Using the right shopping cart program can have a drastic effect on the success of your e-business. If you have a poorly designed shopping cart system, you will lose customers regardless of how great your website is. Consider the factors below when choosing your ideal shopping cart.
How many items do you have to sell?
Many people make the mistake of using shopping carts when there are only a couple of products being sold on the website. In this instance, it is much easier to just setup an online order form. Don’t overdo it with shopping carts unless you will have more products in the near future. Shopping carts, just like the physical tool, are designed for purchasing a large number of products. You wouldn’t haul around a shopping cart in a grocery store just to buy a pack of gum, and neither should you in the online world.
Software or Service Provider
For most small businesses, I recommend using an ASP, which means the shopping cart service is hosted by a third party company. For ASP shopping carts, setup was designed to require no programming skills and very user friendly. Some ASPs also offer packages that include a merchant account and a payment gateway. This takes care of the painstaking process of setting them up separately.
The downsides to an ASP system are the limitations of the control you have over your shopping cart system. For instance, there is only so much you can do to the appearance to your shopping carts. Other features, such as customer tracking, may not be available at all.
ASP Shopping Cart Suggestions
–Uses HTML pages for setup
–Offers many options such as customer tracking
–Includes merchant account in package
Popular Software Options
– Can be hosted on your server or a remote server
– Browser based admin
– Wizard setup
– Preconfigured payment processing
– Easily expandable
– Low price
– Must be hosted on own server
– Wizard setup
– Configuration editor
– Catalog Wizard
These are just the basics of what the companies above offer. For more information please visit their website.