in Design

How To Make Your E-Commerce Website Suck Less


Almost all of us shop online and we’ve frequently had WTF moments with shopping cart software. The software might have been so annoying that you literally clicked away from the website even though you needed those items pretty badly. For you as the customer, this just amounts to a waste of time and effort but for the website, it means a permanent loss of revenue.

On top of that, a disgruntled customer might vent their frustration online in the form of a negative review which will be far more damaging in the long run. For website owners, this means you have to find a shopping cart solution that is uniquely suited to your particular requirements. Of course, there are many websites that will promise you tips on how to select the best shopping cart program online. However, you should know that individual requirements will vary. There is no one-stop shopping cart solution and you have to compare and choose solutions that will fulfill your website requirements and ensure a comfortable shopping process for your customer.

Types of Shopping Cart Solutions

Online Shopping

Website specialist Merchant Select states that the market is filled with thousands of different shopping cart solutions.  You can choose from light add-on carts that can be adapted on to any kind of shopping website, hosted, or SaaS carts that are slightly more difficult to use and adapt to an existing website and self-hosted open-source or licensed/purchased cart solutions. Each of these solutions have their own pros and cons you can easily adapt them to your website depending on requirement. However, if you want a special solution, you can easily design and set up a custom e-commerce shopping cart solution only for your website. This may be the most expensive option but it will be made to fit your website and sale requirements.

Choosing the Right Shopping Cart Solution for Your Requirements

The website Visfire states that no matter which type of shopping cart solution you choose, you will have to make sure that it meets these basic requirements.

Simple To Use – It’s easy to get carried away with top-of-the-line features but shoppers are simple people. They want to buy a product and get it delivered quickly and efficiently. They don’t want to spend time online puzzling over an innovative but totally-useless-to-them shopping cart feature. As a result, make your shopping cart as simple as possible and as easy-to-use as possible.

Customization – Websites usually have special requirements like added features, discount code boxes, freebie deals, etc. that are added at the time of checkout. The shopping cart solution you choose should be adaptable and scalable. In case your website expands in the future with more products, it is necessary for the shopping cart solution to expand and adapt to the website requirements.

Developer Reputation – This may seem simple but it is really important. Talented developers usually make unique shopping cart solutions but you need a software that has been around for several years and already has a solid customer base.  This not only assures you of quality but it also means that the company or developer has been around for some time. Previous users may have already detected errors and software updates are provided regularly to ensure that the software is up-to-par. If you have purchased paid programs, you are also assured that the company will be available in the future to provide technical help and customer support.

Support – This is critical to the selection of any shopping cart software. Large companies with several years of experience in producing shopping cart software will usually have 24-7 customer service teams that will install the software and troubleshoot it in case of problems. However, small add-on programs are just as easy to use and require minimal support and customer case help. Nonetheless, it is recommend you find a company that provides the highest amount of customer service.

Cost – The cost will vary depending on the program you choose. For example, free add-on programs are the cheapest but they are not without their problems. Paid ready-made solutions are great but they have to be scaled to fit your website, while custom solutions are the best. However, they are also the most expensive.

In the end, try to avoid the classic ‘for want of a nail, the kingdom was lost’ scenario. Websites like The Oatmeal sarcastically point out that irritating features on shopping cart programs can cause customers to leave quite vitriolic reviews and even badmouth the website extensively. Why take the risk when you can install a simple but useful shopping cart solution on your website? If you have a shopping cart solution already, streamline the program to be as simplistic as possible. Avoid upselling and cross selling at the checkout page and ensure that you push the sale through as quickly as possible. Website Smashing Magazine urges you to keep the software simple and watch your profits roll in that much quickly.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.