Online shopping carts have been around since ecommerce first became a reliable alternative to the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
With so many new solutions on the market, choosing the best one for your online retail business may be difficult.
If any part of your shopping cart solution is inefficient, you may see an increase in your abandonment rates. This could mean it’s time to update your shopping cart and fulfillment process to a newer solution.
Abandonment rates continue to increase globally, but this doesn’t mean online retailers are suffering. It likely points to the fact that more and more people prefer to shop online, leading to both an increase in sales and cart abandonment rates.
Source: Campaign Monitor
What is a shopping cart?
A shopping cart enables retailers to manage products and payments in an online store. There are two types of carts available to online retailers. A hosted cart is a third-party solution, while a licensed cart allows owners to customize the solution according to their needs.
Shopping carts come with three basic features:
- Storing related product information.
- Serving as a gateway for customer, order, and catalog management.
- Displaying products and site information to users.
Deciding on which type of solution your business needs will depend on the features and capabilities required. With a host of different solutions available, you’ll need to study the features and benefits it provides to your customers.
Retailers lost $236 billion in the first quarter of 2018 due to friction with their checkout process.
Top-rated shopping carts
A variety of solutions today helps retailers streamline their fulfillment and finalization processes. An inefficient shopping cart solution will put customers off buying from an online retailer. It’s similar to a physical brick-and-mortar retailer’s checkout. This means the same considerations should apply when designing one for your online store.
Shopify and Wix-hosted shopping carts
Coming in first place for online retail solutions, Wix and Shopify seem to provide the same features and benefits to customers.
Wix slightly edges Shopify, as its more affordable, making it attractive to new retailers. Shopify also charges a transaction fee for its entry-level subscription.
While Shopify continues to dominate the online retail market, the platform doesn’t integrate well with existing shops. You’ll need to build a Shopify shop in order to enjoy the full capabilities that come with its shopping carts.
Similarly, Wix started as a website builder that now includes ecommerce features and capabilities. You can design your site using drag-and-drop and low-code features. Similar to Shopify, Wix can’t integrate their ecommerce solutions with privately hosted websites.
WordPress shopping cart plugins
WooCommerce and Cart66 rate as the top plugins for WordPress sites. Both are easy to use and provide marketplace features most retailers need. Both come at an affordable price and integrates seamlessly with WordPress sites.
If you need to use WooCommerce on a site not developed with WordPress, you just need to install it on your server to use the same features. WooCommerce allows you to modify the plugin according to your site’s design.
Cart66 provides the most secure option, as it includes PCI compliance and supports more than 100 payment gateways. Cart66 also allows customers to store credit card information, for added convenience.
How to measure the success of your shopping cart
Regular and frequent abandonment of carts is the best indicator of a checkout process failing. If you experience higher rates of customers abandoning their carts, you’ll need to take action. Changing your shopping cart solution or evaluating the checkout process will help you retain customers and generate more revenue.
Does it really matter?
Online retail is no different from physical shopping excursions. If the customer feels frustrated after spending hours browsing products, they’ll have no qualms with abandoning carts during the checkout process. Online retailers need to keep this in mind when designing their finalization and fulfillment processes.
Campaign Monitor’s new Commerce solutions can help you integrate your email marketing campaigns directly with your shopping cart. With a new understanding of how important a smooth checkout process is, you may want to watch this webinar about how Campaign Monitor integrates with Zapier software solutions.