As the eCommerce rage continues, it’s natural for you to want to start a site of your own.
Of the myriad aspects that you need to take into consideration – including what platform to build your solution on, what features to choose, what products to offer, and more, there is also the pressing decision of what shopping cart software to use. Given that your shopping cart will be with you for years to come, its capabilities (or the lack of it) will either make you (and your customers) extremely happy or completely miserable.
When you set to look for a shopping cart vendor, you’ll find hundreds of them claiming their solution is the best one for you. But how can you really tell? How do you figure out which one best fits the bill? What features should you look for? How do you ensure you make the right educated decision? Here’s how!
The first step to choosing the right shopping cart software is to make a list of “must-have” features, along with a list of “would-be-nice-to-have” features. Next, imagine your business 5-10 years down the line, and list down features that you might need as your business scales, and your customer base grows.
Next, make sure to carry out detailed research on a handful of vendors. Evaluate shortlisted vendors on aspects such as 24x7 support, schedule adherence, release timelines, development team expertise, openness to suggestions, and data integration capabilities.
No matter how attractive your eCommerce website looks, how intuitive the UI is, how seamless the navigation is, and how advanced the search capability is, it is the features and capabilities of your shopping cart that drives true customer satisfaction.
Your cart has to present an organized record of items, it has to effectively manage the sea of customers during peak hours, perform real-time inventory management, and allow customers to easily use coupons and discount vouchers before checkout.
Having said that, here are some of the features you should look for while evaluating the shopping cart for your eCommerce site:
Once you have a list of must-have features ready, compare each cart against this list. Make special note of any features that aren’t on your list but sound interesting, and remove those that seem repetitive or unnecessary.
Building an eCommerce website is a costly endeavor; hence while scouting for a shopping cart software, make sure to consider aspects such as software price, implementation costs, maintenance, and support costs, integration costs, bug fixing costs, and the cost of introducing new features in the future.
When you shortlist a few vendors, it is natural for some to fit your needs perfectly. If making the right decision still seems challenging, start comparing vendors based on other factors, and run the numbers.
Closely evaluate the visual design, and gauge if the vendors offer customizable templates to enable personalization. Assess the various support options, and weigh vendors on their customer service capabilities. Look carefully at what features are included in the base set and how much more premium features will cost. Consider what is included in the setup cost; check for self-service tools and capabilities that let you control just about everything on your eCommerce site with little or no technical knowledge.
In the end, choose a shopping cart that is right for your business needs, fits your budget, and allows you to offer an experience that is unmatched.
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