Any freelance creative who’s in the game for long enough will face the same choice: to carry on as they are or to take the leap into the world of eCommerce and start selling your products online.
If you decide to become an online trader, you then face a further choice: do you sell your products on sites like Etsy or ebay, or do you create your own site and create a virtual shop front?
Many people go for the former option, but for those brave souls that decide to strike out on their own, one of the important decisions that will have to be made is just what kind of sales process you are going to have.
Guest Post by E-junkie
The world of eCommerce can be daunting at first but once you get a hang of it – it’s a world of endless opportunities and possibilities. There are many big and small players and the deciding factor here is the online selling experience that they offer. And the customer is the JUDGE!
All that the customers want from your online marketplace is an awesome shopping experience and a simple glitch on your website can force them to look out for other options. Therefore, it’s very important for you to ensure that your online marketplace is not only appealing but offers the best and the most memorable shopping experience to your customers.
Often online retailers struggle with this, they might have the best looking website but it’s difficult for the customer to navigate through the pages. They have a user-friendly website but their inventory management sucks. Another problem that they might struggle with is the choice of service, what to go in for. And trust me this is not an easy decision when you have n-number of options out there but you have to choose one, there’s no escaping making this choice.
Well, no matter what service you choose, what features you add – at the end of the day it’s all about making your customer feel good.
So now the question here is – What to look for in a eCommerce service that’ll enhance your selling experience?
Here are some features that you should look for:
First and foremost, while choosing a shopping cart service for your online marketplace, keep one thing in mind that you should always choose a service which is cheap and cost-effective. Using it should not create a huge hole in your pocket.
For example, if the cost of your eBook is around $5 and you end up selling 20 units of it and assuming your Payment Processor charges you 3.9% + $0.3 per transaction, you end up making at the end of the month a total of $90.1 (After all deductions from the payment processor (a total transaction fee of $9.9) and assuming each of these transactions are unique). Then choosing a shopping cart which costs you about $5 to $10 depending upon the number of products you sell, makes more sense than a cart that costs you more than $25. Thus, more money flowing into your bank account.
Easy to use
While making the choice of the service you want to use, always remember to go for that service which is easy to use and can be easily integrated into your website, blog newsletters, eBay, your MySpace page or any other website. There should be no point of confusion! You should also be able to easily copy-paste the codes on your website.
Privacy and Exclusivity
Well in case you’re selling a digital product like an eBook, one thing that most retailers worry about is that the customer shouldn’t be able to share and re-share the product. Therefore, they look out for ways to discourage this from happening. One feature that I find interesting is PDF Stamping on eBooks.
This features stamps the buyer’s copy with their name, email address and their transaction ID. In case, any of your buyer shares your product with others, you can easily track him with the transaction ID. Read more about this feature here.
Supports multiple payment processors
Always use a shopping cart that supports multiple payment processors like PayPal, Google Checkout, Authorize.Net, TrialPay, ClickBank and 2CheckOut. If you accept payment by more than one of these methods, each buyer can choose which checkout method they prefer.
In case, you’re selling tangible goods, phone card codes, event tickets or articles for limited circulation, you should always go for such a service that allows you to manage your inventory automatically by allowing you to set the quantity and a date-time limit for any product you are selling.
Yay, discounts! Customers love discounts. And to make them stay with you forever, you should offer them discounts from time to time. This could especially be helpful in the festive season or special occasions to entice your customers to buy your products. Go for a service that lets you create discount codes at both the item and the order-level.
It’s advisable to choose a service that lets you create and manage affiliate programs for all your products in an easy manner
You should be able to control the affiliate percentage and the kind of buttons you want to provide and also whether or not you want to make the affiliate program public.
Download link renewals
Often customers complain about the expiration of the download link(s) they receive for a digital product. Choose a cart that easily allows you to renew the expired links for buyers whose product links have expired and also send them fresh “Thank You” emails so that they can access the product(s) afresh.
Autoresponders, updates & newsletters
Make your customers feel good. Use a service that allows you to send your customers an email with a thank you note, instruction or anything else you want like season’s greetings, etc. for every download they make.
You should also be able to send regular updates and newsletters to your buyers, so that they are up-to-date with your online marketplace, the current offers and discounts.
These are some of the most important points that you should look for while choosing a shopping cart for your online marketplace. Always remember, both you and your customers should be happy with your choice of service.
This post is written by E-junkie the blog team. E-junkie.com is an online hosted shopping cart and digital delivery service which lets you sell anything digital and tangible on your website, blog or social network.