E-commerce Shopping Cart Software FAQ
The answer is quite straight forward; if you are looking to tap into that multi-billion dollars market of online commerce, you will need your own shopping cart software. E-Commerce stores account for a huge amount of sales on a yearly basis, and unlike the brick-and-mortar retail outlets, simple online searches will bring the customer straight to you.
It’s not so difficult to start your online store these days even if you don’t have the experience. Most shopping cart programs offer you all the tools you need to design your site, track your inventory, calculate shipping and tax and even help you in marketing. Customer management is also available with your shopping cart and you can use it to attract and grow repeat customers.
Like any services, shopping carts come with several plans to choose from and your choices will depend on the maximum number of products you want to feature, how much storage you need, and even your preferred bandwidth. So before you go out and purchase shopping cart software, read on to know what it is you should look out for.
We’ve taken the time to review three shopping cart software that we believe have everything you will need while still costing you under $60. They are Shopify, 3dcart, Volusion and Bigcommerce. Read on to understand what they can do for your business.
SHOPPING CART SOFTWARE: WHAT TO LOOK FOR
First and foremost, choose shopping cart software that will simplify things for you rather than do the opposite. Its portal should be user-friendly for you and your customers, and above all, it should have great support options that cover 24/7 live chat or email support.
If you are purchasing shopping cart software to add to your e-commerce store or going for one that helps you with setup and hosting, look at the following features to make sure you are getting the right one for you.
Plans, Hosting & Website Tools
Not all e-commerce businesses are the same and neither are their clients. Keep in mind the amount of storage you need when picking out shopping cart software. Storage space is simply the amount of data you can place on your site in terms of products, the amount of information for each product, images and more.
Bandwidth is what controls just how many clicks you can have happening around your site while some shopping cart software limit the number of products you can keep on your inventory.
Design is also a major component to look out for. You need to be able to put out a site that is attractive and professional looking. Your software should be able to offer you enough design tools and templates to cater to that.
Bulk-editing is another option you will need if you often want to make changes to several products at once rather than do it manually for each one. If you are looking to have lots of good quality and high resolution images that need to be uploaded or downloaded, then also consider having software that helps you make those transactions faster.
While not all shopping cart software come with an in-built blogging option, we really believe that blogging keeps your customers loyal and aware of all your new products. If you think so too, then your choice of shopping cart should include this option.
Shopping & Marketing Features
Your aim is to make a sale and grow loyal customers, rather than just make a sale once and end the customer relationship there. You need to have loyal customers and so your cart should be able to offer your customers the option of having live chat support and even a side bar to compare products. Multiple languages and currencies support are also great if your customers are all over the world.
You will be very mistaken if you think online shopping happens through a PC. The majority of sales start and end on a mobile device or a tablet. Make sure the software you choose has a mobile-friendly interface both for your customers’ sake and for yourself. In this way, you will have a chance of higher sales and you can also make your changes to your site on the go.
Marketing tools are very necessary to your online store. Look for software that has SEO features and even lets you connect through social media. Some carts also let you connect on Amazon and eBay or other affiliate programs. Make sure you can also send out promotional emails for daily deals and coupons, and have notifications of abandoned carts as well.
Back Office & Security
Reports are important to your e-commerce store. They help you understand what you’re doing right and where you’re going wrong. Carts with detailed reporting that also integrate with your accounting tools are perfect to have from the beginning.
Look out for security, especially if you are giving the online payment method option to your customers. Shopping carts should be PCI complaint and have SSL certificates and anti-fraud tools. This will help you pick out fraudulent activity on your store and even give you the right to refuse a sale to a shady customer.
Help & Support
If you’re an experienced e-commerce store owner or just a newbie, you should be able to get the support you need in any situation. Your shopping cart software should provide you with 24/7 support and technical assistance when you need it. This could be through live chat, emails and even phone calls. Some software companies even go all the way and send you video tutorials when you sign up.
While your shopping cart software is not the one thing that will make or break your online store, it does play a major role in your sales and customer retention. So, whether you are moving from one software to another, buying into a new one for the first time or even expanding your business, keep in mind what we have informed you and you will be fine.