By Michael Moores, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the past, a consumer's online shopping experience consisted of adding an item to a cart, entering in a credit card number and clicking "buy." Today, savvy customers expect a more targeted, relevant and interactive experience. While many merchants who began bringing their products online through a shopping cart solution now struggle to meet those expectations with limited technology capabilities. This is forcing some retailers to question their traditional views of online selling and in turn, take a deeper look at what their shopping cart can do.
If you find yourself wanting to pursue any of the six features outlined below, you may have outgrown your shopping cart.
1 Targeted product marketing: Search engine optimization, at its core, is achieved by generating relevant content targeted to a very specific audience. Many retailers want to maintain their product catalog but also start branching out with content and websites targeted to a very specific segment. Optimizing on say, ‘sports equipment’ will generate relevant traffic but the merchant is still leaving a lot of work to the consumer. Designing multiple sites to target more specific audiences gives merchants a competitive advantage. Take Sports Endeavors, for (http://www.sportsendeavors.com/) as an example. This organization offers multiple genres of sporting equipment and optimizes two separate sites: soccer.com and lacross.com for specific market segments. Because site managers are correctly targeting consumers, each of these sites appears at the top of a Google search.
2. Mobile: Some research estimates that more than one-third of all U.S. consumers have used a smartphone to purchase a product or service -- that’s roughly 100 million people. Yet a recent Briteskies study found that only 17% of specialty online retailers offered a mobile website. As retailers work to capitalize on this tremendous opportunity, many struggle with not only the appropriate mobile strategy, but with how quickly and efficiently they can move their current e-commerce presence into a mobile website or app.