Shopping cart software is the engine that drives an online business. It makes it easy to manage inventory, add or remove items, figure out taxes, and do anything else you need to do to run a website and fill orders.
But many online shopping carts do a lot more than that, like:
- Customers should be able to enter promo codes and special discounts or have them automatically applied based on how loyal they are.
- Check out different ways to pay and different ways to pay, like subscriptions, “buy now, pay later,” and so on.
- Collect relevant customer data and send it to other corporate systems (such as accounting, CRM, email marketing, and more) while helping to comply with GDPR.
- Shopping cart software can simplify complicated tasks and make them easier to use, so that even people who aren’t tech-savvy can run an entire ecommerce business.
Different kinds of software for shopping carts
Now, providers offer a wide range of features, and each type of shopping cart software has its own features and benefits. One of the biggest differences between shopping cart software types is web hosting, which means how and where your store is hosted. This will have a big effect on how you set up, run, and keep up your online business in the long run.
Most shopping cart software is one of two types:
Shopping carts were hosted
Hosted shopping carts are owned, managed, and updated by an ecommerce company. This is similar to software-as-a-service, or SaaS. For a price per year or per month, you can use all of the vendor’s main tools for doing business, like hosting for your site, bandwidth, managed security, and software upgrades.
SaaS solutions offer a great mix of flexibility and ease of use. You don’t have to spend months building every feature you need. Also, hosted shopping cart software has improved to the point where it can now be customized and flexible in ways that were once only possible on-premise. This is more than enough for most online businesses.
Some well-known companies that offer hosted ecommerce shopping carts are:
- Shopify Shopping Carts That You Host Yourself
Self-hosted or open-source shopping carts require merchants to host their own site or use hosting from the company that makes your platform. It will also need more development experience in the real world. These carts, which are often given away for free as “open-source” software, let you do an important part of the checkout process. Extra features and system connections will need to be made or bought through a subscription from a third party.
When it comes to the whole shopping experience, self-hosting an ecommerce site with open source software gives you almost limitless options. But it means you have to spend more time on the technical parts of your ecommerce business rather than the operational parts.
What Shopping Cart Software Is For
If you want to start an ecommerce business, you need to be able to make transactions. In the early days of ecommerce, software had to be made for each shop individually. Now, there are many different kinds of software that can be used to make online transactions safe. Each has its own set of features and functions, and some can even be added to an existing website as plugins.
You may also need your shopping cart solution to have the following extra features:
helped with marketing
Built-in SEO and easy optimization let online stores rank higher in organic search results, making them easier to find and lowering the cost of getting new customers.
Shipping and taxes can be done automatically.
Some features of shopping cart software are printing shipping labels, figuring out sales taxes based on where the customer lives, and sending emails to customers to let them know about something.
Superb Product Management
This includes SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) and variants (size, color, and number) as well as product names and photos. This lets an online store manager get a big-picture view or get into the details without having to know anything about technology.
Take care of customer orders
Any business that wants to succeed must be able to manage an order from start to finish. You can filter by customer, check the status of an order, and make changes on the fly with shopping cart software. Integrations with email platforms add another way to keep in touch with customers.
Best Integrated Back-end Systems
If you also have a physical store, you can connect the data from your point-of-sale systems and your online storefront to get a full picture of your customers’ buying habits and inventory in real time. Use the results to build customer loyalty and make your marketing more effective.
Maintain Your Compliance
Keep your financial records in order for audits and avoid compliance risks related to non-secure payment processing or data abuse by following rules like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Allow more features to work
Aside from checkout, most solutions offer both built-in and third-party features like cart abandonment recovery (built-in with BigCommerce), discounts, and a variety of pre-built and custom connectors with other company systems like CRM, shipping and logistics providers, and on-demand manufacturing.
How to Choose the Right Software for a Shopping Cart
Now that you know what good shopping cart software looks like, let’s talk about what your business needs. How can you find a solution that helps your growth instead of stopping it? Here are five ways that can help you figure this out.
Find out what the site’s goals are
The most important thing is the decision to sell online. Because of this, you can’t take action until you know and can use the most important operational bells and whistles.
First, you should ask yourself why you want to start it. Why did you decide to sell online? If the answer is to get more customers and make the business more productive, it would be pretty easy. Here are the most important things to keep in mind to make it happen. So let’s look at it:
Will you use ecommerce to sell to customers directly?
Do you want to get more people to visit your website to help your offline business?
So, the baseline goals were the most important thing. Now, let’s talk about the metrics for e-commerce:
- How will you decide how much the growth has changed?
- How much money do you hope to make from sales each week?
- Do you just want to sell in your own country, or do you want to sell it all over the world?
- How have you grown the lifetime value of a customer?
- How many of your products do you plan to sell first?
Choose the thing you need.
So, now that you have decided on your goals and are very clear about them, you need to look at the needs of your eCommerce site and make a list of the features it needs. When making a list, don’t forget about the customer lifecycle. For instance, let’s say you run a small business.
If that’s the case, you don’t need to support multiple currencies. However, if you do business across borders, you must have this feature. Also, it might cost a lot of money, so it would be helpful to know what is most important to avoid spending too much.
Here, we’ve picked out the most important points so you can decide which shopping cart feature you need:
- Start by making a general list of things that are must-haves.
- Then, change it to fit your business by adding extras like automatic sales tax/shipping rate calculation, which will save you a lot of time and keep you from having to keep records by hand.
- Here, you should put them in order from 1 to 5. It’s true that 1 is the most important thing for increasing sales, while 5 is a useful addition that could help with regular operations.
Check out how well it works.
Checkout is an important part of the process of making a sale. About 91% of shopping carts are left empty for one reason; your goal should be to remove as much friction as you can. Is the solution you’re thinking about easy to use? Baymard Institute does regular reviews of ecommerce UX checkouts and stresses how important it is to follow these best practices:
- Make a visible “Guest Checkout” option available.
- There should be a way to compare the different shipping options.
- Let users change data right away during the order review process.
- All required and optional fields must be filled out in full.
- Use these things to figure out how well your top choices did. Check to see if you can change the settings and small text on the checkout page to get people to stay in their carts longer.
Review Customer Service That Can Change
When you have a question that neither you nor your team can answer, it’s helpful to have a support staff nearby. But if a major part of your ecommerce site stops working, the last thing you want your staff to do is look through pages of technical documentation to find answers.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, is a SaaS solution that offers technical support around the clock and quickly solves problems. For example, BigCommerce answers questions in an average of two minutes and solves 85 percent of customer questions on the first contact.
But not all providers offer quick response times and multiple ways to get help. Look at how each one stacks up.
It has already been shown that there is no one size that fits all shopping cart software options perfectly. Having said that, there are some cart software options with the best features and prices.
But the best platform for your business depends on how you want to run it and what your online store needs to support.
Also, if you want professional help in your industry, you should contact dropship-empire right away, which is the best place to find out about services in that area. Get the best tool to quickly fix any eCommerce problems you’re having. So, make it easy on yourself by getting help from experts, and enjoy the process of selling online.