June 08, 2023
by David Goodale
Tips For Picking E-commerce Shopping Cart Software
(Slightly edited from video transcript for greater readability)
Hello, David here at Merchant-Accounts.ca. Today it's a quick video. Tips for picking e-commerce shopping cart software. Stay tuned. We'll dig in in one second.
By now, if you've been on following our video blogcast for a while, you know what shopping cart software is. It's the software on your website that keeps track of the information related to what the customer is purchasing. It's powering the add-to-cart buttons, it does the job of figuring out how much the order is for, it figures out how much tax is, how much shipping is, and all of that. When you're early in the process, yes, you're building an e-commerce website, but how do you do it? What are you physically doing? What shopping cart software are you going to run? That's a really important choice. It's important for a few reasons. First of all, if you pick the wrong one and it's too difficult to administrate, it's like having a car that you don't know how to drive.
Compatibility with Payment Processors
You're not going to get anything out of it. Furthermore, if it's difficult to administrate and you can't administrate it yourself, now you're paying for a third party to come in and do updates for you. E-commerce businesses need copywriting and inventory management services. The first starting point is to pick something good for you, not good on paper. Now, another point is compatibility. When you're setting up your website, you know people hit the checkout button. They have to check out. Well, it doesn't happen by magic. The shopping cart software is integrated. It's compatible with your payment processor. When you're setting up payment processing, one of the first questions should be, what shopping cart software can I use with your payment processing service?
Consider the workflow
Think about the transaction flow. The customer's sitting on your website and then the shopping cart software communicates. It says, hey payment processor. I've got this sale here I need you to run for John Smith. The payment processor is listening. It's not talking, which means the shopping cart is sending a message to the payment gateway formatted in a way that the payment gateway expects. The payment gateway is listening. It's reactive. It means that in terms of the logical transaction flow, figure out which payment gateway you're going to be using. Find out what shopping cart software is compatible and there'll be tons for you to choose from. Very importantly, a lot of people will go and they'll set up a GoDaddy website or something and get some basic free shopping cart software. That's not an attack on GoDaddy or their shopping cart software, I don't even know if they have shopping cart software.
Selecting an Appropriate Solution for Current and Future Needs
My point is though if that platform happens to not integrate with a payment processor, that would be good for you. Particularly if the rates that you're going to get from that processor, isn't good for you. You haven't done yourself any favors. Technically figure out who your payment processor's going to be and then find out what shopping cart software platforms are compatible and make a short list of the ones that are good for you or that may be good for you. Now the last thing to consider, is how likely are you to run into problems. Is there a glass ceiling? Are there barriers? Are you going to outgrow this thing? Well, the first tip to how you'll know is how big is your business and how fast is it growing.
What is your level of expertise? Are you going to be doing all kinds of custom functionality or is this kind of like a hobby project? How do you know the answer to this question is to ask what are the five biggest problems that you have on your website today? If you don't know, don't worry about it. It means you're a young business and you're still learning and growing. You probably won't get a shopping cart software that you'll never outgrow. I don't think that'd ever be reasonable. If you did, the platform that you're starting on is too big and too complex for you. You're not trying to solve a problem for the rest of your life. You're trying to solve a problem for today and for the foreseeable future.
Summary: Key Factors in Choosing Shopping Cart Software
I'm going to wrap this up into a clean summary. When you're picking a shopping cart software, take a tour, take a demo, add a product, look at the shipping logic, and see how it works. Administratively, do you like how it works? Two, are you able to administrate it? How often will we be doing updates and are you technically capable of doing those updates? Then three, think of the problems that you're having today when you're running your software when you have a website like you'll know when you've outgrown things because you'll start getting frustrated. You know, if you'd know what your frustrations are, you're in a wonderful stage of your business, probably. Don't try and build something for the next millennium. Build something that's solving your problems today. If you are early, you really don't know what your problems are, go with something that airs a little bit on the easier side, maybe a little bit on the less expensive side.
It could be a WordPress and WooCommerce website or big commerce. There are so many good platforms out there. Now I know that this is another video in particular where it's hard to come in and just tell you exactly what you need because you could have a business doing $5,000 a month in sales, or $500,000 a month in sales. What we do Merchant-Accounts.ca though, is if you want to talk about your project, your website we are here to help. Maybe you're currently processing only in US dollars, but you want to add Canadian dollars, Euros and Sterling. How does that tie into the shopping cart software? If you are overwhelmed, reach out to us at Merchant-Accounts.ca. We are happy to help. It's free and you might find it helpful. I hope this video is helpful. I hope there was some advice in there for someone, whether you're a beginner or an expert that helped you out a little bit when it comes to picking shopping cart software. Thanks for watching. Have a nice day there. Bye now.
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