We know what a shopping cart is in a store – a buggy or basket to put our goodies in when we’re having fun shopping at our favorite store! It’s the same concept virtually for your customers or clients – you are offering goods or services they want or need, and they need a “basket” to shop.
In order for your business to run smoothly (and for you to get paid the money you’ve earned!), you will need a good shopping cart. It keeps a list of items the buyer is buying from the online store. When she is ready to check out, she may go through the list again to make sure that is what she really wants to buy before hitting the “buy” button.
For example, when I buy books at Amazon (which is frequently!), I can either add more books to my cart or remove one of the books I’ve chosen before my final checkout.
If you have products, services or events that you are offering from your website for sale, you need a good shopping cart to ensure sales go smoothly. This needs to be a shopping cart system which doesn’t cause confusion, aggravation, or stress for you or your customer or client. A frustrated customer or client won’t stick around! You want your customer or client happy, coming back for more of your sweet offerings.
If you are just starting out in business, you might begin with Paypal. If you are in your fourth year of business, and are well on your way to a six-figure-a-year business, you have probably outgrown Paypal a long time ago.
Why do you really need a shopping cart?
- They give you the ability to accept payments. The payments can be with credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, and third party payments from companies like PayPal.
- They automatically calculate the total price for the buyer’s purchase, including shipping and tax. Easy peasy for you!
- They make your site more secure. When it comes to business websites, people have to have trust in your shopping carts before they will whip out their credit cards or debit cards to buy anything. A secure shopping cart will put your customers at ease.
- Some of the best shopping carts also will keep track of all your sales. This way you can see what is selling and what is not selling, which helps you to understand what your customer or client wants and needs.
Some shopping carts you can check into for your business are:
- Paypal. Paypal is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to receive online payments. Even the most tech-challenged person can figure out how to create a Paypal button and grab the html code to paste on your website page. With a PayPal account, all you need to do is set up your online store, which are your pages displaying your products, events, or services, and link those pages to your free PayPal shopping cart. You can use PayPal’s ‘Buy Now’ or “Add to Cart’ buttons on your site.
One disadvantage of Paypal is that Paypal can freeze your bank account, which can cause huge problems for your business. One of my friends had a problem recently with this, and it caused a mess with her finances. But for new business owners who are just beginning to sell their information products or services, and who are not receiving regular and/or residual income yet, Paypal is ideal to use. Some people have never had any problems with Paypal; other people have experienced frozen bank accounts. Weigh the pros and cons of whatever shopping cart system you use.
- Ejunkie. I know, odd name, huh? Ejunkie provides shopping cart and buy now buttons to let you sell downloads and tangible goods on your website, Ebay, MySpace, Google Base, Craigslist, and other websites using Paypal Website Payments, Google Checkout, ClickBank, and more. Ejunkie has a built in sales tax, VAT, packaging and shipping cost calculator. It has no transaction limit, no bandwidth limit, no setup fee and no transaction fee. Ejunkie supports multiple payment processors, provides affiliate management and discount codes, and has sales tracking and built-in support for Google Analytics. Ejunkie is ideal if you have downloadable info products or an affiliate program in place.
- 1ShoppingCart. 1ShoppingCart has many features, including a shopping cart, autoresponder, ad tracking, payment processing, recurring billing, affiliate software, and digital downloads.You can sell your physical and digital products online, keep up with your leads and customers through email marketing, and build an affiliate network to reach a wider audience. 1ShoppingCart is an all-in-one solution for selling your products and services, as well as staying in touch with your clients and customers, to help your business to thrive and prosper. 1ShoppingCart is one of the more well-known online shopping carts for entrepreneurs.
Whatever shopping cart system you use, make sure that it’s one that you know how to use and that is affordable and effective for your and your customer/client needs. The right tools for your business can make all the difference in your business’ potential and growth.
Beth Jones is a Christian speaker, writer, life coach, wife, and mom, who resides in Kansas City, MO. You can find out more about Beth’s products, services, and events at www.bethjones.net. Beth’s mission is to encourage women to fulfill their great purpose through pursuing their passion and through daily intimacy with Jesus.