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10 Things You Should Know About Shopping Carts (cont.)

November 4th 2005

10 Things You Should Know About Shopping Carts

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6)  Merchant Account for Credit Card Purchases

Another reason a business wants to have a shopping cart is to sell their products or services online by Credit Card (CC). This requires more than a shopping cart.  It also requires a merchant account, where the funds collected are deposited, and a payment gateway which handles the transaction between the customers Credit Card Company and your merchant account. Each of these items has an associated cost. Three typical costs involved with a CC transaction are per transaction fee, monthly fee (to maintain the account) and a percentage of the sale. You may need help in determining the best deal for these services.

 7)          Amount of Activity

Now that you have some basic information to help you choose a shopping cart solution, what other influences can help determine your selection? One other piece of information that a provider may ask is how many transactions do you run a month? They may also ask what monthly revenue your site generates.

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You may wish at this point not to answer, because this some how, seems to be private information and not to matter in the decision. Actually the provider is trying to determine some levels of transactions to estimate the load on the web server. If you have a busy site certain hosting arrangements will not work well. For instance shared hosting may not give you the needed flexibility for peak band width needed during a spike of business causing some customers to be dropped causing lost sales (whenever these circumstance occur).

8) Integration of Shopping Cart onto a Website

You made a decision on what shopping cart solution to use, now what? How do I get it hooked up to work on my site? How do I get my product information into the cart and change the shopping cart look and feel to match the front end of my website? If you do not have HTML programming and graphical arts skills you may need someone to provide these services for you. Some shopping cart solutions offer template-based pages, and allow pages from the front end to be linked without much effort. This feature will lower the costs associated with your site integration.

 9)          Marketing Your Shopping Cart

The first objective is to provide the right mix of marketing solutions to keep customers coming to the website. Some solutions offer help with marketing features. Two of the most popular marketing features are an autoresponder and an affiliate program. The autoresponder sends customers who sign up or purchase a product a predetermined series of e-mails (could be e-Zines or e-newsletters). This series is designed to perform two functions. Introduce new customers to the site, and provide existing customers incentives to return and purchase. The affiliate feature is designed to offer other website owners a way to receive commissions on sales to people they send to your website. These features help drive traffic to your site and increase traffic over time.

       10)  Converting Visitors into Buyers

Lastly but probably one of the most important issues when deciding on a shopping cart is its ability to convert visitors to customers. If you get all the traffic in the world and cannot convert it, then you are spending money without hope of making it back. This is where you need the most help, and one of the places the rented solutions give you the least help. So if you have a shopping cart solution that is rented, you will need to get help increasing your conversion rate. What is your conversion rate? Divide the number of website visitors by the number of sales and you get your conversion rate. The first thing you need to do is determine if you can get this information? What is a healthy conversion rate?  If you are not converting between 15 and 30 percent, then you need definite help.

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By Robert Speyer
Bob is Co-Founder, President of Web Success Team and Speyergraphix Design Studio.  Bob and his team can handle all of your offline design and advertising needs.  Contact Bob

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                     Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:47 PM