Dear Google Guru, Why Hasn’t Adding A Shopping Cart To My Website Increased Business?

We contracted a company that installed a shopping cart on our site and our sales have not improved. We don’t get many complaints but we expected a lot more from this new installation? Do you have any suggestions on what can we do to improve our results?

This is one of the most common complaints I hear each week from people who write in. The fact is that installing a shopping cart to your web site is not as simple as plugging in to a cart and then sitting back and taking orders all day while you kick your feet back on your desk.

Choosing the right shopping cart “experience” is probably the most crucial decision you will need to make when installing this feature on your web site.

The challenge is that each cart is typically built for a particular type of business and the nuances of your business are anything but typical. Your shopping cart will need to run the way that your regular business runs, and that is going to be unique for every company.

Therefore, when you are planning the construction of your shopping cart, make sure you choose a developer that is very strong on database development as well as design because they will need to customize your shopping cart into a database that serves up your product offerings in a manner that not only works well for your "customer experience" when visitors come on to your site, but also for your internal operations when it comes to order processing.

To complicate things even further, your database needs to be configured properly so that search engines index your products and or services. Make sure you ask the developer doing the database programming if they also are familiar with implementing an SEO (search engine optimization) friendly design to ensure that the likes of Google will also like it!

If your developer doesn’t know what you are talking about, you should consider interviewing more suppliers until you are satisfied that you have found one who does.

It’s also important to get a marketing angle on this experience by effectively crafting language (words) to help describe what the client is or should be experiencing when they actually order through your site(example: "Three simple steps to order your ‘blank’ today"). You can do a Google search for "e;seo ecommerce companies" and you may find some qualified options to consider.

The bottom line with your cart and database is that it needs to be intuitive and easy for the visitor to use. It must allow your customers easy access to getting what they want – fast, and checking out when they want to, NOT when the cart lets them.

It should gather credit card information easily & securely, have a return policy statement and a privacy policy statement. I recommend that it also be written professionally with your sales process in mind. In other words, focus first on converting your leads to a sale before you introduce too many other choices for them to consider. I would suggest that you have as many people go through your ordering process on your web site as possible to give you their feedback and experience when it come to doing business with you online.

There are also professional marketing firms, consultants & companies who perform "web site audits" on your shopping carts experience and they will provide you with valuable recommendations and feedback that you can then take back to your developer for implementation. This will immensely improve your results and sell-through.

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