Once an ecommerce website is started, a shopping cart is the next step. But, before you just select the first shopping cart provider you see, you need to review your options.
There are some shopping carts ideal for certain industries and sometimes those one-size-fits-all providers aren’t the best ecommerce shopping cart for your company.
To help make the process a little easier, review these tips before selecting the right shopping cart for your company.
eCommerce Shopping Cart: Make a Sensible List
There are literally hundreds of shopping carts out there and you won’t have time to review them all. To narrow down the list, you would have to do a lot of research — and you don’t have time for that either.
So, instead, narrow your list down to five or 10 providers who have their programs up to date and look for the date of their last release. You’ll want one that has a release within the same year.
Do You Want a Third-Party Processor?
Some shopping carts still require a third-party to process the payments. That means your shopping card and payment processor will have to speak to one another — and if one is down, your payments and client orders might be delayed.
A shopping cart that handles all payments for you can simplify the process and reduce the number of providers you have to deal with just to run your e-commerce business.
The best ecommerce shopping cart is one that has shipping integrated into the system. You can set the prices based on a fixed rate or weight-based cost.
A good e-commerce cart is one that also partners with local shipping companies, like UPS or FedEx, to bring you up-to-date shipping rates.
Abandoned Checkout and Recovery Options
Abandoned carts or checkout rates mean something went wrong during the transaction and caused the user to abandon their cart — and not make a purchase. The best e-commerce shopping cart is one that allows you to recover this data.
You can then follow up with that prospective customer who abandoned the cart and ask them about the issue. Just by reaching out to your customers you automatically encourage them to come back and try again.
Also, you get a chance to find out why they abandoned the cart so you can make improvements and avoid future abandonments.
Security and Compliancy
Security should be of the utmost importance when looking for the best e-commerce shopping cart. You’ll want a service that offers an SSL certificate that is at least 128-bits.
Try to find a provider that offers this service for free and one that offers encryption equal to major financial institutions.
It is also important to have a provider that is PCI compliant. Look for a shopping cart provider that is a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant provider. That means they can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and other major credit card brands for payment through your company.
See Live Carts in Action
Even the best e-commerce shopping carts look great on paper, but don’t deliver once they go live. See what sites are using the same shopping cart service and see how they operate.
You’ll want a shopping cart that integrates well with the rest of the website. You’ll also want to make sure the shopping cart can be customized so it represents your brand.
Don’t forget to check out forums and reviews for the best e-commerce shopping carts too. Often there are other business owners just like you who have experience with multiple shopping carts and can point you in the direction of those that worked for them.
Look for testimonials and reviews and see what others are saying about the particular shopping cart you’re considering. The more research you do, the more confident you’ll feel in your decision.
It is in fact a very crucial decision to choose the best shopping cart solution for your online business. Choices are many and so the distractions.
The mediocre have always tried to unbalance the informed decision making mechanism in such a sensitive case by integrating lucrative (however of very little or of no worth) offers discounts etc.
Just keep the points made in the article in mind while searching for a shopping cart solution. Understand the technicalities involved well.
Make your priority list concise and to-the-point. Stick to the basics, rather extensively zero in on the security and compliance aspects; because these are things, those can make you either an absolute winner or a complete loser.
What About You?
How do you choose the right shopping cart for your online venture? If you have recently integrated any shopping cart solution, our readers would love to read about your experiences.
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About the Author
Lara Hemstede is an entrepreneurial tech freak and founder at LM-XCLUSIV, DASH Models and House of Fashion Amsterdam. Connect to Lara via LinkedIn.
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