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10 Great Tips to Design a Usable Shopping Cart

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Online shopping can be considered as the biggest milestone amongst the innumerable advantages that the Internet has offered. Online shopping is instrumental in saving a lot of time and effort, which would generally be spent in traveling to the physical stores and then, buying it. With the passage of time, there has been witnessed a gradual change in the shopping trends. These days, people generally prefer buying online, be it a movie ticket, gifts, accessories, books, software, even clothing and footwear. In the year 1996, online shopping was in its full sway with the coming of Amazon and eBay.

Online shopping is witnessing a continuous rise in the number of the online shoppers. According to a survey, the number rose from 627 million to 875 million in the past two years. More than 50 percent of the people who use the Internet are online shoppers. And, obviously, if there is such a marked trend, obviously more and more people would try their hands-on in the online market. Internet is the first-hand medium to leverage the profits of a global economy and exposed to the millions of audiences that is a single click away.

Undoubtedly, the competition is growing stiff and it has almost become a necessity to survive on the web and more importantly gain visibility in the top lists of the popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Bing, and many others. Therefore, this post would include the top tips to design a usable shopping cart software so as to retain potential visitors on the site and turn them into customers and even regular customers. The tips have been listed below, which would surely help you do the same:

Fully Functional and Mini Shopping Carts

One of the best practices in the design and development of the set up for a user-friendly and efficient shopping cart is to include both— the fully functional and the mini shopping cart as well. The point is that both the carts have their importance. Where on one hand, mini shopping carts display the information in a small area, on the other hand, a full page cart provides you full-fledged information on the products. Adjust both the carts in such a way that they do not overlap one another.

Explain the Shopping Process

It is always recommendable to offer a brief on the overall shopping process, so that it becomes feasible for the visitors to navigate in a more comfortable fashion. If you encapsulate the whole process, it would surely save a number of clicks and it would enable the customer to focus more on the products.

Effective Call to Action Buttons

The call to action buttons should be prominent and clear enough to guide the customers through the checkout process. They should be placed in such a manner that they are not left with any choice but provoked to click on the same. These buttons ought to be named so that they are easily understandable by the customer.

Clean Structure

Rather than the same old paragraph style content, a structured tabular form would be apt to encapsulating your full shopping cart. The tabular structure, along with a subtle background and standard font helps in attaining a clean structured cart free from any kind of distractions. It is actually readable and understood more easily.

Check Out Process

In the whole process of the set up of a shopping cart, check out process is the most important step. It is very important to do it step by step and a well structured process. Using a single page table of information, the check process needs include every important information that includes:

  • Sign in
  • Billing & Shipping
  • Payment
  • Verification

Last but not the least; the process should be followed by an immediate follow up via confirmation mail.

Give Liberty to Customers to Cancel or Continue with Shopping

Always make sure to add a verify/edit page during the check out process. Give this liberty to the customer so that he/she confirms before buying any particular product. Make sure you include each and every detail of the product and provide a complete overview to the customer on what he/she tends to buy. Customer satisfaction should be the highest priority and provide them with the options to cancel or continue with the shopping.

This gives assurance to the customer that your cart is not forcing you to buy any product and if by any chance, they have picked a wrong product, they have an option to cancel it replace it with a new one. It is very important for the success of your E-Commerce website design that you go for custom shopping cart solutions to incorporate the mentioned features.

Clear Navigation Throughout

A properly structured navigation, which includes the headings and the sub-headings, helps the customers to know on which page they are and get hold of the whole structure of the site. Obviously, it allows them to know what they are looking for and can jump on to the next page or may be any page at just a click away. This navigational pattern actually helps in increasing the probability of the search engine spiders to read the pages of your site and help them gain visibility in the popular search engines.

Multiple Payment Gateways

Multiple payment gateways and shipping methods are very important features that cannot afford to be ignored. Undoubtedly, it would be a matter of shame if you lose a potential customer just because of the lack of payment and delivery options available with the customer. This would not only help you generate sales but reduce the chance of cart abandonment in the later stages.

Use of Visual Infographics

Visual content and features have always proved a tool in improving the usability of the site. Any kind of visual information and ranging from simple icons, diagrams to info graphics helps in scanning the information well. The option where one is able to click and drag cart has always proved convenient.

Have Minimum Fields in all Forms

It would be feasible not only at the customer’s but at the administrative end if the information form, contact form, and more importantly, the checkout process to have minimum required fields. An optimum use of white space would lead to a more organized structure of the form.

And, I am sure that if you tend to follow these simple, yet effective tips to a usable shopping cart, it would lead to sure shot results. It would improve upon the sales, customer service, orders, quality visitors, and potential customers, branding and automatically lower the rates of cart abandonment.

Varun Bhagat is a technology geek and works in PixelCrayons as a Sr. Technology Consultant. He possesses in-depth knowledge of different web development technology and helps our clients to choose the best technology as per their needs.

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