How To Enjoy Shopping In The Malls

The earliest malls were Paris Arcades in the 19th century. They became very popular with shoppers instantly. Since then shopping malls have evolved to suit people’s tastes. Shopping malls are the most preferred shopping areas in our times among shoppers across the globe.

Earlier shops in shopping centres catered to the elite. But it is no longer the case. Now, there are shops in shopping malls which cater to different budgets.

Shoppers prefer shopping centres/malls to stand-alone shops for various reasons:

1. They have their own parking facility.

2. There is a wide variety of products available.

3. There are products from competing producers available under one roof. So, they can compare and make purchases.

4. They have facilities such as restrooms.

5. They have gaming zones.

6. There are food courts with a wide variety of cuisine.

7. There are movie theatres in shopping centres.

All these features making shopping a fun-filled and satisfying experience.

Since shopping centres are the most sought-after shopping destinations, it is beneficial for a businessman to set up a store in a shopping mall. Generally, retail store owners rent shop space in a mall. Renting store space benefits the businessman in many ways.

• Shopping malls are usually located in prime locations which are easily accessible. If a retailer sets up a store in a mall, he can have the shop in a prime location with a minimal investment. On the other hand, if he attempts purchasing a shop in such a location, he may not be able to afford it. A rented property implies low initial investment. This enables the businessman to utilize the saved amount on his business.

• He can attract clients of competitors who have shops in the mall. This enables him to build a clientele easily.

• He does not have to direct his time and efforts towards the maintenance of the shop. This helps him to focus on his business.

• Generally, the charges for utilities are included in the rent. Hence, he does not have to involve himself in these matters.

• Many a time, businessmen set up pop-up stores in shopping centres in order to attract customers for new products. This is a popular location for a pop-up store as it is a high traffic area.

With so many benefits of shopping malls to shoppers as well as businessmen we can conclude that shopping centres will only rise in popularity with time.

Benefit Shopping in Online Mall Shop

Shopping in a portal online shopping mall is shopping at its best. This way of shopping will alter the way you shop online from now on. This type of mall will allow you to shop at the same stores you currently shop at now and it will allow you to save up to 40% on your purchase. It’s like getting an instant rebate at every store. Here are some of the reasons to shop at this type of mall:

1. There are many stores and many different categories; if you are looking for something specific in a specific category and can’t find it, look to another store with the mall. There are a lot of similar lesser know sites that may have just what you want.

2. You can check out your Sunday ads and then go shopping; many of the stores that print flyers are usually included in this type of mall. You can shop those stores and the same items and get a rebate on top of it.

3. The rebates offered by most stores will often times pay for the shipping and handling. If you purchase a certain amount of goods, shipping is free.

4. Going to an online shopping mall offering rebates is like going to a major shopping mall and someone handing out coupons as you walk through the door. You get these types of rebates every time you shop. You don’t have to remember coupon books.

5. You can do all your shopping without even leaving the house. You can do it at the height of the rush hour or do it a 3 AM when all the family is fast asleep.

6. You can do all your holiday shopping without leaving the comforts of home.

7. Surprise that certain someone and have it truly be surprised. Have them ask, when you found time to shop when you are so busy. Order flowers, plan a vacation, buy chocolate, jewelry, fragrances or sporting good; virtually anything you can thing of.

8. Shop for birthdays, anniversaries, special days like Mother’s day or Father’s day or any occasion and save money while doing it.

9. You will be amazed at all the lesser know sites that have the same items as the big box stores and have them a lower price, have free shipping or just offer the discounts or cash back options offered by using this type of shopping mall.

10. Shopping a portal online shopping mall is simple. There are no fees involved; no credit card information is taken. Just sign up, sign in and starting shopping at many of the stores that you already shop.

11. Many online shopping malls, offer rebates or cash discounts to over hundreds of different merchants and many different categories and many subcategories. Categories range from outdoor accessories, kitchen supplies, Home and Garden and seasonal gifts just to name a few.

12. Product choices do range from store to store so you can pick the category that best suits you. Shop big name stores like Amazon or Netshop and shop places that offer other types of merchandise. Many online shopping malls, offer monthly specials and free shipping.

13. Even if you like to shop at a conventional shopping mall, you can still use the list to comparison shop. You can decide ahead of time that has the best prices and minimize running to multiple stores just to find the best prices.

