When I first launched as a resale boutique I knew not a thing about running an online business. I basically winged it, something I would not advice anyone to do actually. There are too many resources out there to help guide individuals through the process of launching a business. In recent years, I have become very aware of small business from understanding and being well-versed in the terms of startup tech to terms used in the ecommerce space.
Selecting the right shopping cart for your website can be the difference of you changing platforms every year and you being able to scale with ease. The top shopping carts are; WordPress, Bigcommerce, Shopify, Squarespace and Volusion. Yes, Paypal has a button you can add to websites for your customers to checkout but it does not give you the full ecommerce experience.
Things to look for when looking for shopping cart;
- Can you set it up or do you need a developer
- What is their tech support like
- Do they tiered pricing option
- Is the shopping cart scaleable
- Will it be easy for me to operate on my own
- Do I need to buy extra plugins, tools and more for it work
Honestly, most small business owners starting out are not made of millions nor they have the vast knowledge to run a site that requires a plethora of backend work. You are looking for a shopping cart that you can set up in minutes or hours if you want to get really into without having to outsource.
All the shopping cart options listed above can be done do all the things listed and more. They rack differently when it comes to scaleability. I am huge fan of WordPress, Bigcommerce & Squarespace, but if you want to really grow your brand on WP + BC you would need a developer. Squarespace does not have all the bells and whistle just yet to make it really scaleable.
Your shopping cart should have these intergrations;
- abandon cart
- email marketing provider
- fulfilment center option
- social media options
- google analytics
- seo built it
- security protection
- mobile responsive
- payment gateway option
These are just some of the basic things you would want in your shopping cart. One thing I really love about Shopify is the university they have on their website. Focused on educating their users. I have had friends go from Shopify to Bigcommerce because of growth options. As, your company grows the free or $150 templates all these platforms offer will not cut it. You will need a developer who is versed in ruby, python, css and more so you can have a high performing website that meets all your customizations. Before signing up for a website solution make sure you compare all your options. Don’t just sign up for what is cheaper. Weigh all the options. Its better to go with a platform you can grow with.