Bringing products to market online offers you endless options for where, how and to whom you will sell. If you’ve got a product that you know will sell like hotcakes, one of your first and most necessary decisions is which ecommerce shopping cart software you will use on your website. There are numerous options at your disposal when it comes to making this decision and these options generally fit into three categories: full ecommerce solutions, dedicated shopping cart software, and shopping cart plugins for traditional websites.
Full Ecommerce Solutions
The first class of ecommerce platforms incorporates both a shopping cart and payment processing service with a web design platform that lets you create and format all the other pages of your site (such as About Us and a Blog). The benefit of this type of ecommerce shopping cart software is that everything is included so you don’t have to be concerned about running into problems when integrating your shopping cart with other elements of your website. The drawback, however, is that this software is usually the most expensive and often requires a paid membership to use.
Dedicated Shopping Cart Software
The second class of ecommerce software are standalone shopping cart software packages that provide a full suite of ecommerce features but don’t contain tools for creating the rest of your site. Some of the most popular providers of this type of software provide their programs as a free download, which means you can have a fully-functioning ecommerce site at no extra cost. On the other hand, these platforms also require the most amount of programming and design expertise to integrate into a full website.
Shopping Cart Plugins
Your final option for ecommerce shopping cart software are simple plugins that add on to your existing site. For example, after building all the pages of your website, you simply install a shopping cart plugin on a single page (like the “Shop” page) and the ecommerce elements are housed on that page. What is gained in simplicity is often lost in functionality, though, as these plugins may lack the extensive ecommerce features of other software.