Out-dated hairdos and fashion trends from a decade ago can present a special kind of “throwback” appeal in social circles and on runways, but outdated shopping carts for your ecommerce system? Definitely a turnoff to buyers. Today’s online buyer responds to shopping cart solutions that are smart, fast and current, and fortunately, the software solutions for ecommerce have evolved greatly since the industry officially began to take off in the 1990s.
Unless you’re trying to master a throwback appeal to the way buyers purchase on your ecommerce site—and it’s likely you aren’t, not when it comes to paying customers—then take note of the way today’s shopping cart solutions are solving some of the initial challenges of the earlier ecommerce industry. You may even have a few of these challenges to solve today to be ready for tomorrow.
When a London fashion star, Ernst Malmsten, and a London creative director, Lara Bohinc, joined forces for an ecommerce site to take a retail shop online, the results painted a clear picture of how shopping cart solutions can make an impact. Bohinc’s product line grew from specialty jewelry to include shoes, accessories and leather items and saw strong sales, even early in the ecommerce launch. It wasn’t the first time around the ecommerce block for Malmsten, but this recent go-round reflects more knowledge and better use of tools.
In the 1990s, Malmsten started Boo.com, one of the earlier attempts at product-focused web sites. During this time, if you were launching ecommerce, you might have a sense of how people were very reluctant to list personal data and to purchase items without seeing if they fit or how they looked. You may have been one of the retailers who was on the forefront of ecommerce, yet you had to feel your way through your shopping cart solutions with little guidance.
Today’s shopping cart solutions offer numerous security features that shoppers will look for and ask about, so don’t let your security features be the obstacle that kicks your shopper off your page (that’s so 90s). Today’s buyer is cautious of identity theft and Internet scams, and rightly so. Put their mind at ease with a secure ecommerce site that remains secure across multiple Internet browsing options.
Today’s shopping cart solutions help you truly showcase your products, with many offerings in multi-dimensional views. This is made more possible today by the speed of broadband and so you can enjoy rapid-fire connections that allow your shoppers to see a product from every angle. Don’t overlook this capacity—shoppers still want to see your product, as best they can, before they buy it.
Scale carefully. When Boo.com raked in nearly 190 million in a short time, the company is also said to have run through it in a very short time. One challenge the ecommerce site had, like many in the 1990s, was an inability to be ready to scale up when orders grew, and the lack of a savvy team who knew how to support the ecommerce solutions from the back-end while streamlining the design and feel for the front-end. You don’t need a whole in-house team of designers and ecommerce experts for many of today’s shopping cart solutions. Instead, be willing to purchase an on-demand or even an open source solution so that the service is real, at a budget you can grow with.
Careful roll-outs with shopping cart solutions are also a helpful lesson from the 1990s ecommerce trend. When Malmsten and Bohinc joined forces for ecommerce sales, they managed the successful launch for around $16,000, complete with a well-planned infrastructure and an initial launch based on an invitation-only premise. This approach generated several thousand dollars in sales that helped them fund further expansion internally.
What can you learn from 1990s shopping cart solutions? Plan to scale your online store carefully. Make your shoppers feel secure. Give users multiple ways to view and connect with your product. Keep your focus centered and use creative launching tools to draw in shoppers. And please, be careful with the shoulder pads.