As you can see, there are many advantages to shopping in a Portal Online Shopping Mall. It saves gas, time and frustration. You can do it anytime, anywhere. All your shopping can be done without leaving home allowing more time to spend with your family.

Guide To Choose Your Shopping Cart

Are you a website owner or a web designer/developer? If either applies, I would venture to say that eventually you’ll need an online shopping cart for one of your websites. In fact, almost all new websites today need some sort of ecommerce built-in, for the purpose of selling goods and services in the online marketplace.

The greatest challenge is to find the perfect ecommerce shopping cart solution for yourself and/or your client. This task can be very overwhelming, considering, if you type ‘shopping cart’ into Google.com, this search alone returns over 14.4 million hits! Most of us don’t have the time to sift through more than a few pages of a search engine to find what we’re looking for.

For the last 3 months, much of my time has been devoted to researching as much shopping cart technology as I could get my hands on. In general, shopping cart software ranges in price from free to over $2000 for a single license and web hosted carts range from $5 to hundreds of dollars per month. The studied carts cover the spectrum of all web programming languages (ASP, ASP.NET, Cold Fusion, Flash, Java, JavaScript & Perl shopping carts) and provide limitless features as a whole. The problem is that locating YOUR perfect cart with YOUR specific features can be a big task.

But no fear, just follow this guaranteed step-by-step guide to locate it:

The Top 10 Steps to Finding the Best Online Shopping Cart

Cost

How much money do you have to spend on an internet shopping cart? The nice advantage is that there are shopping carts with hundreds of features and they don’t cost you a dime. They are generally open source products. The only problem is that these same “free shopping carts” can take hours of installation time and be fairly difficult to configure. For a monthly fee, web hosting shopping carts are made for users with little programming experience and allows them to have an online storefront presence in no time.

Hosting vs. Software

There are two options in selecting your overall shopping cart solution. Either you get shopping cart software, download it, install it on your web server, then configure the shopping cart OR you get an online storefront (aka a hosted shopping cart) where the configuration is very basic and the required setup time is minimal. If you have some programming skills, I recommend buying a script and installing it on your own. The nice thing is that you pay a one-time fee for shopping cart software and the license is good for a lifetime. It’s approximately the same price to have a hosted solution for a year compared to most one time shopping cart license fees.

Supported Gateways

What do I mean by gateways? Gateways give shopping carts the ability to connect and securely process credit card orders in real-time. Not all shopping carts are created equal. Make sure that your client’s merchant account is supported by the cart you select. I have found that almost all carts support the larger online payment processing companies, such as Authorize.net, PayPal and Verisign.

Shipping Options

Will you be shipping physical products? If so, there are shopping carts that have built-in real-time shipping options through DHL, UPS And USPS. Often times, the cart gives the user the ability to view tracking orders and order status all from within your secure shopping cart web interface. Also, there are shopping carts with options to ship digital goods as well (files, programs, pictures, music and others).

Technical Support

What kind of technical support does your shopping cart offer? If you choose to purchase a script, be sure to also subscribe to the shopping cart creator’s newsletter, so that you can stay on top of future updates to the software. Be aware that technical support is generally available on a pay-per-incident basis, as a yearly fee or in the rare case, free. Be sure to know what kind of customer support guarantee the shopping cart comes with.

Security

Please, only buy a shopping cart if it supports SSL (secure socket layer), with 128-bit encryption. As an online storefront, remember that you are responsible for the safe transfer of sensitive information (credit card and bank account information) that is processed through your store. If any of the sensitive information is accessible (stolen) from your website, you could be liable. Be sure that you’re purchasing a secure shopping cart solution. Ask the creator’s of the shopping cart what they do specifically to protect the secure transfer of sensitive information.

Style Compatibility

Can you customize your shopping cart to look like your website? There needs to be a seamless transition between your website and your shopping storefront or your customers might get hesitant in purchasing your products. There should be similar colors and style layout to look professional and believable.

Extra Features

I just wanted to mention some of the other features that I have discovered, which might be a critical point in determining the shopping cart you want.

Affiliate Program – Offer your own customized affiliate program through your shopping cart software. Quickbooks Integration – Many carts allow direct integration with Quickbooks.

Newsletter & Mailing Letter Managers – The ability to stay in touch with your current customers and keep them returning to your online store.

Custom Taxing Options – Create taxable or tax-free products and have the ability to add various global tax options at checkout.

World Languages & Currencies – Shopping cart language translation and support for world currency might be a necessary feature for your cart.

