No two shopping carts are identical – they all seem to have their own unique features and details. When you decide you want to sell products online or change from your current cart platform, you will have a lot of options in the marketplace. You need to do your research and weigh the pros and cons about which online shopping cart solutions are right for your storefront. From the most basic free open source shopping carts, where you will need to be very Internet savvy and do not have any direct support, to the most sophisticated ecommerce cart solutions that give you everything including hosting and 24/7 customer support, the shopping cart comparison process can be daunting.
What is it that you really need in an online shopping cart for your storefront? You have to start at square one and look at where you are at in the process to be able to determine which is the right option for your business. Do you have a website yet, if not you have to determine if you want to build one on your own and then just incorporate the shopping cart or if you should use a more complete ecommerce shopping cart solution that allows you to build a full site for your store.
The feature set of your ecommerce cart is extremely important and something you should compare across many companies to determine which features are best for your business. First you have the design and customization of the cart which involves varying levels of programming knowledge. You might not have any programming skills or the money to pay someone to help. If this is the case, consider using something more plug and play that has a WYSIWYG editor. A brand is an important part of selling products online and you want to look professional and reputable so customers want to buy from your ecommerce store. Because of this, always consider the solution that will provide the cleanest looking online store available.
Products are the heart of any ecommerce business and you need to get all of your items integrated into the site so customers can purchase them and check out of your online shopping cart. This is why you need to look at and compare how easy it is to set up your storefront. You also need to look at how many different products you have and, if you plan to have hundreds or thousands, then you need to really analyze and spend time determining which eCommerce cart will get you set up the fastest. You want to start selling your product as soon as possible so that you can create a successful business.
An ecommerce store and online shopping cart require a server to host your store. Some companies will offer this feature to you and some will not. Depending on your comfort level with technology you need to compare if it is better to go with a hosted solution that takes care of the it all for you or if you want to handle the hosting yourself. There are many different hosting companies that can accommodate an eCommerce cart, but you must determine what is best for your business. If you choose to host the cart yourself, then you will have to also install and set everything up. Most online shopping cart solutions that already have hosting, have an easy to use administration panel in which you can setup the cart from anywhere you have an Internet connection. This allows for speed and ease of use, but a cart you host yourself allows for greater customization.
You want to feel good about the online shopping cart you decide to go with so make sure you choose carefully and read reviews as well as forums to compare. If you really want to get a sense of what it will be like to have your eCommerce cart powered by a certain provider, we recommend finding other sites using that shopping cart to see which ones you like the best.