Do You Need an Online Shopping Cart for Your Business? Why online shopping carts matter to small businesses
The thought of pushing around an unwieldy shopping cart through the crowded aisles of a store has begun to feel surprisingly antiquated thanks to the rise in ecommerce websites.
Still, today's online shoppers are still using shopping carts -- only this time, they're digital. In fact, if you've ever bought anything online, chances are you've used an online shopping cart. Any time you've selected items to purchase from an ecommerce shop, that item appears in your shopping cart, and it's where you go to pay for the item and organize its shipping details.
Still, some small business owners wonder if they actually need an online shopping cart on their website. More information about these online carts can help you decide.
What is an online shopping cart?
An online shopping cart is actually software that can be integrated onto a small business's website. The cart allows customers to browse through items, select items for purchase, then calculate the sales prices, taxes and shipping costs of those items. Though online shopping carts don't process payments, to do serve as a means to pass transactional data to a payment gateway.
Why does a small business website need an online shopping cart?
Increasingly, people are conducting most of their shopping online. In fact, in 2012, desktop retail ecommerce sales in the United States added up to $186.2 billion. That number jumped to $236.9 billion in 2014 and continues to rise.
This growth shows that small and large businesses alike need to streamline their online shopping services. It's no longer feasible for a small business to feature products on their website and tell customers to call the store to order them. People want to be able to buy the products they want, when they want, and with the greatest amount of convenience.
An online shopping cart makes ordering and paying for goods as convenient as possible. The cart stores product data, and serves as a portal for a business's product catalog. It allows customers to view products, and order them, plus offers multiple payment options.
While this is great for the consumer, the small business owner also sees benefits. Online shopping carts allow you to devise marketing propositions like upsells and cross-sells, and offer discounts. Plus, owners can access customer relationship management (CRM) data through the shopping cart, allowing them to create targeted marketing campaigns to current and former customers.
How to integrate an online shopping cart onto your website
An automated website building platform, like Ocoos, offers an integrated online shopping cart as part of its business functionality. Ocoos offers an off-the-shelf solution to small business owners that includes hosting and building your small business website, and also features tools and software that make running your small business easy. This includes an online shopping cart, discount manager, the ability to accept multiple payment types, CRM software, and contact management tools.
With Ocoos, you'll also have access to a full-service concierge who will build your website for you to meet your needs and specifications. If any issues arise, Ocoos also offers 24-hour, US-based support.