country or even abroad, if you think about world-wide selling. Some advanced shopping cart software programs offer built-in analytical instruments that can analyze all the information about your sales and customers. Eventually, you can learn plenty of things, like the age of your most frequent buyers, their residence country, favorite payment method and products, the most visited pictures. While your webstore statistics can help you to launch on-target advertising to existing customers, global data will empower you to hunt the relevant customer groups all around the globe. Audio and visual information is another powerful way to draw clients. Simply said, the more eye-catching pictures you put, the more visitors you get on your website and, consequently, online shop. It goes without saying, that money also plays a key role in the buying process. So, if your product photos are clear and beautiful, prices are moderate (or at least not the highest on the market) and products are various, you’ve got high chances to draw a good many prospects.
There’s another thing which is also very important in online selling – user-friendly and intuitive interface. Be sure that even a highly motivated and loyal customer will prefer to shop in a simple and quick web store, rather than spend hours trying to make sense of a sophisticated shopping cart with crafty navigation and three-page checkout. Actually, single-page checkout is a real must-have for any successful ecommerce website. Even an interested prospect would close your page and go to that of your competitor, if you offer him a multi-page checkout process. In fact, the stage when the customer fulfils its personal information for payment and delivery, should be as short as possible. In this case, he will pass it quickly and won’t have time to doubt whether he really needs the product in question. It may seem that all these and many other vitally important features necessary for a prosperous e-store, are included nearly in any shopping cart solution available on the market. For good or for ill, it’s not the case. The ready-to-use sales apps are sold with basic integrated functions, and the rest is usually an option to be paid separately. Surely, you can try any solution for free during several weeks (2 or 4) in order to understand its operation and make (or not) a buying decision.
Open source ecommerce website builder
Some online store owners opt for self-developed solutions or turn to an open source ecommerce website builder. That means they create their own shopping cart or buy the one written on open source language, so that afterwards they would be able to make any necessary changes in it. In fact, it’s an interesting option for those who have a small budget or would like to reduce costs.
There’s one more point that is often ignored but still remains crucial for the web store success. Internet security and data protection have recently become one of the major problems for any ecommerce business. As an e-shop owner, you must take care of your customers and protect their personal information, as well as financial transactions. Don’t be scared, it won’t cost you much. Everything you’ll need is an appropriate SSL certificate together with hosting services. Some shopping cart owners opt for self-hosting, but it suits only for high-tech savvies or hardware geeks. If you’re not one of them, choose a reliable hosting provider depending upon your web shop size.
And the last but not the least: don’t forget about millions of mobile users – those who access the web via mobile phones and tablets. Most of them are relatively young – under 40 – active and employed. Which means they are experienced Internet users, have money to spend, and very often little time to go to a brick-and-mortar shop. Here they are, your dream customers. If you don’t want miss them, choose ecommerce shopping cart solutions with integrated mobile version. And be sure it supports the most popular Internet browsers - according to Wikipedia, these are Safari, Opera, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Chinese UC Browser.
Browse through our Video Tutorials to become more aware of all the advantages that our ecommerce software consists of.