With the explosion of e-commerce, many successful businesses are based solely on the internet. Why not? A virtual storefront drastically reduces the overhead costs associated with running a business. With effective marketing, such businesses are able to survive during the early days of a new venture and are less affected by cash flow issues while trying to survive. The shopping cart feature is one of the main reasons for the growth of online purchasing. The online shopping experience of putting items into a ‘cart’ has a comfortable familiarity that has earned the trust of the online shoppers. This elegant system has been proven to be safe and secure. With so many vendors offering shopping cart services, how do you choose the best one for your e-commerce website?
The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly what and how many products you want to sell. Do you want to sell 1 item, a line of similar products, or a catalog full of hundreds of different products? If so, how do you want to present this catalog on your site? How much will your sales be this year, next year, or five years from now? Some shopping cart services work best for low volume sales with fewer products and no catalogs. Others allow for complex high volume sales with catalogs. What is the cost of the shopping cart service? You need to find one that matches your sales volume. PayPal offers a great, free to set up shopping cart that works well for low volume sales. Their fees are a percent of each sale. They also automatically accept large credit card payments, so you don’t need to set up a credit card merchant service. Saving you $300-400 right from the start.
In the case of high volume sales, you may be able to save money by going with shopping cart vendors that charge a monthly fee instead of a percentage of sales. You should also consider the shopping cart process the service provides. Customers walking away from a deal because they weren’t shown the shipping cost before they were asked to provide their credit card details, for instance, this can have a negative impact on sales. The easier, more transparent and shorter the shopping cart to sale process, the better! Lastly, the shopping cart looks should match the visual theme on your site. There are many variations of a basic shopping cart look, so make sure one of them works.
The cost of basic services will be between $10-$30 per month. Don’t forget to include the cost of merchant credit card services if you’re willing to accept card customers. And that’s a big no-no. One of the biggest drawbacks of online shopping is that the customer has to wait for the product to be shipped. Waiting even longer to receive a money order or even worse, a check, on top of the shipping time, makes online shopping less convenient to the point where you risk losing sales.