If you only sell one item, or one service, or just a few items, chances are you do not need an online shopping cart. However, most e-commerce businesses require some sort of shopping cart on their website. This is especially true the more items you have. A shopping cart allows website visitors to pick and choose the items they wish to purchase. The shopping cart then collects the customers address, and adds tax and shipping as needed. Finally the shopping cart connects to a payment gateway for processing of the credit card order.
Payment Processing – Many shopping cart programs offer credit card processing as well as cheque, PayPal or other methods of processing payments.
Webpage Design – Many merchants are good at selling things, not designing web pages, so some shopping cart software will include step by step wizards to help take the mystery out of that process (you don’t even have to know HTML).
Storefront Design – Step by step store front wizards incorporate templates and other tools to help you set up the look of your web site’s storefront.
Inventory Control– Good shopping cart software will keep track of your inventory and generate reports automatically.
Shipping – Nearly all shopping carts offers a shipping tool that calculates shipping costs for customers based on parameters that you set, some can even link up to common shipping methods like FedEx or UPS.
Tax Calculation – Most shopping cart software can calculate taxes, a valuable tool, especially since many provinces and states are considering requiring merchants to collect taxes for online sales.
Customer Management – Most shopping cart software has features that will let customers view their previous purchases. The program will also recognize the customer when the come back for a return visit.
Marketing – Some web store owners are familiar with selling their products directly to a customer, but have no experience in taking advantage of today’s powerful internet marketing techniques. Most shopping cart software offers integrated information on affiliate programs, social network marketing methods, and help with merchandising. Many are able to create coupons, gift certificates or other incentives as well. In addition, they provide sales reports and 'hit' or page-view traffic information as well to help optimize the customer conversion experience.
Security – Customers won’t purchase online if they feel the website cannot protect their personal information. Most shopping cart software will offer protection by encrypting information, processing credit cards through reputable processing services and by allowing customers to move through their program without having to download cookies.
Alliance Shopping Cart Software: What to Look For - Choosing the right shopping cart software is one of the most crucial steps to making your online business a success. Your customers need to be able to purchase your product(s) as easily as possible, with a sense of security. For the business owner, the software should be simple to use, with lots of useful features and great customer support when needed.
Once you have your business entity established, bank account open, good products to sell, and the perfect Alliance shopping cart software, you may be well on your way to a successful Internet business. If you're already in business, but are unhappy with your software package, or have outgrown it, think about making a change that will help you manage all of your concerns more efficiently. Think Alliance Shopping Cart Software!
Alliance Merchant Services is a registered ISO/MSP of First Data Loan Company, Canada.