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The age of Internet shopping is taking over the world, and even the brick and the trend is even affecting the brick and mortar store with more and more customers wanting to shop on the Internet. In order to stay competitive, a store must not only have a physical location, but it must be willing to have a website from which customers can shop. It's no longer enough to have a website for customers to see what the store sells, but it must offer an online storefront so that shoppers can make purchases from the privacy of their own homes.
In order for a merchant to have a successful online storefront, it's important that he install reliable and easy to use shopping cart software. For those who are new to online shopping and don't understand the purpose of the shopping cart, let us explain a little about the process. Before the introduction of shopping card software, an online shopper had to purchase each product he wanted individually unless the merchant had an order form where the shopper could include several items. As eCommerce became more popular, the importance of a better system became pertinent. If eCommerce were going to become the wave of the future, merchants would have to make it quick and easy for customers to place an order. Thus, the eCommerce solution was the development of shopping cart software that allows a shopper to make purchases and place them in a "shopping cart" much as you do at the grocery store and pay for everything when you have finished shopping and are ready to "proceed to checkout."
Shopping cart software has opened an entire new media for the online shopper, and as a result, eCommerce has exploded all over the Internet with the introduction of stores like Amazon.com who do not even have a brick and mortar store. Yes, they have a brick and mortar building, but that is a packaging and shipping facility only, not a store where you can walk in and purchase what you like. Amazon is probably the first store of its type on the Internet, but many more have opened since then. Today, instead of just books and videos, Amazon distributes products for a great deal of retailers including ToysRUs. The technology of the shopping cart software has opened up an entire new era of shopping throughout the world, and at the holidays, it's even bigger as people flock to their keyboards and monitors instead of the malls as they used to do.
How has the trend toward eCommerce shopping affected retailers with a concrete building, especially during peak seasons such as Christmas and Easter? For those who are innovative and determined enough to enter the eCommerce market, the seasons will show a boost in business, but for those who choose to limit their business to walk-in trade, they are likely to see a reduction in the sales volume compared to the previous year's figures. With people's busy schedules and the price of gasoline, online shopping is becoming more attractive to the average shopper, especially with the ease of using shopping cart software and the attractive online storefront websites that are available. Interactive websites draw customers to their products with music, games, animation, and other tools that catch the attention of a potential buyer.
New merchants should certainly not hesitate to add a shopping cart feature from the start unless your business is only one product and no choices such as color or size. For instance, if you are selling a book you wrote, and it's only in one format, then there is no need to have a shopping cart. If, however, you offer the same book in hardcover, paperback, and eBook format, a shopping cart may be a good idea in case a buyer wants to buy more than one copy in different formats. Of course, if you have a multi-product eCommerce site, to operate without a shopping cart is courting disaster. Some of the reasons for adding shopping cart technology to your eCommerce site include:
- It allows a shopper to save his purchases and return later to finish shopping
- A shopper can return to his shopping cart and increase or decrease the number of items he wants to purchase
- A shopper as an opportunity to remove products from his shopping cart without deleting the entire order
- Shopping cart software also allows the buyer to track what products he ordered and allows the seller to include shipping information
The shopping cart software makes it easier for the seller as well because he does not have to keep track of numerous orders, and it allows him to see everything a buyer ordered at one time. In many cases, a shopping cart is also connected to online inventory so that a seller knows if he has enough of the product to fulfill his orders. It also allows him to track what customers have bought and thus know what may interest a customer for the future.
Michael Moshkovich is a web developer and internet marketer who has written over 50 articles on SEO, shopping cart software and PPC marketing.To find out more information about WebCart visit http://www.webcart.net. For eCommerce marketing tips visit the WebCart Blog
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