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Don't Try To Sell More Products Than Your Customer Wants.
Many businesses, online and otherwise try to sell their customers extra items. A good example of this is when a customer goes into certain coffee shops and they order a bagel. They will always ask, 'Do you want cream cheese with that?' If the customer had wanted cream cheese, they would have ordered it. The question assumes that they forgot or didn't know. While intended to be helpful, it may be perceived as condescending. When setting up their online shopping carts, web designers should not make that kind of mistake.
A good example of this in an online context comes from a rather large web site hosting company that bombards their customers with screen after screen of ads that try to sell value-added products besides just a hosting account. Even very experienced users find the check-out process confusing. Worse the customer may simply click on the wrong button and suddenly have something in their shopping cart that they did not intend to buy in the first place.
While it is tempting to generate extra sales from each customer, the best way to do this is make the shopping cart check-out process quick and easy. You customers will thank you for this. They are more likely to return to your web site because the check-out process is quick and easy. If there are related products that you think your customers may find useful, then add a button that is clearly visible, but not intrusive, labeled 'Related Products You May Be Interested In'.
Online shopping carts that provide a clear path to check-out are always preferred by web users. After all shopping online is supposed to be convenient, don't make your cart inconvenient by pushing products that your customers did want to buy in the first place. Respect their judgment and purchasing decisions.
Tips for building a successful shopping carts online