Sunday, June 29, 2008

Essentials of every shopping cart

If your shopping cart doesn't have the following, put them on! If it's beyond your ability - go back to your web developer and get them installed NOW.
  • Category list. On every page.
  • Search. On every page. With relevant results.
  • Cart summary. On every page.
  • Call to action incentives. Specials and Features and Freebies! oh my!
  • Detail pages for products. Customer research - let them do it.
  • SEO tailored to detail pages. Page titles should be: product name - category - store name. that way, the product name is the first thing that shows in search engine listings. Product name should always be the only thing in H1 tags. Why? deep linking is fast becoming the way to get listed on search engines - it's not just about the home page.
  • High quality photos. Obvious - but so many people get it wrong.
  • More photos. Multi product views
  • Info Sheets. Exploded parts diagrams. Videos. Research. Research. Research.
  • Reviews. Testimonials. Recommendations. Shortcomings.
  • Cross sell. Up sell. Bundles.
  • Security. This deserves another blog post.
  • Privacy.
  • Up front terms.
  • A real phone number.
  • Easy checkout.
  • Real time credit card processing. If it's not real time, it's not PCI compliant, which means it's not as secure as it could be.
  • Upfront shipping costs.

Inversely, if your site has the following, get rid of them NOW.

  • "Click here to shop". The whole point of an online store is for people to shop - they don't want to click to shop, they should already be doing it!
  • Pop ups for larger image views of a product. Everyone has blockers these days. Use a modal pop up or mouse over enlargement instead.
  • Non optimised thumbnails.
  • Search with irrelevant results.
  • Slow loading page elements.

There's much more to add here. This is just a start.


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