You are setting up and growing your business. That’s great to hear, but how do you get your ecommerce project ranking in money and significantly growing? The major problem with this is that there are a lot of digital shopping carts to choose from.
This article includes the best advice for eCommerce shopping carts that are used by millions of the businesses worldwide. We did our best to account for every business type so that you can choose the one that is a direct match with your goals. Before that, we would like to share with you some common perceptions about ecommerce shopping carts to direct you in the right way so that you can choose the best cart you need the very first time you try.
Web designers and digital store owners in their majority believe that if the business provides a bunch of overburdening options on the checkout page like ‘continue shopping’, ‘log in to continue’, ‘add to wishlist’, ‘buy later’ or other things, then their customers will love it. But such a giant as Amazon works quite differently.
When you enter the Amazon’s shopping cart, it gives you just two options. You can either make a purchase with the products you have in your cart or close the window and leave. The key idea behind it is to simplify the decision-making process and ensure that if you are ready to buy something, you are not distracted by other options. If you focus solely on the task of finalizing the purchase journey, then the conversion rate will be much higher.
The way Amazon’s shopping cart works and leads customers to checkout
Secondly, think about having a beautifully crafted site that shows all the products in your cart in a visually stunning manner. The checkout page in its essence is not much different from the product pages on the site as it also has to be clean and clear. Otherwise, people may be second-guessing themselves if they really want the product you offer. You can ask your designers to add a countdown timer on the checkout page with the number of minutes left with the price the shoppers saw. This makes people purchase faster and remain on track to finalizing their transaction or miss out.
Apart from the timer you can add other features that are displayed to shoppers, like the savings they get when they order from you. This makes them more confident in their purchase decision and entices customers to proceed with checkout.
On the checkout page, you can provide an option to log in with a social media account. This saves customers time they would have spent registering on your site to finalize the order.
Shipping can make or break your checkout
It is customary to show shipping charges after the list of products in the cart. There are two options here that can boost your business or make it drag behind the competition: you can offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount, or you can charge for shipping no matter what. Depending on the area, quantity, value and other points that need to be accounted for you may not be able to offer free delivery, but the free shipping factor greatly improves the chances that shoppers finalize their order.
But the point is that if you can squeeze it in your budget, then this can be considered to entice customers. This can eat it in the bottom line but can be beneficial in the long run.
This view is supported by the E-tailing Group study that shows that free shipping without any catches is the number one criteria to purchasing, according to the customers reviewed (73% of respondents noted its ‘critical’ importance). According to Complete Pulse study, 93% of online shoppers noted that free shipping encourages them to continue purchasing on site.
Customers have gotten used so much to the offers of free-of-charge deliveries that paying for shipping costs is rated as the key reason for dissatisfaction with online shopping. The point is that expensive shipping is also one of the main reasons why many potential digital customers turn to brick and mortar stores rather than to online.
Best ecommerce shopping carts
The main goal of this article is to find the best e-commerce software with advanced digital shopping cart options for businesses, both large and small. We took upon ourselves the task of researching a wide range of e-commerce shopping carts available online and tested them to see their suitability for every business type.
The initial stage included a study of startup, small, medium and large-size e-commerce business owners and the types of software they prefer. Some of them think that they have found the most conversion-efficient e-commerce carts, but, we hope, that after reading this article some of them may rethink their opinions.
During the second stage, we looked for the most mentioned and popular e-commerce carts that appear on the Web. We only looked at highly reputable review sites, and top business websites. We particularly focused on user reviews to understand what average software users think about it.
At the third stage, we tried out all mentioned e-commerce carts to understand their usability. Taking into account the vast number of software we had to sign up and use, we tried out mostly available demos, as well as watched tutorial videos and other resources.
Overall we analyzed over 50 different e-carts and only a few of them are really worth mentioning on our short list. Our top picks for the best ecommerce shopping cart software in 2016 include Shopify, Magento, Oracle Endeca, WooCommerce, Selz, Bigcommerce, Shoppable, GoDaddy Online Store, Easy Digital Downloads, X-Cart and PayPal.
All of them take into account the Fogg Behavior Model pictured below. The main idea behind this model is that the easier it is to buy something, the higher the motivation of a customer is to finalize the order. This means that our shortlist of e-commerce shopping carts provides software with outstanding conversion rates, high usability and great overall customer experience.
The list of criteria used to evaluate e-commerce shopping carts:
- Cost & ease of use
- E-cart features
- Design & Customization
- Payment processing & Merchant tools
- Customer service options
Best ecommerce shopping carts software for 2017
And now get ready for the winners, our best ecommerce shopping carts software for 2017 in five categories: hosted shopping, WordPress based, self-hosted, enterprise level, and e-cart for digital downloads.
Best Hosted Shopping e-Cart: Shopify
This shopping cart offers a fully hosted service, and this means that there is no burden on your staff to maintain software, install updates or worry about servers. However, such ease of use comes with a decent price tag as you are not getting a free solution. Even the basic site with a simple cart requires you to pay a monthly subscription fee. But the upside is enormous: you can set up your checkout page in any of the 50+ languages, and you can always change the theme of your e-cart to suit the festive periods like Christmas or Easter. To sweet the deal, get automatic taxation services based on your location. One less expense as Shopify will act on your behalf and calculate countrywide and state taxes for your shoppers.
Best WordPress Shopping e-Cart: WooCommerce
WordPress offers similar ease of use but with more flexibility, as you can create and develop your own blog and turn it into an e-commerce business virtually for free! Take note that WooCommerce e-cart plugin lets you create your online store at no extra cost and quickly. This e-cart software is used by thousands of small online merchants. It is better suited for companies with a relatively low number of items on offer, as indexation and cataloguing on a large scale is an issue. With WooCommerce e-cart you can have at your disposal limitless capabilities to customize your cart to suit your niche buyers.
Best Self-Hosted Open Source e-Cart: Magento
If you have a medium-sized company and need a highly customizable online store with a great shopping cart, Magento is your right choice. It is completely open-source, and it lets your team of IT specialists that looks and feels the way you like it. It’s also a great option if you own or plan to run more than one online store, as you can manage them all from one Magento dashboard.
This solution is great for established merchants, and it’s famous for the high usability. However, if you have limited resources on the tech side or not enough budget, the options mentioned above would suit you best.
Best Enterprise Level e-Cart: Oracle Endeca
Oracle Endeca is the agilest solution that suits every large enterprise by empowering businesses with complete independence of e-cart development that is in total balance with their IT possibilities.
This platform is the most expensive one costing dozens of thousands of dollars, depending on the configuration needed but it’s intuitive and fast with multiple analytic options that allow your organization to offer unprecedented and unparalleled UX to drive sales and growth.
With Oracle, your business has to have a full-fledged IT department to support it to enable faster and more precise decisions as to the improvements your site and shopping cart needs to boost conversion rates and beat the competition through innovation.
Best e-Cart for Digital Downloads: Selz
The final but not least important e-cart for e-commerce businesses is a solution that works with digital products and services. Not all companies are selling T-shirts or computers, many small and large companies actually need a solution like Selz to sell e-books, games, various types of software, music, video and other downloadable products. Selz solely specializes in the proper distribution of these types of sales that can be one-time-only or subscription based. Create your digital store and install Selz to automatically processes orders and accepts various types of payments to run your digital sales business successfully.
Finally, a good business is about making good decisions and making them work. These decisions are made after serious research and implementation of tools that are relevant to your business. The core of any ecommerce business is not only in the product offerings but in the easy ways of purchasing them. One of the key decisions you have to make as an ecommerce store owner is choosing the shopping cart that is a good fit for your company.