Selecting Your Website’s Shopping Cart

Know Your Budget

Ecommerce shopping carts come in all flavors and colors. Some shopping carts are extremely robust and offer tons of functionality that you may never use. Other shopping carts come with no frills, with just enough flexibility to start selling your products online. Somewhere in between lies your perfect cart. Your first step is figuring out how much money your business can afford to pay for a shopping cart. It does no good to research and plan your business around functionality that is not within your budget.

Understand Your Needs

Though it is nearly impossible to predict how your business will be conducting transactions online in the years to come, analyzing your current and future short-term needs is critical to finding the right shopping cart. If your business merely needs a simple low-cost shopping cart, many services exist that offer to provide you a hosted option for as little as $20 a month. However, if you need a solution that is more complex than those offered by such services, you may need to purchase a shopping cart that is more robust (and costly).

Understand Your Options

Most ecommerce shopping carts have a lot of extra functionality that your business can use to grow. Unless you plan to simply sell a few products online, you should consider using these options to grow your business. For example, you can create a customized affiliate program through your shopping cart. You can also integrate Quickbooks accounting software. Other features include customized taxing options for adding tax rates for purchases made from various countries, the ability to send out newsletters, and support for different currencies. Understand the options that are available to you and try to foresee how your business can take advantage of them.

Consider Your Gateway To Sales

Shopping carts use an online gateway to charge transactions to credit cards in real-time using a business’ merchant account. The problem is that not all shopping carts support all merchant accounts. So, you may find yourself integrating a shopping cart into your online business that refuses to process transactions using your merchant account. To avoid this, research which carts support which credit card order processing companies.