If you are a business owner who wants to put your wares on the internet, you have nothing to fear. There is plenty of affordable web hosting available, a plethora of outstanding web designers, and a wide variety of suitable online “shopping cart” software packages to help you make money through eCommerce. All you need is something to sell.
But while there are plenty of free “instant” shopping cart software packages available with web hosting packages, are they right for your eCommerce business? Or would a highly customized shopping cart be more appropriate for your success?
Instant Shopping Carts
These types of online shopping cart software packages are ready to go “out of the box”. They are designed to provide a basic structure for your customers to store items virtually as they shop your online catalog.
These types of insta-shopping cart have their benefits, but also their downfalls.
1. Free with paid web host account
One big benefit for many online business owners is they can get a free instant shopping cart with the purchase of certain web hosting plans. Most hosting companies offer an eCommerce package or other tools to help get them set up selling online right away. These are usually free and included in the monthly charge.
2. Easy setup
Instant shopping carts are usually easy to get set up. Just pick your layout, add your products including photos and descriptions, preview, and publish.
1. Limited product count
These types of instant shopping carts may have limitations on the number of products you may include. While it is free, it may not work if you have a large number of products.
2. Lack of easy gateway integration
Using instant shopping cart software may be easy to set up and use, but challenging when it comes to integrating the full checkout, payment gateway, shipping choice, and even credit card acceptance.
Customized Shopping Carts
Customized shopping carts have obvious benefits, but also come with their own pesky problems.
1. Customized to fit your store’s style
Customized shopping carts can be designed to match your business style. Your customized shopping cart will carry your own brand, storefront, and even a customized checkout flow as you choose.
2. Easier to manage
Customized carts are usually designed to be more easily managed with their own customized store builder, and through minimal effort.
3. More products
A customized shopping cart gives you flexibility in the amount of products you can include.
4. More security
Customized shopping carts can carry their own security measures when it comes to conducting online transactions. While both instant and customized shopping carts can utilize a web host’s secure server, SSL, and encryption, a customized can have its own.
Anything customizable comes with a cost. Be prepared to pay a hefty fee for customized online shopping cart software.
2. More difficult to manage
While most customized packages have built-in controls, some may be a little more complicated normal. It may require you to know a bit about computer language, web design, scripting, etc.
No matter what you choose, the point is to get your business going online to make more money. Consider the costs. Recognized if you have outgrown instant shopping cart software. And be sensitive to security issues surrounding your online store.