1) Supported payment modes
Not all the payment modes are used by everyone, someone using different payment mode for buying the products online, so better address this issue the shopping cart should support maximum payment mode to attain maximum sales. Some of the standard payment modes are PayPal , Google Checkout, egold and etc.
2) Automatic Tax Calculation
Calculating tax is important when you are products to be delivered after paying the tax by your clients then your shopping cart should support the automatic price calculation of the products. If your shopping cart is enabled for automatic tax calculation the each and every products present in the cart will be updated with their corresponding tax price. The shopping cart system should comes with the features to support various options like
Automatic tax exclusions for specific categories or products
Manual tax overriding for specific products
Custom tax price inclusions for special region or special interest clients
By adjusting the settings with the control panel or admin panel the shopping cart system should update their values through the entire control panel.
3) Shipping Handling
If you are selling the physical products over online, then your shopping cart should comes with the special options to handle your shipping orders. The best shopping cart system is the one which supports industries well known FedEx , UPS and other shipping handlers . The shopping cart will have the features to track shipping coordinated with these above shipping handlers to improve the customer satisfaction policy. Tracking the shipping orders are vital role in selling physical goods online, the most success physical products sellers online are having excellent shipping handlers by effectively managing the shipping orders. if your products were reached your clients onetime that will creates best brand impression than any other. So its all depends on the best shopping cart that comes with best shipping handling features
4) Supports both electronic and physical goods
If your company is actively participating of selling goods online for both electronic and physical goods, then your shopping cart should handle these both type of goods. As we see earlier in shipping handling options, your cart should support the shipping handling for physical products then your cart also have the features to handle the electronic goods for delivering the soft goods online. The cart should have the features to adjust their settings for both categories if your selling these two different categories of products from the same place.
5) Soft goods delivery
Different than the physical products, most of the companies will deliver the soft goods immediately when the client successively making the payment via the shopping cart. Being stored and delivered over online, digital goods can be easily pirated and more vulnerable to virus attacks. If the digital products are available to downloadable from a fixed location will increases the chances of the product to be copied by multiple persons and sometimes it will be shared with forums and other networks. By considering these factors in mind the shopping cart should to overcome this problem by providing solutions such as dynamic download locations, automatic download link expiry after specific time period and specific time usages.
I will write special article about “Protecting digital goods online – Protecting seller’s interest “ and it will be up very soon.
6) Return to Shopping pages
The most reported failure with shopping cart design , in the vendor point of view is “ shopping cart abandonment “ which will causes the losses when the client abandon the carts without buying any items. There will be lot of reasons for buyers to abandon the carts but it should not be the reason of poor cart design or navigations. Sometimes more prospective buyers also abandon the cart after navigating to the “Add to Cart” pages due to the failure to locate the products that they are interested .Most of time buyers will click the “Return to Shopping” (may be you have used others terms for returning to your products sales page) to explore more products on the particular category when they really want to find niche products on their interests. When they couldn’t find the items that matches their preferences they will suddenly abandon the cart without purchase. Having this in mind, the cart should have the options to list down the items according to the preferences
7) Thank you pages
Thank you pages not only important to display thank you information for valid sales made by buyers but now a days thank you pages are customized to boost affiliate sales by embedding special landing pages. So having this feature in mind the shopping cart should support the WYSISWYG editor to create special thank you pages.
8) Automated Receipt Delivery
Whenever the buyer successfully made the payment they should receive the confirmation mail and receipt for the purchase they have made. In case of e-mail confirmation it should have the options to edit the values of Subject of the e-mail, body of the e-mail and where as the receipt have the following option like custom logo customization, Buyers billing address, Items description, date and support information.
