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5 Tips for Choosing the Right Shopping Cart for Your E-commerce Website

E-commerce means selling online.  To do this a merchant must have a shopping cart to hold orders from a customer.  Right now there are hundreds of shopping carts to choose from.  A person can be overwhelmed at the choices.  So how do you start narrowing down the choices to what will work best for your business?

Here are 5 tips for choosing the right shopping cart for your e-commerce website.

1. Have a clear idea of what you want your shopping cart to do.

Making a list of “needed” features and “wanted features is a good way to start.  Do you want just the basics, like just taking orders, or do you need some advanced inventory management incorporated into your shopping cart?

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2. Be realistic about your investment.

Shopping carts range from ones that have a company behind it that will set everything up for a fee but have no customization options for features to open source platforms that only have a community to help you out, but allow you to custom develop whatever you want for the cart.

3. Take cost into account.

A shopping cart is a long term investment.  It is generally not easy to switch, so consider the cost involved in setting it up and maintaining it.  This includes development of custom features to training staff on how to use it as well as the up front pricing.

4. Seek simplicity.

Does the shopping cart have an interface that is intuitive and easy to use?  If not, it will take more time to train your employees and you risk mistakes, which can lead to customer complaints.

5. Do your research.

Search forums, read reviews, dig deep.  Don’t just pick whatever cart is being hyped up at this particular time.  Make sure you get what is right for your company.

Choosing a shopping cart is a big decision as it will support a large part of your business.  Don’t rush the process of choosing one.  Be meticulous about finding all of the facts before making a decision.

What factors influenced your decision on a shopping cart?  What do you look for?

This post was originally featured on February 6, 2013.

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