Branding your shopping cart.
Branding is the look, feel and function that your customers experience when interacting with your company. It can be the feeling they get from an ad you post online – or how your phones are answered (or not answered) – how your website looks – and everything in between.
Since you have worked so hard to make sure that your brand looks good and drives people to buy and continue buying your products and services you must make sure that your shopping cart does the same.
There are a few things to look for when working with your shopping cart from a brand perspective.
1. Can the shopping cart be made to look like your website?
Can you edit the look (HTML and CSS) so clients are not disrupted at that critical moment when they finally click the Buy Now button? If so – please do! If not – look for a different cart because you are losing out on sales and regardless of how cheap (or expensive) the cart is you are using you are losing money by losing sales.
I cannot tell you the number of people I see that never pay any attention to what their shopping cart looks like – they just go with the default look of their shopping cart or put their header image at the top. Instead, invest a few hundred dollars with a good web designer and have him match your shopping cart’s look exactly to your website.
2. What URL do your clients go to when they add something to the shopping cart?
Most of the time this is going to go to the shopping cart’s website – it is this because of security which I will cover more below. You can get a cart to do it completely from your website but in those scenarios you are going to pay a lot more because you will be responsible and liable for the security of the data.
So let’s assume you don’t want to worry about secure certificates and PCI compliance and all the other hoops you would have to jump through. In that case, you need to pay attention to what the URL looks like that people are going to go to when they add something to their cart. Ideally, your company name or domain name can be in the URL in some way – this is called Cloaking the shopping cart.
There are many shopping carts that can do both of these things. I would just encourage you to make sure that your shopping cart does and that you utilize them to the fullest. Red Oak Cart does both very well – for instance the cloaked URL looks like YourDomainName.Checkout-Secured.com.