9) Secured Layer Support
Most of the buyers prefer to buy the items from the websites which have implemented with maximum security. From signup form to finishing sales using payment gateway, the shopping cart software should support the Secured Socket Layer (SSL) implementation with your website. By making minimal changes the shopping cart should ready to adapt to deploy with SSL to increase sales by increasing customer trust
10) Huge Data Import
If you have already having the products and their descriptions in the CSV or Database format then your cart should support the huge data import into new cart by importing from the admin panel. This will options will helps when you are migrating to the new shopping cart software or new versions. Huge data import option present in the shopping cart software will saves lot of time by importing the data by single click rather than adding the products information one by one. The shopping cart software supports data import options like importing from CSV, Excel sheets, and SQL so that it can be done easily. Now a days various shopping carts are designed by importing affiliate data feeds from the affiliate networks like CJ, Link Share and etc so the cart software should support this type of data import options for setting up the shopping website online
11) Data Exports feature
Data export feature of shopping cart software helps not only for migrating the information from one cart to another but it also helpful to integrate the information with other third party software for various analyses like ROI, inventory, accounting or other Sales Tracking operation. To best address this feature the cart should export the feature to export the data in the various formats .And the software also have the feature to export the whole cart data or custom data export by selecting into various formats.
12) Related Products Suggestion
To increase the sales volume the cart software should support smart products suggestion related to the already products in the cart. This feature will increases the chances of additional sales with your buyers so the shopping cart software should provides related products suggestion by best address their choices or preferences .
13) Integrated Auto responders
Auto responders are considered to be the ultimate weapon any online sales systems, by effectively using the auto responders your sales volume can be increased dramatically. Choosing the buyers preferences and sending the automated sales campaigns periodically increases the sales volumes. To having this feature the shopping cart software having the options to setup and manage the auto responders within this cart or support the third party auto responder function like Aweber.
14) Newsletter Subscription
When you are periodically updating the data with your website these information should reach your subscribers to get informed about your offers. Sending newsletters periodically increases the sales and as well as your brand name. If you are sending the newsletters periodically, the buyers will often visits your web site that leads to prospective sales.
Managing newsletters are just like the sword with two side edges may be it will be helpful or it will have the chances to being harm you, so your newsletters should be relevant, periodic and useful so that it can be sticky with your clients
I will write the more information in my another post about “Newsletter Management- Sword with two edges “wait for some time
15) Coupons and discounts
Coupons and discounts also plays vital role in increasing sales volumes. Coupons are easily shared and spread out among web that will bring huge prospective sales leads to your website. So the cart software should have options to create manage and track the coupons information with your website. Like coupons, discounts also to increase the sales so the cart software have the options to manage the discounts with specific category of items (item that are in stock for long time, meeting expiry date) or with specific items .
16) Build in Advertisement management
Sometimes sellers prefer to present the advertisements within the shopping cart whenever the such situations occurs the cart software should ready to provide the solutions for that, it should have the feature to manage multiple options like multiple Ad format support, Multiple Ad placement support, Ad expiry after specific impressions, Random Ad delivery , Ad click tracking and etc.
17) Pop Up Box builders
Pop up boxes have the greater visibility with the viewers to by selectively integrating this feature with the cart you can increase sales volume and the customer experience. The pop up boxes are better assists for increasing e-mail subscription, notifications and much more places
18) Viral Marketing
Nothing will work than word of mouth, so the carts have the facility to add the viral marketing features integrated with the website. If the clients found something interested about your services or products then they have the facility to share this information with their friends, colleagues or other networks. Recommending these information by implementing tell your friend option and sending mails by importing contact directly from the address books of third part e-mail service like Gmail, Yahoo, Hot mail and etc provides better promotion of your website instantly
19) Social Networking
Now a days social book Networking has attainted greatest peak by better implanting this feature with your website the products will be reached with prospective buyers faster than ever before Some of the famous you can consider to integrated with your carts are
Face book, Twitter, Digg, Stumpleupon and etc
20) Printer friendly support
In various situations buyers still prefer to manage their records also in physical formats so the cart should have feature to help them, for this wherever needed the cart have the feature to print the pages for making records. Some of the places where clients prefer to make the printable copy of the website are payment receipt, contact pages, and product pages.
21) SEO Friendly Design
If your cart producing the pages based on SEO architecture will helps to promote your website with various search engines. SEO friendly URL, Meta tag management, Bred crumb navigations, Social Book marking and other options present with cart software will allows your website rank better with multiple search engines