In order for a company to be successful, it must have good order management. Surveys have shown that between 60 and 80 percent of customers who have a bad online shopping experience with one e-tailer will not return for a second shopping trip. This means that your ability to accurately do order management and order fulfillment on time could make an 80 percent difference in your bottom line. But order management software alone may not be enough.  For a truly integrated experience, it needs to interface seamlessly with shopping cart software.  Many online e-tailers are turning to e-commerce storefront solutions like 3dcart for help with this. Packages like these allow businesses to run more smoothly and fulfill their orders in a more timely fashion as well as offering a host of other useful business tools.

According to a recent study performed by CustomerThink, an organization made up of thousands of business leaders and entrepreneurs, a few of the most important elements for an online shopping experience are:

  • Ease of use when shopping online
  • Great follow-up
  • Proactive communication

At this point you should be running through a checklist in your head to figure out what elements of your online shopping experience could be improved.  First, how confusing is your online shopping experience? Shopping cart abandonment reached record heights in the 2011 holiday season. Many surveys showed that up to 75 percent of online transactions ended with shopping cart abandonment. The reasons for abandonment are numerous. Some shoppers jumped ship before completing the transaction because they wanted to comparison shop. Others found the experience too confusing because of hard to follow directions or broken shopping cart software. The largest cause was due to exorbitant shipping costs. If you want to avoid shopping cart abandonment, make sure your shopping cart software is simple to use and consider offering free shipping at certain times throughout the year.

Your job is not over once the customer has ordered the goods from your site. In fact, your work is only just beginning at that point. Once the order is made, you should follow up with the customer to let them know the order was received and when they should expect delivery of the order. Some shopping cart software, such as those offered by 3dcart, allow you to send emails to customers who do not complete their transactions. This is a great way of reminding your customers how valuable their business is or offering them a special promotion to close the sale. This will go a long way toward helping you convert shoppers into customers.

Proactive communication takes many forms. Part of it is in the follow-up with your customers after they order. Part of it is to take the initiative when your order management system says you’re out of stock of a particular item by letting customers know that an order will be late. The prospect of alerting a customer to the fact that their order will not be fulfilled can be a daunting one, but it is best to be as transparent as possible.

If you’re serious about optimizing your e-commerce system, consider adding a storefront solution like 3dcart shopping cart software to your order management system. These will help you to retain customers and avoid the dreaded abandoned shopping cart syndrome.