Continued from page 1
12. Does it have integrated up-sell modules? The ability to offer more related products to customers making a purchase makes me a small fortune each month. We call it, "Do you want fries with that?" If you don't have this ability, you are leaving many thousands of dollars on table from people who would have spent more if your cart just gave them chance.
13. Does it have an integrated sales and prospect database? In old days I would have to print out orders and then retype them into ACT or some other database program. A good shopping cart system eliminates all this hassle and potential for error and gives you instant access to your sales reports and clients.
14. Does it have broadcast e-mail capability? Good shopping cart systems are able to manipulate your customer database instantly and send e-mails to any segment or sub-segment of your clients and handle unlimited e-mail magazines. Again, in old days I would have to be genius enough to pick out segments of database, export them to a file, import them into a mail program and then an hour later send darn e-mail. Now this is all done in a few seconds.
15. Does it have mail merge capability? The e-mails sent are personalized to recipients in any number of ways. Their names can be popped in to subject line and in various portions of body of e-mail. You can merge "what they bought," "when they bought," "where they live" or just about anything that will make them feel e-mail was just for them. Virtually all studies show that mail merge gets a much higher response than plain broadcast e-mail.
16. Can it handle coupons and other discounts? You can make a deal with Joe Blow that everyone coming from his Web site gets an automatic discount -- either a percentage or dollar amount. This makes Joe look great to his visitors and makes more sales for you. Here's a secret: Joe is your affiliate and makes money on sale too, so he's got a great incentive to keep your discounts and coupons in front of his visitors. Good shopping cart systems can automate all of this and also handle any quantity discounts you offer.
17. Can it work for multiple Web sites with no extra fees? When I first started I had to get a separate (and expensive) license for each site and a separate merchant account too. Not only was this a great deal of expense, hassle with installation every time you wanted a new site to go up was enormous. Modern carts can sell bras on one site and bibles on another, and no one knows difference. The carts run on their own servers so there is no expensive installation and set-up is immediate.
18. Does it have unlimited and fully integrated "sequential" autoresponders? This is one of most powerful features when it comes to Internet marketing. This feature follows up automatically over and over again to your clients and prospects to provide them customer care and to sell them more products and services. You can even provide free or paid e-mail courses, and each part of course is delivered automatically.
19. Does it have ad tracking tied into actual sales? Simple ad tracking can be had all over 'Net, but it is pretty much worthless unless it is tied to actual sales. This is called "conversion ratio." Your cart system should be able to tell you how many people clicked on a particular promotion and how many people bought. This is only way you can determine if an ad paid off. Good carts will also automatically split test one of your sales pages against another and tell you which page sells more. You keep page that sells more and get rid of page that sells less.
20. Does it have a pop-up box builder? Even though many people hate popup boxes, they work. I use them judiciously to make all kinds of offers, and I have sales figures to prove they get more money out of same number of people. If you know how to use them properly, no one gets upset.
21. Does it have a printable off-line order form? Believe it or not, many people are still afraid to put their credit card numbers into a Web site. I still get lots of fax orders and phone orders. If you want to maximize your sales, your cart must take these kinds of orders easily.
22. Does it provide free training? You'll need training in both basic set up of using your shopping cart and determining your online sales strategy, so that you maximize amount of money spent by each customer.
You may not understand what all above questions mean right now, but I can assure you they are important in putting more money into your bank account. If you want to know even more about this subject, you can download a free e-book, How to Pick a Shopping Cart System That Makes You Money at www.public- speaking.org/ebook.htm.
What shopping cart system do I use? I have my own private label called www.KickStartCart.com.