No matter what sort of goods or services your ecommerce store might be selling, there is an excellent chance that you will need a shopping cart to handle the processing and payment for your customers.
While most shopping carts will perform the same basic functions, not every product available is going to be suitable for your needs. The features and flexibility of the different offerings will vary, so finding the perfect solution is going to be a challenging undertaking.
There are a few key considerations that you should make when you are weighing up the various options that are available to you.
Tips for Choosing a Shopping Cart
- Cost. This is one aspect that varies significantly across the different shopping cart options. Some are free, some have a large one-off fee, others have monthly recurring charges that range from a few dollars to the several hundreds! Generally the free options are open-source and are therefore designed to suit almost any ecommerce store requirements. The lack of cost is a huge benefit of these types of shopping carts, and they are also usually developed over time. However they can also be very difficult and time consuming to install. You can opt for a web-hosted shopping cart that does all the hard work for you – at a cost of course.
- Security. The security of online transactions is a major concern for many customers, as they are using their own banking or credit card details to make purchases with sometimes unknown parties. So ensuring that your shopping cart is secure is of critical importance as you are being entrusted with this sensitive information. The industry standard is SSL (secure socket layer) with 128-bit encryption.
- Hosting or software. The differences between these relates to how they are installed and managed. You can choose a shopping cart where you download the software, install it yourself, and are responsible for maintaining it and making any configurations. Hosted shopping carts, on the other hand, are managed by a third party, so the configuration is very simple and the technical aspects are managed elsewhere. The time involved in getting this set up is also minimal.
- Technical Support. This is particularly important for new businesses or for those people with limited technical experience. Some shopping carts will offer extensive technical support to assist with the set up on your ecommerce site, however these will most likely be one of the paid options.
For a great ecommerce website and online marketing solution, head over to Alinga Web Designs and check out our portfolio.
Like what you see? Contact us and one of our friendly staff will be more than happy to help you.