Starting an online business? Or are you expanding your brick-and-mortar enterprise to the cloud? Whichever is the case, it is challenging to find and settle on an e-commerce shopping cart that meets all your needs. And even if you find one that hits all the right notes, there is always something that makes it less viable.
So how are you supposed to choose the best online shopping cart for your Internet-based business? Before we get to that, let us talk a bit about e-commerce.
Retail e-commerce sales in 2021 hit an all-time high of $4.9 trillion; and it will continue to increase up to 50% over the next four years, reaching $7.4 trillion by 2025, according to Statista.
Widespread lockdowns in the US and other countries played their part in producing these staggering figures. Moreover, this survey shows that consumers are likely to keep the behaviors they adopted during the pandemic. That means fewer visits to physical stores and more purchases made online. A study shared on PubMed Central regarding the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviors pointed to something similar. Consumers are improvising and picking up new habits. And even when they go back to old ones, they may still have to modify those in the face of regulations.
So if you are thinking of setting up an e-commerce store, the best time to do it is now. Here are some tips to get you started:
Consider your goals
One of the first things you have to contemplate on when selecting an e-commerce platform is what you need it for. Indeed, it is for selling. But are you hoping to make extra money on the side selling homemade or handmade things? Or is your goal to build and grow an online enterprise? And if you already have a business, are you making it possible for customers to purchase everything online?
There are a wide array of e-commerce platforms available that cater to different needs. For example, you may have heard of one e-commerce site that works best for solo entrepreneurs who handcraft items.
But why does it matter? Choosing a platform according to your sales goals can help you reach the right kind of audience.
Not everyone is well-versed in setting up and managing an e-commerce software. Though many online platforms are designed to be intuitive, you may still encounter a bump in the learning curve. That is why you need to ascertain whether your familiarity with e-commerce solutions is high enough.
If you are setting it up and maintaining it with other people, you need to ask them, too. That would make learning the ropes easier since you can share insights with each other.It is at this time that you can also consider building an e-commerce team. You do not have to hire new employees, but it is a great idea to consider those who are tech-savvy. You want adaptable team members to handle the e-commerce side of your business.
Customer Payment Options
Some e-commerce sites only have limited options when it comes to payment processing. Thus, another thing you need to think about when choosing a platform is what payment options you want to offer. And you surely have heard or even used quite a few of them.
If you have a particular payment option in mind, then you want to check whether your shortlisted e-commerce sites support it. But if not, ask whether integration is possible. When the latter is available, you can interface your selected solution with your preferred payment processor.
Apart from that, think about whether an e-commerce solution supports interfacing with POS software for e-commerce. This kind of software can upgrade your e-commerce by streamlining the sales process. Beyond that, it helps you gather customer data so that you can improve your CRM. It’s always important to have an e-commerce-friendly POS system to have a multichannel business.
What features are you looking for in a shopping cart? Do you want to have a flexible design for your shopfront? Do you need it to support multiple currencies? Do you require it to be available in different languages?
In listing down the features you need for the right e-commerce platform, do not forget security! You want your solution to have rigorous privacy and security protocols to give shoppers the confidence to buy from you. Be rigorous in checking a software’s security credentials and whether or not they have had a data breach. If they have, what steps have they taken to make their platform more secure?
Another thing you might want to look at in choosing the right software is discount calculation. When you have promos or voucher codes, you want those to be calculated automatically. That would give consumers an idea of exactly how much they need to pay when they proceed to checkout. This way, they may even think about adding more to their cart.
This is the best time to make a shopping cart software comparison if you have not done that already.
Compare Pricing Plans (And Features Offered in Every Tier)
Of course, when choosing an e-commerce site, pricing has to weigh in on the decision, too. There are free software available, but there is a cost in using those: time and effort. You will have to do the heavy lifting in setup and maintenance all around. Integrations? You need to make those connections manually as well. They could also lack robust features such as staff accounts, gift cards processing, and professional reports.
Meanwhile, there are shopping cart solutions that have economical plans. Even the most basic paid tier allows you to access powerful functionalities. And in case your requirements change, you can easily go up another tier.
E-commerce Best Practices
For your e-commerce venture to succeed, you need to take note of e-commerce shopping cart best practices. Hence, you need a shopping cart solution that supports those. An example of a best practice in a shopping cart is showing estimated tax and shipping costs. Customers want to know how much they may have to spend before clicking the checkout button. You, as the seller, want to help them because it can make or break their purchasing decision.
Ready to Make a Decision?
With the tips above, you are more than ready to choose a site for your e-commerce business. The shopping cart software you choose should meet all your requirements and then some. You want to ensure they provide round-the-clock support and free consultation sessions when you sign up.
Shoplazza is the best shopping cart software for your e-commerce venture, whether you are just starting out or have already set up a storefront somewhere else. It provides SEO features that you can take advantage of to place higher in search results. The platform even provides unlimited product displays. Because of that, you do not have to scratch your head which products you should put up on your online store.
And, of course, despite being a powerful e-commerce platform, Shoplazza does not break the bank. Five tiered pricing plans are available for you to choose from depending on your budget and business needs.
This software supports third-party payment integrations, too. As mentioned above, if a payment option is not readily available, you want your software to at least make integration possible. It empowers you to synchronize with other sales channels as well, particularly social media. Nowadays, social selling is becoming a hit and you want to jump on that trend, too.