An e-commerce shopping cart is an integral part of your online business. It acts as a costumer service representative that guides the costumer throughout the purchasing process, an information board where costumers can see promos and discounts you offer, and a checkout counter rolled into one. So if you are shopping for a cart, here are the things you need to know:
Understand the types of shopping carts and identify your needs.
Shopping carts are not created equal. They may appear the same but a thorough research will reveal their differences. Knowing how shopping cart services differ from one another is important when choosing what you really need.
Begin your search by listing down your needs. The basic includes a shopping cart, a payment processing-gateway, and a process to fulfill your orders. Aside from these, are there are any other features you need? Do you need order tracking, different payment options, express checkout, product reviews, search and browse features, and real-time inventory? If you sell a number of products that do not require sophisticated shopping cart features, avoid products with too much add-ons.
If you are selling a moderate number of products and require some of the features mentioned above, you may have to look for mid-steam shopping carts. They are reasonably-priced for the features they offer.
Running a large online store with a wide range of products may require several types of shopping cart features. Here, you may want to consider having all the important features that your costumers need for easy searching, browsing, purchasing, checkout and even order tracking.
The key when choosing which shopping cart to buy is to know your business and know what your costumers are looking for.
Narrow down your list.
Reviewing hundreds of shopping carts is impossible. And quite frankly, many of these are not worth a minute of your time. Narrow down your list by taking into account your budget and the features you need. From these, read product reviews as well as user reviews. Choose only the service that is suitable for your business but at the same time, very appealing to your costumers.
This is not perfect, but it’s a quick way to discard products you don’t need and shorten the list of your possible vendor.
Take the free-trial.
There are a number of merchant services offering free-trial for their products, say a 30-day free-trail period. Take this opportunity to test if the product suits the needs of your business. However, features in free-trial versions are very limited to the most basic. If you know that your business requires more, I suggest that you open up your options to paid merchant accounts that offer a good package at an affordable cost.
Start with free accounts.
Starting with free account and working your way up may be a good idea if you really don’t know which type of shopping cart service to take or, if you just have no time reading product reviews and risk your money to buying an unknown product. Popular shopping cart services that offer free account like PayPal allow you to send and receive payments online. Once you get the hang of using free online merchant services and if you feel that the features are insufficient, do not hesitate to upgrade to a premium merchant account.