Ecommerce Guide: How to Use Shopping Cart Software
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An ecommerce site is a web site that sells products of some kind. To buy goods in a "real" store, you go to the counter where a cashier will receive your payment, create a receipt and pack your items. On the Web, you use ecommerce shopping cart software to do the same thing. This is an online form that lets the customer specify which items they want to buy and how many, where they want it shipped, and how they will pay.
If you're selling items on your web site, you too need ecommerce shopping cart software. Here are things to remember when you look for an online shopping cart:
- To create your own ecommerce shopping cart software, you need to know how to program. Save yourself the trouble and just borrow existing code. It saves time and makes sure that your shopping cart form is bug-free.
- When choosing ecommerce shopping cart software, check to see if it'll let you customize the form page. You want your order form to look the same as your other pages. Otherwise, your customers will know that you're borrowing or using someone else's program.
- Make sure that the order software includes the basic features you need for a shopping cart:
1) Secure data encryption is essential. Without it, you won't gain potential buyers' confidence. You'll also want a digital security certificate to go with this.
2) Importation capability for your database software files. If you use MS Excel for your databases, you'll need compatible ecommerce shopping cart software.
3) Calculation abilities: quantity of items, shipping rate, taxes and discounts.
4) Invoice. A confirmation page or e-mail together with an order tracking number. The buyer will need it to inquire about their order later on. It also helps with shipment tracking.
If you don't want to mess with ecommerce shopping cart software, you can always turn to third-party vendors. These vendors offer a range of ecommerce-related services besides a shopping cart software, including: ecommerce web design, merchant account, domain registration and web hosting.
Obviously, it is easier to use third-party vendor services than to operate the ecommerce shopping cart software yourself. But this convenience comes with a price: Third-party vendors generally won't let you have as much control over the shopping cart's design. Check out different vendors before making a decision. Ask around on the Web for advice.
As one can see, ecommerce web site design takes a lot of careful planning. Getting the right shopping cart is part of this planning, but it does not have to be very difficult if you know what to do. Be sure to turn to web authoring and ecommerce forums for more insights from fellow online entrepreneurs.
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