How To Build A Shopping Cart
Having an Online Shopping cart is a basic building block for most businesses these days, and the range of options can be staggering. I wish I could tell you which one is the best one and move on, but there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution when it comes to eCommerce. The good news is that it’s not that hard to narrow down the options, all you need to do is ask yourself a few questions about the features you need for you online store to sort out which cart makes the most sense.
Simple, or Complex?
Shopping carts run the range of very simple to incredibly complex and powerful. Sites like Wix or Shopify can have you up and running in less than a day, and if you are just starting out simple may be the perfect place to start. But, there are a few things you need to consider before you pick your first (or next) eCommerce solution. Let’s look at a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before moving forward:
- Product Bundles: Product bundles are a great way to increase your sales. Offering two items at a discount when your shopper is considering an item in your store is likely to increase your sales and your bottom line. Not all low end carts offer this feature and if they do, it may be an add-on feature that increases the overall cost of your shopping cart.
- Subscriptions: Monthly recurring fees are a great way to grow a long term residual income, so if your product or service has a recurring fee you will need to be sure that the shopping cart you choose supports this feature. Just like bundle offers, subscriptions may be offered as an add-on to the basic shopping cart. Also make sure you know what the fees are going to be to run that monthly charge for you, it can get expensive if you are not careful.
- Payment Options: This is where you want to be careful. There are a lot of solutions out there that make it very easy to accept credit cards, but some of those solutions charge ridiculous merchant fees that will eat away at your profits. Take the time to shop for a good credit card merchant solution, and save yourself a lot of money over the life of your store.
- Discounts & Coupons: If you are going to offer volume discounts or send out online coupons, make sure that the cart is going to allow you to do so exactly how you plan.
- Shipping: Some carts tie themselves to one parcel service, and may even charge a premium over the rates you could get if you dealt directly with the shipper. This may not be a big deal in the beginning, but the cost can add up over time.
- Overall Cost: You can pay a one-time fee for some shopping carts, while others will charge you a monthly fee to use their eCommerce solutions. There are pros and cons to both options, if you purchase a licensed product you won’t have a monthly charge to pay, but you will likely have to do a lot more yourself than if you paid for a full service solution.
If you are just getting started if may make sense to keep it simple at the start, but if you need some help making a decision or building your store we’d be happy to help.