Questions to Ask Yourself When Picking a Shopping Cart
Are you looking for an online shopping cart for your ecommerce site? Would you like a ready-made list of questions to help you decide which shopping cart is right for your business? Here is a list of some of the more commonly asked questions individuals ask when they are looking at shopping cart software programs. One of the first questions people ask themselves when looking for a shopping cart is, "Should I get a free or premium shopping cart program?"
The answer will depend on how many features you are looking for and of course what your budget is. When deciding on features be careful not to be short-sighted, look towards your future needs of both your business and your customers so that you won’t have to run out and get a new shopping cart anytime soon. Some common selling questions revolve around cross selling capabilities, and the ability to offer quantity discounts or for customers to use coupons or certificates.
When deciding on a shopping cart you may want some advance features like the ability to integrate with an affiliate program, newsletter, or autoresponder. You will also want to consider what kind of hosting service support the shopping cart script has. There are different coding formats such as PERL, PHP, and ASP you will want to know what format each shopping cart software contains that you are considering using. Are you familiar with these formats? Your budget will obviously determine the range of shopping carts that you can consider the higher end carts have wonderful features but are they cost-effective?
When it comes to shipping options some carts actually allow customers to calculate different shipping options and to also receive live quotes from shipping companies. Downloadable products need special functions so be careful if you are selling soft goods such as software. If selling downloadable products make sure that the system does not use static download page as after a successful transaction the customer can give friends the link and they will be able to download your product too.
The best security is to have temporary URL for downloading digital products that is unique to that particular customer and is only available for a few hours. What types of payments will you be accepting form your customers? Payment gateways plug into the various shopping cart packages but not all can be used with all shopping cart packages. You simply must be able to accept credit card payment if you want to do business online.
Other popular payment forms are echecks, regular bank checks and money orders. You should be able to back up files and to be able to export existing data into other applications. Support systems are very important even if the company tells you that their shopping cart is simple and easy to install or configure. You may need to acquire quotes from third party contractors to install your shopping cart for you if the support is not available from the shopping cart company. User forums are a great tool and most shopping cart companies offer them. You can get answers to your questions on these forums. Always ask about upgrade patches, are they offered at no additional cost?