You’re all fired up. You know the advantages of having a shopping cart integrated on your website. You have heard of the benefits and you really want them. If the rest of your competitors are doing it why can’t you? And that’s what you’re going to do now. But you’re facing a major stumbling block, what shopping cart would be the right choice? Can you go with just the first one you see?
The answer would be no. Selecting a shopping cart is a decision that you should mull over. It is an investment and any investment should be approached cautiously. Sometimes you can’t afford to mess up. The same can be said with shopping carts for your website.
Imagine purchasing from a company and it did not worked out the way you expected. The shopping cart appears to be too complicated for your clients. It’s not as flexible as it should be. You can’t sell anything through it and worst of it all, your customers have gone to your competitors. Even if you change suppliers and have a new shopping cart out, you will still have a hard time convincing your former clients to come back. A bad rep spells more trouble so it pays to be cautious.
We can classify a shopping cart into a merchant shopping cart service, a hosted service, or a fully integrated shopping cart. Each one has their own unique features which you will or will not need.
Shopping carts that are classified as merchant services involves paying a merchant service provider for allowing you to use their bank account and secure gateway in order of you to transact your business online. Normally, you will have your own bank account and secure gateway. This is quite popular for small companies or those that are just starting out.
You don’t have to worry about editing your product inventories and prices since the businesses will be given administrative access to the merchant account to perform updates whenever necessary. The problem in this kind of shopping cart setup is that your business name does not appear on the product pricing and credit card transactions. What appears on the credit card statement is the owner of the merchant account. Sometimes, your customers might get turned off from this or get confused and abandon the shopping cart altogether.
This is why a hosted shopping cart might be more advantageous to your business. The hosted shopping cart shares very similar aspects with a merchant service one. But the main difference would that your business name can be requested to appear on the credit card statements, pricing and ordering information.
Plus the shopping cart itself can be customized. This time you can make the shopping cart more in the theme of your website. Your customers will see that it is a single entity maintaining the shopping cart and they will not get suspicious and abandon whatever purchasing they plan to do.
But if you want to have the most control over your shopping cart, you can acquire a fully integrated shopping cart. This kind of shopping cart will have the same look as your website, is truly customizable, flexible, and has a whole of features not present in merchant and hosted shopping carts. However, the added features come with a price. These kinds of shopping carts are far more expensive that the two previous mentioned.
Choosing the right shopping cart can bring your online business to a whole new level of success. You might begin converting your traffic into sales or if you choose poorly might sweep away all your efforts in the past years.
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