Online shopping carts have become essential tools for any business competing for Internet sales, as they allow customers to easily add items together for a single purchase and perform basic online credit card processing tasks for secure payments. However, shopping cart applications can be very complex and vary greatly from one another.
Hosted shopping carts can have dozens of features which improve the shopping experience for customers and allow for better data tracking. Some shopping carts are better for different types of websites and, as implementing online shopping carts is an essential part of building a successful website, businesses should be careful to consider the major differences between some of the most popular shopping cart applications available from online credit card processing companies.
Features like inventory management can be used to track sales and make intelligent purchasing or marketing decisions. For businesses that deal with a lot of online sales, these features can be absolutely essential. Other features for high-volume merchants include bulk updates and uploads, which allow dozens of different products to be uploaded quickly to a website’s catalog. This can be convenient and time-saving for larger websites. Hosted online shopping carts often have other features for easy website integration, including compatibility with common content management systems. Ultimately, this makes it easier for businesses to keep their websites up-to-date and to offer a range of products and services to their customers without constant updates to dozens of individual web pages.
Other features of online shopping carts include social media integration, which allows customers to share product information and purchases through Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. This can improve sales and bring in more traffic. Some online shopping carts can even provide search engine optimization.
The exact security methods used by each cart also vary. Online credit card processing companies might use different types of authentication tokens and different forms of encryption to protect customer data. The different types of encryption have distinct advantages, but speed is always important — businesses should check that any online shopping cart is capable of quickly updating and processing payments, as this is essential for getting the highest possible number of sales and for improving customer satisfaction.
There are dozens of different hosted shopping cart solutions available, so looking into the feature set of an online shopping cart is important before signing a contract with an online credit card processing company. Customers appreciate a fast, simple purchasing experience and businesses certainly benefit from quicker updates and better tracking features. Understanding the choices available in online shopping carts can lead to better profits and a cleaner, more professional looking website for any type or size of business.