Many small business owners now operate some form of ecommerce website, whether it’s a blog enabled to take payments for information downloads or a fully optimised online store. Whenever you take payments from customers, it’s important to create a checkout system that’s user-friendly. It doesn’t matter how ingenious your products or, or how slick and modern your website design is. If your checkout system is overly complicated you will end up losing profits due to abandoned shopping carts and last-minute buyer remorse. To help streamline your website’s checkout process, the following are a few tips to keep in mind.
Make Shipping Charges Clear
Your delivery and shipping information should be easy to find on the website. If a customer only finds out about extra shipping charges at the very end of the transaction, they may abandon the sale. This will also make them far less likely to visit your site again in the future. Be sure to provide clear links to shipping information from every page of your website, or include this information on the product pages. This helps prevent any surprises.
Ability to Edit Shopping Cart
A common navigation issues that arises in poorly designed ecommerce sites is the inability for a customer to make changes to their shopping cart without losing data. They should be able to smoothly navigate between the product pages and the shopping cart without losing any information. Make it easy to delete unwanted items or add new ones before proceeding to the final checkout stage. An example of this can be found in the adult website Vibrations Direct; which includes a link to the shopping cart clearly displayed on every page. If you need to go back to add another butt plug to your cart, you can simply go forward or backward without losing any information. Major online retailers from Amazon to H&M offer this same feature, for a greater user-friendly experience.
Use a One-Page Payment Form
If payment involves multiple steps and complicated forms, you will boost your chances of losing the sale. A buyer may decide that making a purchase is simply more trouble than it’s worth. Avoid asking for arbitrary information, sticking to basic contact details and credit card information instead. Some websites require customers to register before they can make a purchase, which is also a big turn-off that can result in lost profits. Remember that you’re already collecting contact details as part of the checkout process, so there’s no need for a separate registration step.
Provide Multiple Payment Options
The more payment options you provide, the more customers you will draw in. Some customers cannot use Paypal for whatever reason, so be sure to give them additional credit card options. It’s also important to make sure that you have the proper level of security to enable these transactions. Protect your clients by using a secure payment platform with shopping cart software or other professional tools.
Just as it’s ill-advised to require registration as part of the checkout process, it’s also wise to avoid any other extra information. If you include additional promotional information or thank-you messages, you’ll run the risk of confusing your customers.
Essentially, keeping your checkout system as smooth, straightforward, and transparent as possible will help you maximise your sales and keep your customers coming back. This is one of the most important layout issues of any ecommerce website, so it’s worth spending some time to perfect.
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Drop shippers are the life blood of many online businesses and forging a successful relationship with them can make or break your company. Rather than holding your own stock, drop shippers allow you to take orders which are then passed on to them, and they in turn fulfill the order. There are some drawbacks- most noticeably smaller margins and lack of control offer fulfillment- however, there are also many benefits. Drop shippers eliminate the need to have suitable storage facilities, which can often be extremely expensive; they also mean that you don’t need to worry about postage and packing. Here are five tips to ensure you get the most out of your relationship with them.
Don’t fall for scams
The main reason people are reluctant to use drop shippers is because of the large number of scams which exist. Spotting them is not an exact science- but it can be done. Avoid any companies which require you to pay a fee before you are able to see what products they sell. This might seem obvious but it catches out hundreds of people each month. Always research a drop shipper before you use them. If they are a scam then there is likely to be a lot of buzz about them on the various e-commerce forums that are out there.
Ask if a distributor will drop ship for you
Many of the companies which drop ship for me specifically claim on their websites that they do not offer this service. By making contact with them personally, explaining my business and why their products would be a great fit and by providing some projected figures, I have managed to convince them that drop shipping can be beneficial for them. Thanks to this personal approach I am now the only small independent trader able to offer a certain range of deluxe dog harnesses and several other product lines. Always ask- no matter what their website might say!
Make your first orders to yourself
When first using a new drop shipper I always send at least three orders to myself and people I know. This allows me to see how quickly the items are delivered and how well packaged they are. This is really important. Your customers have no way of knowing that you are not in charge of fulfillment- so any problems here will be a black mark against your name, not your drop shipper.
Visit your drop shipper
Try to organize a day when you are able to go and visit your drop shipper. I believe that being able to really get to know the products you are selling is essential- although I know a lot of internet entrepreneurs would disagree. What a visit to a drop shipper does allow, is for you to take some bespoke pictures of their products. Other companies will be using the same stock images which they have supplied you with- if you can go and get your own pictures, or even better video, then you will immediately stand out from the crowd. This is a tactic which I have used to great effect on my site Dogscorner.co.uk.
Always pay them on time
Many drop shippers require payment before each order is processed and although this might sound like a lot of hassle it is actually my preferred means of operating, as it ensures all payments are up-to-date. Forgetting to pay your invoice will quickly lead to a deterioration in any relationship. I know several entrepreneurs than have made an honest mistake only to find a huge back log of unfulfilled orders and telephone lines jammed with angry customers.
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Printing moved away from the printing press and into digital technology over the last couple decades of the 20th century. Ever since, publishers and businesses of all stripes have enjoyed the benefits and the frustrations that come with new technology. The quality of printing may have improved but most people involved in printing will agree that there are issues to be addressed. Furthermore, the access to ink and equipment are factors that also frustrate.
Online Vendors Save the Day
Until the Internet really became a secure place to shop, these frustrations simply grew. The liberation of commerce from all the restrictions of brick-and-mortar establishments enabled businesses to access the supplies that they needed much more quickly and cheaply. Companies of different sizes can gain access to printers, ink, paper and other accessories that they need with just a few clicks of an employee’s mouse.
Printers are absolutely necessary for any number of businesses. A company does not have to be high tech to need this technology. Communication is the key to success in business. If you cannot get your message out to the public in every possible way, your chances of survival are dim.
An online venue for printer sales makes it much easier to shop for this equipment. You can find different models from different manufacturers on the same website. Pick and choose as you please. This is not as easily done in a real world establishment, which may have limited floor space and restrictive contracts with specific manufacturers.
The ink cartridge became a major source of frustration soon after compute printing became popular. There were many reasons to be angered by the hindrances that these devices caused but cost was probably the biggest issue. Cartridges sold for full price but they never contained much more than half the ink that could fill them.
Soon after the ecommerce became a reality, businesses opened on the web which recycled ink cartridges and sold them on the web. Only, when they sold them, they were cheaper than the originals and filled with ink. Just pressing few buttons could save printing businesses and departments thousands of dollars on Epson ink or another ink manufacturer’s product.
Businesses need a great variety of paper for their printing purposes. There are several different kinds of paper just for standard printing. Beyond those needs, there are also needs for paper that will support photos and other artistic mediums.
It is not just that the online vendors of these products provide variety or even inexpensive options. The businesses that offer products online for other businesses are able to sell in bulk without limiting themselves to particular varieties. They can also deliver them quickly because they have access to immense, widespread warehouses. Often, deliveries are free if the purchases are large enough. Otherwise, these vendors may offer very low flat rates for shipping and handling.
On the Internet, there is no need to print. However, it took the Internet to make printing easy. If you want it to be easy, search for an online vendor of printing goods.
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