Choosing the right eCommerce system can be a daunting task. There are so many pre-made solutions out there and they will nearly always need some modification to meet your needs and the needs of your users. No cart is the perfect fit for every business, but many can come close.
Years ago, carts all looked the same and functioned in a similar way. They were clunky, hard to market online and usually required hours of training to get the most out of them. Thanks to advancement in development, coding languages and eCommerce best practices, the days of the overly template driven eCommerce carts are long over.
Now there are many exciting, customizable eCommerce solutions that are available for sites of all sizes. Nearly all include design flexibility, high security and easy payment gateway integration.
Here are five additional features to look for:
- Readable URL’s. The pages of the eCommerce platform must generate web page addresses that contain actual words. The words should also be target search phrases for your products. They should not contain characters, numbers or spaces. A readable URL will help search marketing efforts and the page name will help reinforce targeting.
- Ability to modify Tag elements that are specific to a each page Metadata, and heading tags will also help you search targeting. Being able to customize these on a page by page or product by product basis is important to SEO. If the site shares a common Title Tag or common Meta Description, this information will not be as accurate as it could be for the content of that specific page. You certainly do not want the description of every page of your site to be the same.
- Multiple shipping options Being able to manage shipping costs can save both you and your buyers money. Every decent cart has this figured out. Choosing shipping by dollar value or weight is great, but being able to calculate shipping costs by agent, weight and zone ensures accuracy. Shipping can be a problem if you cannot configure it to meet your specific needs.
- Server side Image Management Sounds simple, but still too many carts simply resize the image you upload to fit the page, not recreate the image optimized for the web. The ability for the cart to manage images will streamline your management process and deliver a better user experience, encouraging sales and referrals.
- The Upsell Bells Upsell features were first create as a way to encourage sales among impulse buyers, but now they are an expected part of the shopping experience. Related products, sales specials, buyer reviews, most popular, etc all are resources that will help your users make a better decision while delivering potential higher transactions per user. Users expect these features and most carts can deliver them.
Keep these five things in mind when you are researching a solution and, with a little customization, you will be able to find a cart that delivers a good user experience, is search marketable and is easy to manage.