Start Selling Online With the Shopping Cart

You want to shop for a week’s supply at Wal-Mart and as you enter the store, you notice that all the shopping carts are gone. How would you feel? Of course, you’d feel like not shopping at all and switch to other stores where shopping carts are available. The same applies for online shoppers who wanted to make a more organized and one-way shopping, most especially if they’d purchase multiple items. A customer would always want it the easy way out and one way of letting them shop the easy way is through online shopping carts.

Shopping cart softwares have improved a lot as years passed and as e-commerce boomed to overcome a lot of tangible business out in the business world. Having an Online Shopping Cart Software is important and will reap you a lot of benefits both in short term and in the long run. Through a shopping cart, you would be able to cater the best shopping experience to your online customers like they’re in a virtual shopping mall picking up what they want and stashing it inside the cart for the cashier to bill them out.

Free vs Paid Shopping Carts

There are a lot of shopping cart softwares available; most of them are pay-to-use while some few are for free. Free shopping cart softwares may be very tempting to avail of because they are absolutely free of charge. Take note, however, that these free shopping cart softwares may be a good option while starting a business, when the customers are not that overwhelming yet. But try to anticipate when your business made it into the main stream. Surely, the free shopping cart software won’t be able to handle the demands of multiple customers in the long run. As compared with paid shopping carts, free carts are less stable and have less customer support available for technical difficulties.

Multi-Tasking Carts

There are available shopping cart softwares which come in a package making them more versatile than ever. Shopping cart packages allow for the users to perform multiple tasks at once.

Suggestive carts- Aside from the usual shopping cart where all the items to be purchased are stored temporarily, current carts also generate information about the customer’s history of previous purchases and offers them similar products which could catch their interests- this is through the power of cookies which collect previous information of users and dig them up for future use.

Search Tool- Search tool is also integrated in some shopping carts so shoppers won’t need to scour over the list of items. They can also sort these items out so that they can compare the prices, and all other essential information.

Cross Selling- Some carts can also be designed to do cross-selling such that there would be Hot Listed Items on a part of the cart which could raise the interest of a customer.

Computations of Fees- One important feature of a shopping cart is to make the job of the online seller easier so that before it reaches the Internet Merchant Account service, everything is already ironed out and ready for billing. Computation of taxes, shipping costs, discount rates and all other necessary calculations can be done by a shopping cart and this helps a lot in making the transaction smoother and more convenient.

Reporting- A shopping carts task doesn’t just end once the customer leaves the site and billed out by the IMA. The cart should also display reports to the online seller about the hottest items on the list, the overall sale for a certain time, the information about the traffic, the type of customers and all essential information necessary to improve the store.

Customizability of Design

The flexibility of the shopping carts is important so that it could be well adapted and customized according to the design or layout of the online store for which it is designed to work. By this feature, you can easily change the look of your store if it starts out to feel dull and monotonous. You should also see to it that the interface is user-friendly so that those persons with no idea about HTML or web designing can easily tweak the design up. There are also some shopping cart software providers who can customize the carts for you- all you need is to give them a logo of your store or tell them how you want those shopping carts to look like.

Shopping carts are very vital in the functioning of an ecommerce website. It gives heaps of benefits for both the seller and the customer. For this reason, be very careful and strategic in choosing the right shopping cart for your store. Just bear in mind those tips and points which should be looked into and surely, you’ll get the best shopping cart service suited for your business.

Group Travel Tips for Direct Groups: Part 2 – Planning Your Trip Timeline

Now that you have decided on the purpose of your group trip, where you want to travel and what time of the year, you will now be faced with the task of planning your group tour. There will be many questions to answer, lots of details to complete and numerous deadlines to meet. Knowing what to tackle first, what decisions to make and what support you will need throughout both the planning period and on the trip will help make the process run smoothly. The key is to plan far in advance.The planning all begins with a timeline. Following are some general guidelines for mapping out the period from when the seed is planted until the departure date. Note: This timeline may differ depending upon your type of group, what destination you have chosen and when you may be traveling.18 Months Prior to DepartureWho will be invited to participate?
Determine the approximate length and dates of the trip.
Begin researching your chosen destination to find out what attractions, museums, theme parks, outdoor adventures, water parks, etc. you would like to attend and the costs associated with each.
Begin researching transportation, hotels, vacation homes, dining and shopping (if applicable) and the costs associated with each.
If this is a school trip, talk with the school principal and/or administration to receive their approval.10 to 12 Months Prior to DepartureSet firm dates.
If flying, final pricing may not be available until 10 months prior to departure. Also, arrange transportation to and from the airport when you have secured your flights.
Motorcoach/minibus companies also work 10 months in advance. If traveling by motorcoach or minibus, you should begin the quoting/booking process now and choose a transportation company.
If you are traveling by van(s) from your hometown, then begin the quoting/booking process from van rental companies.
Begin the hotel/vacation home resort quoting/booking process. After receiving the quotes, choose a hotel/vacation home resort and book it!
If you have decided to include meals in the trip, begin the group-friendly restaurant, dinner show quoting/booking process. After receiving the quotes, choose which restaurants your group desires and book them!
If shopping is important to your group, this will be a good time to request a meet/greet to obtain discounts from the shopping center/retail store.
If you are a youth group, determine who your chaperones will be which may include parents, teachers, sponsors, etc.
Project the estimated/approximate cost per person.
Announce the tour including the cost per person and start promoting it by means of email, flyers, posters, website, social media, newsletters, etc.
Set up a deposit and payment schedule for each member in your group as they sign up.
If participating in a music/dance/theatre festival, fill out all paperwork and submit.
If you desire travel insurance, now is the time to research, fill out paperwork and submit.6 to 9 Months Prior to DepartureContinue promoting the trip via newsletters, social media, emails, meetings, etc., keeping interest alive in those who have signed up and possibly attracting a few more to sign up.
If you are a school group, scouting troop, youth group etc., begin fundraising activities if needed.
If your trip is an educational tour, create a list of reading materials or study exercises to prepare students for the trip
Distribute a copy of the itinerary to all members of your group (meetings, association, youth group, scouting, religious, reunion, etc.)
Participants should be signed up with deposits paid.
Confirm all reservations including hotel/vacation homes, transportation, attractions, dining, shopping, travel insurance and anything else.4 Months Prior to DepartureContinue promoting the trip via newsletters, social media, emails, meetings, etc., keeping interest alive in those who have signed up and possibly attracting a few more to sign up.
Contact anyone who has shown an interest but still has not committed.
Continue fundraising if needed.
Collect payments per your payment schedule.3 Months Prior to DepartureFinal payments are due from those who have paid deposits, made payments, etc.
Finalize lists of all participants and choose roommates for hotels (if applicable), seating arrangements on the motorcoach (if applicable), and/or seating arrangements on your flight if flying
Purchase all theme park, attraction, water park and dinner show tickets and begin making final payments to your chosen hotel/vacation homes, restaurants, transportation companies, etc.1 Month Prior to DepartureSchedule a final meeting to confirm the details of your trip including packing lists, travel tips and any last-minute information.
Make sure you obtain emergency contact, medical and allergy information from each traveler.
If you are a youth group, make sure parents have your emergency contact information.
Make sure all permission forms, travel insurance forms, etc. are completed for each traveler.As previously stated, the above timeline is a general guide and can differ depending upon your type of group, what destination you have chosen and when you may be traveling. Use this timeline as a guide to map out your trip from the start of planning to the departure date. By employing this step-by-step process, you will be able to successfully plan each stage of your group trip resulting in a smooth tour without any surprises.

Personalized Learning

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