Selecting A Shopping Cart
It can often be confusing when you wish to sell online and do not know what type of e-commerce system to implement. This guide will assist by pointing out the pros and cons, along with the features of the various e-commerce shopping cart platforms.
(select the little arrows and each section will expand)
There are many different shopping carts available to use for your website. A comparison of available carts is essential to understand that almost all pre-built carts are different in some way. Whether it is functionality (how they work and what they can or cannot do), payment processing, etc. For instance, your bank may only support Authorize.net but the cart you want to use may only support VeriSign, etc. That is why you MUST do a little research to determine what cart will fit your needs best.
Subscription based (also known as Shopping Cart Services). Example: Yahoo Store, Shopify, Volusion
- Advantages: pay by month, everything is “point & click”. You don’t need to know HTML. Some carts are very robust with a lot of features as they are in continuous development.
- Disadvantages: Monthly costs can be high, percentages of sales are paid to the cart, custom designing the cart can be difficult. if you shut down the cart all is lost as there is nothing to “own”. May lack features that you need or want.
Shopping Cart Software. Example: Zen Cart, XCart
- Advantages: No monthly costs or percentages beyond web hosting and payment processor fees. Easier to custom design. If you shut down the cart, you can restore it later on because you own the code and/or database. Lower cost to build – many carts are open source (free) so you pay only for setup, configuration and customization.
- Disadvantages: More things to configure and setup than a subscription based cart. May or may not be in constant development so upgrades are limited. May lack features that you need or want.
Custom Built Carts
- Advantages: Cart is built from scratch according to your specifications. You only add what you need.
- Disadvantages: Cost can be very high due to production time. May or may not be in constant development so upgrades are limited.
Bryntel Technologies does not do custom shopping carts.
Payment Gateway needed (these are processors used to connect your cart to your bank account. Please contact your bank to find out which payment gateway they use. This is critical and the MOST IMPORTANT part of building a cart. The cart you choose to use must use a payment gateway compatible with your bank or you will not be able to process online credit card orders in real time.
Preparing for a shopping cart
- Online or manual tables?
Some carts use one or more of these carriers. Some offer online integration while others have to be set up manually by shipping tables. To use online integration, you must have a shipping account with the shipping company.
- Google Checkout
Other information we will need to build your cart:
- Company name address, phone, email, etc.
- Returns and shipping policies
- Types of payments you will accept (credit cards, COD, mail-in, etc.)
- How many items do you wish to sell?
- Do you want us to add all of your items or just a few to get you started?
- Item text descriptions with SKU numbers
- Item photos
- Item categories and options (if applicable)
- Shipping locations (what countries will you ship to)
- Shipping methods and rates (if not using online integration)
- Do you need Quickbooks integration?