It is a good idea that you are reading this article. It means that you are actually putting some serious thought into which Shopping Cart you choose. Some people will simply go in head first with a shopping cart that they are unfamiliar with just because they are in a hurry to get their website up. However, this is a very important step. It can make or break you later on down the road. Below are some things to think about when making your choice for which shopping cart is right for you.
Easy to Maintain
Even though you may be only selling a few products upon the release of your site, there is no telling at this point whether you might have a desire to add other products in the future. If this is the case, you do not want the process to be extremely difficult for you, or something that you have to dish out more money to make happen. The purpose of having a quality shopping cart is to be able to do these types of things pretty easily as well as making the ordering process simple for your customers.
It Has the Features that You Need
One of the biggest priorities in choosing a shopping cart is that you must have one that meets your needs. There are many people who take a look at a shopping cart, they buy it, and their intentions are to modify to fit their needs. However, with the vast amount of shopping carts on the market, you should be able to find one that meets most any need right out of the gate. The only exception would be if you just had some idea that was so unique that it would almost have to be custom built. Then, I would consider having your shopping cart built from scratch, not purchasing one with the intention of having it modified.
Not Too Bloated with Unnecessary Features
Having all the features you need in a shopping cart is priority over finding one that has too many. However, you still want to find one that is not overly bloated with features you will never use. This just makes maintaining your site more complicated. As well, the shopping cart may have questions and other things that are unnecessary during the ordering process. These are called bloated questions and should be avoided when possible. For example, if your product is sent via email or available to download, then you probably do not need a shipping address. If you can find one that meets your needs, then stick with that one. Too many features is not a good thing.
Good Customer Service
Although you may have found a shopping cart that has everything you need, there is still one key thing you should be looking for before making a purchase. You should verify that the developer of the script has good customer service. Although many popular developers will have forums and you can see how active they are, others may only take questions via email. If this is the case, simply send an email to them and ask them a few generic questions about the shopping cart. You can evaluate their response and determine whether it is sufficient. It will be a good indication of what you can expect as well if you run into a problem of any kind after the purchase.
This is not always a requirement, but it is something just to take a quick look at. Almost always any script will have some problems with it. It may have a few features that are not working properly or some processes that could be done better. The best of shopping carts are no different. Typically, a shopping cart in beta stages or one that has not been updated for a very long time may be okay, others may have problems that are not being addressed. You should verify with the developer selling the script how often the script is updated with new features or fixing bugs. This is also a good indication that if you have a problem, it might be addressed by the developer quickly.
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