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Shopping Cart

As the world of ecommerce business technologies evolve at the much faster rate then we can imagine, new or modified solutions are coming up to meet the growing needs of ecommerce business. This has brought about better ecommerce services for customers and easier business handling for web stores. One of the solutions that have proved to be useful to both customers and ecommerce businesses is the shopping cart (also called the shopping basket, or just ‘basket’ in British English).

One of the best definitions of a shopping cart was given by the American Marketing Association, which defines a Shopping cart as “ a piece of ecommerce software that is used to make a web store’s products catalogue, making it available for online ordering so that customers can select, add/delete, view, and buy the products.” During online shopping, the customer uses the shopping cart to group together all the items they want to buy (also referred to as ‘adding to cart’). When checking out, the shopping cart calculates the total amount of money the customer has to pay to receive the goods they want to purchase.

There are a number of things taken into consideration when choosing shopping cart software. These are:

Template Based Design

It is important to ensure that the shopping cart offers template based design. This feature is available in most modern cart software. Template based design carts make it easier to modify the template and the changes will appear on all pages. It is preferable that the templates are in HTML or any other language that you have knowledge of. This will make it even simpler to make the required changes.

FTP Access

If you are using a self hosted or desktop-based cart (which most people do not) this is not going to be a problem because you will have full FTP Access by default. However, if you are using a hosted solution (which almost everyone does) it is imperative you make sure that it provides FTP Access. This will be very helpful when editing templates, uploading videos images or any other files.

Product Information

Although all shopping carts have the WYSIWYG editor for entering the product descriptions, it is important you choose one that is easy to use and will make it simple for you to add necessary information for the products that you sell . Information such as cost price, stock id, size or weight might be small things but very important for running your web store.

CRM System

It is nice to have a CRM System that has as many features as possible. Even though there are many CRM with minimal features that can allow you to purchase and install features, it is better to get a cart that has a CRM System that comes bundled with as many features as possible.

Promotional Manager

This is one of those ‘must have features’ of any shopping cart. You will at some stage want to use coupons to give special offers to your customers and this is where a nice promotional manager comes in. When choosing a shopping cart make sure it has a promotional manager that is easily customizable.

Mailing Manager

A cart should have an inbuilt mailing manager. This will enable you to send leads, special offers, newsletters, payment and promotional reminders, and follow-up mails to your customers.

Shopping Engines

There are large number of shopping engines some paid while others are free. We recommend Google Base and your shopping cart should support it. Best of all Google Base is FREE.

There are many other features that you should consider when choosing the right shopping cart for your ecommerce business. This is important because the backbone of an ecommerce store is the shopping cart and we at NextGen eBiz make sure that we use and integrate the best ecommerce shopping cart solutions for our clients in order to ensure they have the best web store.

If you would like more information about shopping carts or any other ecommerce development solutions please get in touch with us at NextGen eBiz.

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