How To Choose The Right eCommerce Shopping Cart For Online Business

 By: Nitesh Ahir
Choosing the right ecommerce shopping cart for your e business website will take a fair bit of effort. There are various factors that you need to keep in mind and get right. There are many options available in the market, you need to select the one which suits perfectly with the flexibility, security, and scalability your business needs.

There are some important points that you need to keep in mind while choosing an online shopping cart...

- Your shopping cart must be user friendly.

- Shopping cart process is simple and fast.

- Shopping cart must offer data security because customer needs to put their confidential financial information.

- It should be SEO friendly.

- It should 24x7 online customer supports.

- It should support Customer review on the products because review is very important for an ecommerce site. It helps in retaining existing customers and in acquisition of new customers.

- Shopping cart must have the feature of product sharing and recommendations.

- One of the most important factor is shopping cart is to have coupon code support for your customers. Because customer can type the promo-code that they received from you and they are able to buy the item on your website at the special discounted price. This feature will help you to get a repeat purchase from the customer.

- Shopping cart must have built-in sales reporting and analytics capabilities.

The most popular shopping carts that are available in the market are Magento, x-cart, os-commerce, zencart, virtuemart, Open cart, Cube cart etc. Different type of business needs different type of shopping cart. You just need to understand that which one will suit your business requirement.

Generally two type of ecommerce shopping cart solution are available in market one is open source and second is paid. Open source shopping cart like. Magento, os commerce and paid shopping cart like big commerce, shopify volusion, etc.

Pro and cons of open source shopping cart

There are many Open Source shopping carts available for free download. There is no company behind these carts that stand behind the performance of the cart, instead the cart is supported by a community of programmers that gather at the Cart's website.

Pros:

- Free download of shopping cart.
- Free modules to enhance the functionality of your cart.
- Base Cart usually has tons of features.

Cons:

- Even though the cart is free, so you need to hire a Website Developer to set up your cart.
- Because there is no Company that created the cart, there is no free support offered. So you need to rely on your Website Developer for all your Support.
- You will need to your own hosting service to run the cart.

Hosted vs Non-hosted Shopping Carts

Hosted shopping carts are provided by website companies, where you create an account with their company and instantly you have access to your shopping cart. And Hosted shopping carts charge a monthly fee, and will often give a free trial period.

Pros:

- Instant access to your shopping cart. So No need to hire a programmer.
- Many Hosted carts come with a few Design Templates to choose from. Your graphic design cost is reducing.
- Usually comes with a free trial period.
- You can easily upgrade your Plan.
- Support from the company provider. Of course, the provider will not create the template for you for free, but if you run into some technical questions they will be able to help you.

Cons:

- Limited design options.
- No access to the source files.
- Limited quantity of the products.
- If you ever want to move to another hosting company, it will be very costly.
- Some Hosting Shopping Carts, like www.yahoo.com/store, charge you a monthly fee + a transaction fee. It's very costly.
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