You reading this article most probably means that you already know that eCommerce is huge nowadays, there's more than 50% of global Internet users who are making their purchases online. It counts approximately a billion online buyers.
So, you want to be a part of this huge business, don’t you? If you’ve already decided on the products you are going to sell, the next crucial thing to decide upon is the eCommerce platform to build your store on.
There’s a great choice of shopping cart solutions on the market these days. How do you choose the right one for your business?
Well, first of all, let’s find out what a shopping cart is. It is the most important part of any eCommerce template after all.
You’ve used shopping carts hundreds of times as an online consumer. This is the script that holds the products you’ve chosen while you shop for more, it sums up the total amount you need to pay, when applicable it adds shipping and taxes to the total, and it integrates with a payment gateway to process your payment.
Nowadays, shopping carts have evolved to full eCommerce platforms, they even offer design and management tools for your store.
If you want to make an informed decision and end up with the best shopping cart that suits your business needs, you have to consider the answers to the following questions.
Would you rather pay a small sum but every month, or can you put aside a bigger sum upfront? If you decide on the budget upfront you can significantly narrow the range of your search for the perfect eCommerce solution.
The more complex the customization you have in mind, the more complex a solution you have to have. Some eCommerce platforms are utterly inflexible when it comes to customization.
If you want a simple, user-friendly solutions with the intuitive interface, it’s going to be one choice. If you want a complex thing with dozens of add-ons, marketing, and administrative features… Well, whole other choice.
Most of the eCommerce platforms offer fairly decent documentation, but if you want a proper tech support 24/7 you’ll have to look for it. So if you are ready to learn and operate it all yourself, you get a wider choice.
The answers to the above questions should have helped you determine your business needs and narrow the search for the most suitable eCommerce solution. Finding the one shopping cart should be a lot easier now. There are two types of eCommerce solutions - hosted (also called Soft as a Service) and self-hosted (or open-source).
Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, but each of them lets you launch an online store and run it using the offered tools and features. Surely you understand - there is no such thing as a unified solution when it comes to eCommerce platforms, the details and differences in them are what matters here.
Whatever type of shopping cart you end up choosing, you need to make sure it is in line with your business needs determined with the questions from the above paragraph, it integrates flawlessly with the payment gateway you have in mind and it supports templates. This last thing about supporting templates is important, you don’t want to waste too much time on custom design, and most of the eCommerce platforms that support templates also offer the widest range of useful add-ons.
As I’ve already mentioned not once in this article - there is a great choice of eCommerce solutions out there these days. Choosing one of the most popular ones you get a better-supported solution, the wider choice of designs for your store, better functionality, and more additional features. You also have a wider range of fellow users to ask for advice. So, let’s see what the most popular eCommerce platforms can offer your growing business.
So, in this article, we’ve covered what shopping cart is, what questions to ask yourself before choosing an eCommerce platform, what are the two types of eCommerce solutions and which platforms are the most popular among the online store owners. Now let me know in the comments below which eCommerce platform you end up using!
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