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Online Shopping Cart - How does it work?

Online Shopping Cart - How does it work?

These days, there is a growing trend of online shopping thanks to the convenience of internet usage. According to Rishabh Software, the global retail eCommerce sales have increased 0.52 trillion US dollars only in a two-year period from 2014 to 2016. We can’t deny that this trend creates significant changes in customers behaviors, or more clearly, the way people buy and spend on things. Customers can surf the web, find the products they want, purchase, and wait for those goods to be delivered right to their places while staying at home, sitting on their favorite couch, or lying on their comfortable bed. The easier online shopping is, the more demanding customers are towards the services. Therefore, e-stores have to force themselves to join in a competitive race, in which stores try to fulfill all of the customers’ need as perfectly and quickly as possible.

Unlike shopping at bricks and mortars, online shopping can be interrupted by many objective and subjective factors and at other purchasing stages. One problem that every e-business encounters is that the browsers might not be the buyers so that it is essential for store owners to make use of every method that can maximize the real purchase rate. To tackle this, an online shopping cart is used as a must-have solution for every online shop. However, as a store owner, can you say with certainty that you know how online shopping cart works? If not, let me help you have a deeper understanding about it so that you can make the most out of its utility to boost sales and rocket your profits.

So exactly, what is the online shopping cart?

Quickly explained, online shopping cart plays the role of a physical shopping trolley in the supermarket but with more advanced functions. And of course, it is virtual. It is where shoppers can put all of their want-to-buy products in, review them to make adjustments in quantity, product attributes etc., and remove it before or during the check-out if they change their mind. Why did I say it is more advanced than the physical cart in a brick-and-mortar shop? Well, besides the feature of add and remove goods (which can also be done in physical carts), things can be organized systematically in a list with all related information including price, AND the total price, which means customers don’t have to add up by themselves. In short, it is a preparing place for all of the shoppers’ potentially-buying products. Customers can decide whether to really purchase afterward or not.

online shipping cart

Why is it so important to eCommerce business?

The ease of using the internet has oppositional sides. The more easily customers can purchase for goods and services, the more easily they can ignore and abandon those things. As I mentioned earlier, browsers might not be buyers, so the transitional position of the online shopping cart is extremely vital for a business to increase conversion rate. In other words, online shopping cart has a decisive role in turning potential customers into real customers or real purchasers.

For shoppers, the shopping cart is where to place and review stuff(s) before paying. Customers can manage all of the things they want to buy beforehand; make specific changes in quantity, sizes, colors; carry out check-out process, and reconsider whether those things worth buying or not within their budget.

For store owners, a virtual shopping cart is a medium that helps you keep an eye on customers’ shopping behaviors and figure out what attracts customers most, and what makes them abandon their shopping items. For example, you can realize at which stage shoppers take a long time considering, at what period of the day customers spend most, or for which reasons customers leave their shopping carts. This enables stores to create critical analysis on several problems, and come up with suitable solutions for those issues timely.

How does it work step by step?

1. Adding to Cart

Imagine that customers are surfing your store to find their favorite goods or services. This searching process is the initial step that turns a visitor into a potential buyer. With the help of Add to cart button appearing on every product page, customers can easily select those items for further review. Creating the first impression of an easy-to-use assisting tool that is designed for customers’ good is the utmost action to attract customers to move to the next step.

2. Processing on the cart

A user-friendly shopping cart is so vital that can make customers decide whether to actually buy those chosen items or not. The more convenient it is to make adjustments in the online shopping cart, the more willing buyers are to pay money on the selected stuff. Those adjustments include adding new items, deleting chosen items, changing the quantity, size, colors, material, etc. Customers can carry out these actions merely with a few simple clicks. The total price of all items (even after adjustment) can be automatically calculated for customers to help them keep the paying value suitable for their budget. Only when these activities run smoothly will customers be ready to actually spend their money on the checkout process. Clicking on the Check out button leads them to the next step.

3. Purchasing

In this stage, customers are required to add their information that is necessary for the payment, such as their name, address, phone number, credit card number, and so on. The amount of data that must be provided is quite a lot, which can cause impatience and frustration for shoppers. If you don’t want customers to abandon the cart and leave quickly, keep this process concise and convenient with supportive features like automatic address suggestion, diverse payment methods, or multiple shipping options. With a simple click on Submit/Complete order button, customers then can review their order information again to make sure if there is any mistakes. If there is no problem at all, your store has successfully turned a visitor into a purchaser.

4. Buying some more

Although it is a success to make customers spend their money on your e-store, the function of the shopping cart does not stop there. I bet that you desire to make customers keep buying more and more even after they finish their purchase. That’s why a Continue shopping button is essential if you don’t want your customers just come and leave quickly. By clicking on this button, customers can get back to the shopping web page and continue to browse for more products that they still feel interested. Not only a Continue shopping button but also some automatic suggestions for substitute or complement items should also be taken into consideration. Customers can add them and purchase without having to leave the shopping cart.

Tip!: Magento 2 Automatic Related Products extension supports online stores in featuring cross-sell, upsell and suggested products on shopping cart page. This module works automatically based on sets of conditions and actions configured on backend.

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5. Last-minute changes of shopping cart

Online customers tend to be uncertain sometimes, and it’s not an uncommon thing to make a last-minute change of mind at checkout. Make sure that you can boost their shopping experience at the highest level by allowing them to edit their online trolley. Let them erase or add one or more items, or even let them go back their shopping cart to change anything they want.

Now you may ask if it’s a good choice to give your buyers everything they want like that. I have to say that you don’t have to, but you should or else they might want to abandon all the cart. Under any circumstances, do customers always love convenience.

Tip!: Magento 2 One Step Checkout allows online buyers make last-minute changes of shopping cart at checkout easily and quickly. Give it a try!

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Final words

The fast-paced development of online business makes it easier for stores to reach their target customers. However, it also means that customers can have more choices, more places to pay their money online. This requires e-stores to run a customer-driven business, and try their best to gain competitive advantages so as to attract more customers. Understanding the working mechanism of the online shopping cart can be the key to help eCommerce store obtain these advantages, increase conversion rate, enhance their sales effectiveness, and avoid abandoned carts as much as possible.

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