Error Free

You mean shopping carts can have errors? Of course. A private UK-based web testing firm found the following, after studying a large group of UK online shopping carts for a period of one month (24/7):”The majority of UK web sites are guilty of leaving e-consumers stranded at the checkout empty handed, once they have already spent valuable time browsing and selecting goods to purchase. This is due to erratic functionality within shopping carts, at a critical step in the online purchasing process.”

“E-consumers are prevented from making purchases on UK web sites for 9 hours and 30 minutes a month on average, (115 hours a year).” “80 per cent of web sites perform inconsistently with widely varying response times, timeouts and errors – leaving consumers at best wondering what to do next and at worst unable to complete their purchase successfully. This is potentially costing e-retailers millions in lost sales from consumer frustrations.” ([http://www.scivisum.co.uk/report/ecommerce/])

Be sure to see what other users are saying about a shopping cart that you might be interested in purchasing. Any shopping cart errors could cost you thousands of dollars in sales. Get a stable and secure cart.

Shopping Cart Directory

The following is a link containing a directory of shopping carts that are categorized according to each of the above-stated steps. Make shopping for shopping carts a breeze!

Common Problems Using Shopping Carts

The process leading up to a transaction online is possibly the most critical to a shopping cart’s success. If the buying process causes frustration, confusion or insecurity, the user is likely to abandon the shopping cart, never to return again.

The usability of a shopping cart refers to the efficiency with which a user can achieve their goals on a website. Many of the larger online shopping carts, like Play.com and Amazon.com, are continuously striving to make their buying process as fluent and as effortless as possible. Knowing you can buy a book or film in just 3 or 4 clicks encourages you to return to the same, reliable website.

Having read numerous articles and white papers dedicated to best practice shopping cart design and usability; below I have highlighted five potential design problems in shopping carts that I’m sure many users have encountered.

1. Shopping carts that ask a user to register before knowing if the product is available or not.

It could be quite irritating for a user if they have spent 10 minutes entering their credit card details, home address, telephone number etc etc. only to find out during the checkout process that the product they want to buy is out of stock.

Many shopping carts enable you to present users with live stock availability before the user places their product in the shopping cart.

2. Suggesting the user buys similar products before adding the main product to the shopping cart.

It’s often helpful when a website recommends additional products you may want or need after adding your main product to your shopping cart.

However, I think you’ll agree that it could be slightly confusing if these additional products were offered to you before even adding the main product to your shopping cart? You press “Add to Cart” and suddenly you’re offered batteries, or insoles or travel cases. Many users would be left feeling confused, wondering if their product had been added or not, or if they’d pressed the wrong button.

Best practice guidelines would indicate offering your user the extra products after the user has finished shopping and they’re entering the checkout process.

3. Shopping carts that ask a user to register before they have even added a product to their shopping cart.

Asking for a user’s personal information before they have even added a product to their shopping cart is not a good move.

Customer registration can offer some big advantages to you as a merchant including recovery for abandoned shopping carts, customer loyalty and email contact. However, many users may be browsing a number of websites, adding products to numerous shopping carts for the main purpose of comparing prices and features. If a user has to register personal details before using the shopping carts, a large percentage are likely to abandon the website.

4. Requiring a user to delete and add the same product to shopping carts just so they can change its colour, size or variation.

Editing a shopping cart should be as simple as possible and shouldn’t require the user to delete anything from the shopping cart.

If a product comes in different colours and different sizes don’t make them delete it from their shopping cart if they want it in a different variation. Users should be able to select from within their shopping carts the different options.

5. Websites that do not clearly show the user the contents of the shopping carts.

Have you ever been on a website and added the same product to your shopping cart 3 or 4 times because you’re not sure if it worked the first time?

Many users that can’t see the contents of their shopping cart in the same browser as the one they are shopping on can often feel confused about whether or not their item has been added successfully.

As a merchant it is understandable that you don’t want to take your user away from the page they are shopping on every time they add something to their shopping cart. Best practice guidelines therefore indicate displaying the contents of a users shopping cart in the same browser, in the right hand corner for example. To summarize, the design of the entire shopping experience is of utmost importance. These 5 potential design problems highlighted are five of many common problems found on shopping carts.

Which one is most likely to make you abandon your shopping cart? Tell us about additional usability problems you have encountered! Which, out of those above, do you think is the most irritating and the most likely to cause shopping abandonment?