Selecting the Right Shopping Cart for Your Ecommerce Site

With the variety of available shopping carts, it can be very difficult to find a cart that is right for your business. Instead of installing several on your site, there is a way to narrow down what is important to you in a shopping cart.

You will need to create a list of what you are looking for and what you hope to achieve with your cart. We’ve provided a helpful guide to assist you in formulating this list. You can go through these questions and write your answers down on a separate sheet of paper. At the end of this article, you’ll be ready to take your list and narrow down the field.

1. Do you need to have the cart on your site? Third party shopping carts are widely used by several companies. They do charge a monthly fee, which can result in spending a lot more for a third party service than you would for a simple cart installed on your own site, but they may offer additional features that make this worth while.

2. What do you want your cart to do? If you just need a simple application that can put items in a cart and allow your customers to check out, you will not need to worry about purchasing an expensive shopping cart.

3. Do you need to have your cart look and feel like the rest of your site? Many carts offer the ability to change the store template so that it matches the rest of your site.

4. Do you have an SSL certificate? If you do, and you should have one if you plan to process credit cards, you will need to make sure that your cart will support your certificate.

5. What payment gateway do you use? This is a vital component to selecting a shopping cart. There are over 100 payment gateways and many carts do not support all of them. There is no point in installing a cart that will not allow you to take orders.

6. How do you prefer to find out about new orders? Your options here are via email or by logging into your cart or a mixture of both.

7. What is your skill level? If you are an advanced user, most shopping carts should be a breeze to set-up. However, if you are a beginner, it is much easier to find a cart that is geared towards your skill level, or a third party cart that will not require a lot of technical know-how on your part.

8. Is the cart easy to use? Shopping cart abandonment frequently occurs due to difficult to use shopping carts.

9. How many products do you have? If you have a database full of products, it is important to find a cart that will allow you to integrate with your database. Otherwise, you may end up adding each item one at a time.

10. Do you need extra features? Do you need the ability to send out customer emails, or add an autoresponder to thank customers? List what is important to you and see if you can find a cart that provides all or most of these features.

Now that you have your list of answers, you will be well equipped to find the cart that will work for your business instead of against it.

Related Posts:
Shopping Carts for Ecommerce Sites
Ecommerce Hosting Considerations
Advantages of PHP Hosting
Web Hosting Information’s Guide to Shopping Carts
Beating Shopping Cart Abandonment

Posted on 12/14/05 10:48 PM

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