Some features to consider when deciding on a shopping cart:
- Does it show shipping before the customer has to buy? That's extremely important to customers.
- Can you customize the confirmation e-mail the customer receives?
- Does it allow multiple pricing levels for a product? For example, if you charge $2 extra for an XXL t-shirt, do you have to create a whole new product for each of your XXL t-shirts or can you assign a price to the size attribute?
- Can you edit your database online - without having to download it or learn how to do SQL queries or things you don't want to learn?
- Does it allow flexible layout? Or do you have to use a predefined template and certain colors?
- Does it have good documentation and a helpful user's group that can answer your questions?
- What is the cost compared to the benefits you need?
The primary reason online sales aren't completed, according to a recent study, is that the customer gets frustrated in their attempt to buy. Too many screens to go through or they couldn't tell what shipping was going to be without forking over their money (via credit card) first, etc.
Make it easy on your customer and, therefore, more profitable in the long run for yourself by investing in a shopping cart system that's going to help you make a sale - not lose one.
If the shopping cart you choose doesn't have a mail management program (cheaper ones don't) to send newsletters and promos, we highly recommend Constant Contact or, in the alternative, Express Email Marketing™. The latter is good but we like Constant Contact's pricing method better as well as some of their features.