6 December 2017
Which Shopping Cart is Best For You?
More than three-quarters of online customers abandon their shopping cart without purchasing, according to a 2017 study by SaleCycle.com, a behavioural marketing solutions company. The most affected sectors, by industry, are finance, non-profit and travel.
Regardless of your sector, cart abandonments can hurt sales. If your site is experiencing cart abandonment, chances are, you want to plug this leak but are feeling overwhelmed by the range of options for integrating a shopping cart (or carts) into your eCommerce platform. Or, perhaps you’ve plugged a cart in, but it’s not doing a great job.
It comes down to what you need, want and, can afford. Read on to find out which shopping cart integrations can best empower your business.
Is your Business too Big to ‘Plug and Play’ a Shopping Cart?
For large and small businesses alike, it’s easy to be tempted by the idea of plugging into a series of trials to get a feel for what’s out there. But would you want to invest that kind of time in setting up time and time again?
Step up a level from ‘plug and play’ and go for a more robust system that integrates a third-party shopping cart for you. You won’t look back.
The benefits of shopping cart integration are many, but some that will really empower your business are:
- A range of ways to scale up your business, whether you’re just starting out or growing
- Tactics to track and manage your product inventory
- Sophisticated checkout options to fulfil and ship orders, monitor sales
- Enhanced user experience including a loyalty program and blog
- Nifty safety valves to discourage website abandonment
Behind the scenes, the software could be open source, licensed or hosted. We recommend you go for the hosted software. That way, you engage with a shopping cart expert to keep track of the latest security patches, boosting features and doing the tweaks to give your shopping cart an edge on your competitors.
Questions to ask Before Integrating
Online shopping cart services range from about $10 to thousands of dollars monthly. It’s a balance that you are best equipped to strike because you know your business needs best.
Here are a few points that will inform your decision:
- If you go for the more affordable option, your preferred shopping cart might corner you to use popular templates for your website, which may make it a little ordinary looking. Pay a premium and you’ll access more eye-catching ones.
- While you may save money, you’ll limit how much product inventory you can store and show on your website.
- As well, a cheaper shopping cart might sound great, but check for hidden charges. Will it charge fees for each transaction, then for add-ons that allow you to integrate with other third-party tools?
- Always check the detail about the two types of transaction fees – from payment gateways and from shopping carts. Your shopping cart could charge you an extra fee to transact using the app no matter which payment gateway is used.
- Bandwidth is another factor. Usually 1GB of bandwidth is offered, but if your eCommerce business has high traffic volumes and sales, an unlimited plan would be the preferred option. And it’s not just about the bandwidth you use. Your customers will munch into it too, particularly if they’re looking at your slideshows and multiple images that showcase your products.
- How easy is it for shoppers to scoot through the checkout – have you explored the software yourself?
There’s a whole host of other features you’ll need to keep on your radar, too, such as search engine optimisation tools, integrating Google Analytics and social media. But, let’s move along to the real shopping cart performers.
Notch up More Sales with these Three Powerful Carts
At Bambora, we’ve done the due diligence and put our reputation behind three key shopping carts – Magento, WooCommerce and NitroSell.
These are the super performers that continue to deliver no matter what the size and shape of your enterprise and they’re easy to integrate. In short, it also means our developer teams have in-depth expertise in integrating carts into payment systems as part of your eCommerce portal. We’re not spreading them thin to integrate a huge range of carts because we know many come and go out of favour. It’s the nature of this competitive industry.
Enterprise Application Integration isn’t quite at the ‘plug and play’ stage yet, which is why you need a developer with expertise in this area. The alternative is taking your site down for a while to do the maintenance and integrate the cart with your software. We’d also verify that your chosen cart software is a snug fit with the payment gateways you’re using. Glitches here such as incompatible code, slowed performance and speed, and it could be complaints you’ll hear, not the cash register bell.
We’re in business to ensure your payment gateway works swiftly, efficiently and securely to encourage your customers to keep clicking for repeat purchases. That relies on you having a completed product inventory. And the beauty of it is, to integrate with a major shopping cart, you don’t need an in-house developer. That’s a quick win for your business if it isn’t big enough yet to have access to your own developer!
Here’s a primer on the three shopping cart integrations that Bambora helps you make the most of:
This is one of the top five global shopping carts and has plenty of grunt to create complex datasets for vendors. There’s a free version, but we’re assuming you need the enterprise version. Magento is actually an open-source tool, but if you take that path it’s quite a few hurdles for the small business operator.
However, its B2B features include being able to create custom catalogues, supporting sales to corporate accounts, efficiently managing quote requests, easy integration and fast and smooth ordering. With this cart, your portal can offer a service to anyone else who runs an e-store using Magento.
There’s contention about numbers, but experts on Quora say Magento is one of two global leaders in this space, while this latest Forrester research report says Magento comes out on top for B2B. Partnering with Magento means you open the door to other Magento e-shops becoming your clients, too.
A leading shopping cart, WooCommerce (powered by WordPress) offers thousands of extensions, supports an infinite number of products and has templates or themes that are mobile-friendly. You can simply migrate your existing eCommerce store to WooCommerce from another platform.
It works for newbies to web experts alike, and is an affordable solution for small businesses. The downside for large businesses is that it’s not fully scalable.
This one’s been around for more than a decade and is ideal for enterprises needing to integrate their technology. It claims to automatically synchronise your point-of-sale product data with your eCommerce platform. If you want a system to integrate your brick-and-mortar store with your online operations, this will do it.
With NitroSell, you’ve got an interactive web store with lots of features, customisable templates, diverse shipping configuration options as well as automated rate calculation.
Why Three is Better than One
Have you considered one cart might not be enough, too? You’ll stand out from the pack if your eCommerce site features integrated carts the others don’t have. That’s because your software setup offers greater functionality and global reach. Having platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce and NitroSell mean you’ll have store data at your fingertips to access, add, update or delete as well as the latest bells and whistle to give e-tailers a leg up to improve their business, too.
Now some backend stuff.
For eCommerce applications and B2B solutions to tap into that sales data, your shopping cart(s) usually has to expose its APIs. APIs are rules and procedures that let an application access info or features of another operating system, application or service. To access that data, those APIs need to talk to, or in other words, integrate with those services. You can picture the back-and-fro here.
How to make it seamless, quick and powerful? You could either hire your own developer to do it or hook into Bambora to make it happen. We’re Level 1 PCI compliant and have the required SSL certificate to boost security for your website, by the way. If you’re interested in learning more about PCI compliance, give this informative blog a read.
Hungry for More?
Take a deeper dive into more integrations options for your eCommerce operation as well as shopping carts. They include a checkout solution (simple and straightforward for payments) and custom integration (payments API). This hands you more control with the shopping experience or you can opt for iOS and Android Mobile SDK integration. With that one, you’ll be giving your customers a range of functions to pay through your app as the SDK sits snugly between your mobile app and Bambora’s behind-the-scenes system.
Ready to get started? Let our support team give you expert advice so you can invest in the best shopping cart integration for your business.
About the author
Victoria Galloway is Bambora APAC's Technical Copywriter, and has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia.