4 Basic Steps for Setting Up a Shopping Cart on Your Website

It’s not enough to own a brick-and-mortar store anymore. To increase your profits and reach customers on a worldwide scale, you need to make it easy for them to shop your line of products and services online and directly from your website. This means you need to set up a virtual shopping cart on your site.

Not sure how to get started? Here are some important steps for setting up a shoppingcart on your business site.

Research Available Shopping Cart Providers

There are many shoppingcart providers available online. If you’re not sure which one to use, research the various providers by reading reviews from other users and comparing the advantages for each shoppingcart program.

If you are unfamiliar with or unsure about purchasing shopping cart software yourself, you may want to find a host, such as PayPal, and install their cart for use until you become more confident in your abilities to install and manage cart software yourself.

Start simple and upgrade later. If this is new territory for you, there’s no need to make things complicated on the first try. Once you get a handle on things, and a better understanding, you can then upgrade or improve the software you are using.

shopping cart icon
Photo Credit: sixpath

Provide Banking Information for Payments
Once you’ve settled on the shopping cart service that meets your needs, the next step is to set it up using your company’s financial information. Since online commerce is fraught with security risks, be sure you guard your cart information with the utmost care.

You will need to provide the shopping cart provider with details on your bank account. The provider will walk you through this process step by step and will give you ample information on what to do. In general, shopping cart providers will give you confidential sign-in info as well as a secure PIN number to use in order to access your cart and make changes to it. Only share this information with people you trust, as this is also a gateway to your financial transactions and information.

Finally, be sure to change your log-in info and your PIN on a regular basis to lower the risk of having your financial information or online business dealings compromised.

Customize Your Shopping Cart Service
This may be the most time-consuming task of all. Once you have selected your shopping cart program and it’s installed and ready to go, you need to customize your cart. This means you’ll need to enter all your products into the shopping cart program, including descriptions and prices for each item.

If you have quite a few products or services, it can take a while to enter it all. Don’t rush through, because it’s important to be as thorough as possible when you’re entering data.

Strive to be clear, concise, and accurate in your descriptions. Ensure that you check proper spelling when you are entering product descriptions as well. People may not have confidence in a company that has shopping cart descriptions that are full of errors or don’t describe the products in a specific manner. Ask yourself what you would like to know about a product or service that would compel you to hit the “purchase” button.

Also, if you don’t like the basic colors offered in your shoppingcart program, there are usually options available to change those as well. Make the cart as personalized as possible for your company. While you’re personalizing your company shopping cart, do keep in mind that keeping things simple, not confusing, is essential. Garish colors, hard-to-read fonts, and too much text can distract and confuse your customers — something you don’t want to ever do.

Click "Add to shopping cart"
Photo Credit: sebilden

Collect Online Orders and Payments
Once you’ve set up your shopping cart, you’re ready to reap sales and collect payments. By setting up a way for your customers to shop online using a cart, you are expanding your business’s reach. Local companies no longer have limits on selling goods or services only to people in the immediate region. When you utilize secure online payments with a shoppingcart system, people from all over the world become possible buyers.

Immediate ordering and immediate payment for your products and services makes for happy, repeat customers. The goal is to demonstrate trustworthiness, convenience, and ease of use. People spend money more freely when you give them a myriad of options and make the process as simple as possible. Installing a shopping cart on your site enables you to collect payments in many ways, including through PayPal and via credit cards, which are two major online payment methods.

Setting up a shopping cart on your business site is one of the most important things you can do to increase your profits. By including a simple way to shop online for your customers, you’ll not only delight existing purchasers, but cultivate new prospects across the globe as well.

Bev Sninchak, a veteran freelance writer with 16 years of experience producing content, writes about many subjects, from managing your business reputation using Reputation.com to mastering social media strategies.

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