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Ecommerce software today: new tricks for the old payment gateway

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The technology driving ecommerce websites has been around for a long time. Almost everyone is familiar with shopping cart software, but not everyone likes it. Recent scares due to credit card information leaks have left many consumers wary of any website that isn’t totally secure, and many ecommerce sites are seeing hits in their revenue as a result.

While this has resulted in many retailers reevaluating the way they approach online commerce, it has also generated a new wave of creativity in retaining customers. Web developers are applying the shopping cart software in new ways in order to retain customers. Here are a few things you can do to keep up with these changing times and remain competitive.

1.   Use location to better target shoppers.

Customers in specific areas of the country will be interested in different products than those in another part of the country; that’s basic marketing. However, by using geotags and IP information as filters, you can set your shopping cart software to offer specific items for sale depending on where someone lives.

You can also use this technique to target shipments. If customers receive an item more quickly because it ships from a warehouse near them, they’ll come to love your company all the more. It can be a great way of building a brand that’s known for great customer service.

2.   Make your searches for your products more intuitive.

While it can be easy to enter the keywords for an item based on its features, name, or capabilities, you have to think like a consumer. How would the customer search for this product? What terms would they use? Keeping this in mind at all times will help you make it much easier for a customer to find a product.

This not only results in a better experience for the customer, but more orders. For help determining useful search terms, use a website such as Amazon.com or Ebay.com and look for products similar to yours. The act of searching and finding these products will provide you with insight into the terms consumers may use to find your products.

3.   Use high quality photographs.

When you upload images of the product, make sure the customer can view it in a variety of different colors and angles. Using high quality photographs provides the customer with a better idea of the product or service they are purchasing and results in higher conversion rates. Also, include a variety of different resolutions; should the customer try to view the item in full-screen, you do not want them to find a pixilated image waiting for them.

4.   Ensure that product descriptions are informative and include search terms.

One way to improve customer service is by including relevant search terms within the product descriptions. These descriptions should be informative, letting the viewer know everything they need to know about the item – and, if the search terms are included, that can help improve conversion rates for that product.

5.   Make use of your analytics.

Almost every shopping cart program out there uses analytics. Ensure that the one you choose does as well. These analytic tools will allow you to better determine where the primary source of traffic for your site is, as well as show you ways to optimize for it. For example, if you have a niche website that you use to drive traffic to your main page and you find out that most of your revenue comes from that site, you can spend more of your time working on that instead of other marketing approaches.

6.   Include calls-to-action.

The idea behind a call-to-action is grounded in psychology. If a customer is on the fence about what to buy, a button that says “Click here now!” is often what’s needed to goad them into action. Increasingly these take the form of badges and flags that are dynamically attached to a product image based on personalization and the ability to predict what the consumer is looking for – sound crazy? Well, if it’s raining in Chicago, a fashion storefront might benefit from badging a stylish pair of boots when the home page is requested by visitors from that area, rather than the planned promotion of the day. Studies have shown that using calls-to-action produce higher conversion rates, so why not use them? Surprisingly, many ecommerce sites don’t.

7.   Include your contact information in a clear manner.

When a customer needs to get in touch with you to either seek out more information or report a problem with their purchase, it shouldn’t be difficult for them to do so. Make sure your contact information is clearly posted in a way that lets them reach out to you easily. Either dedicate a portion of your home page to this or create a brand new page and link to it from every section of your site, as well as from the checkout screen.

Adopting these strategies and implementing them alongside reliable, secure shopping cart software can make all the difference between feast and famine. For best results, keep customers’ interests in mind when you design your site.