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    1. SEONewbie is offline

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      #1

      Online Shopping Carts Review - What Should I Look Out For? Which Are The Best?

      Hi all, I'm in the process of setting up my website for my shop and wanted to know if any of you guys had some tips to share about online shopping carts? To be frank, I'm still a little hazy on how these things actually work, can anyone simplify that and explain it to me? Would be much appreciated, thanks!
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    2. Justin85 is offline

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      #2
      Online shopping carts have certainly changed over the years so it can be helpful to get an idea of what they used to do and what they do now. A while back, shopping cart technology was pretty limited and basically just processed payments. But today they do a whole lot more. So I guess a shopping cart can be defined as either a script, a service, or piece of software that helps you to do a whole bunch of things but mainly, collect consumer information and handle payments.
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    3. SEONewbie is offline

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      #3
      Thanks Justin, I'd like to hear what your views are about online shopping carts. What are some of the features you look for?

    4. Justin85 is offline

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      #4
      I think that depends a lot on your business and what stage you're at. A newbie business is not going to need the same kind of online shopping cart software as an established one. Having said that, I think there are some basics you can look out for in your basic online shopping cart. You cart should-

      • be easy to use.

      • provide you with detailed reports on sales, inventory, customers, orders- pretty much everything about your online business. Your shopping cart should be a bit like your online secretary in that way

      • provide customer support

      • be upgradeable and also easily upgradeable, you shouldn't have to jump through hoops just to get a patch updated

    5. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #5
      I like Justin's list but I would add a few more things of my own that I have found useful in online shopping carts:

      • You should be able to list an unlimited number of products and categories. This is especially important if you plan on expanding your business

      • You should be able to show 'featured' or 'best-selling' products in your shop

      • You should be able to add your own fields for different products

      • You should be able to provide gift certificates and discounts for people who buy certain quantities of a product. You should also be able to place a limit on minimal orders on certain products.

      • You should be able to optimize all your pages for search engines.

    6. BaiLing76 is offline

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      #6
      Wow, that's a great list Dan, but I'm not sure if you can get all those features on all kinds of online shopping carts. Like unlimited products and categories aren't allowed on leased shopping cart plans.

    7. SteelyDan65 is offline

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      #7
      Yeah, that's true. Again, I guess it comes down to thinking ahead in terms of your business. If you do see expansion in your future, you need to make sure your shopping cart template isn't going to limit that.

    8. SEONewbie is offline

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      #8
      I've been collecting a number of online shopping cart options and some of them are actually free. Then again, nothing is free on the internet so perhaps this isn't the best choice? Anyone got any tips on paid or leased online shopping carts?

    9. SEOSuperMom is offline

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      #9
      I wouldn't opt for any kind of free service, especially with online shopping carts. If you take your business seriously, the least you can do is invest in quality products. That being said, if you're only selling a few items or a specific kind of service, you could consider just using PayPal. But that's strictly just a payment service, you won't be able to collect any kind of details. Not only that, people who don't have PayPal won't be able to make a purchase! That's something to consider, especially for international businesses.

    10. DropshipDiva is offline

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      #10
      I really like the remote online shopping carts. But these are pretty much prehistoric and it looks like they'll disappear soon. To be honest, I think I like them because they were my first shopping carts lol! But I think they can still be useful for certain businesses today. Basically you pay a fee and install the shopping cart software onto your PC.

      Like I said, this is pretty old school, so as far as advantages go, they can be marginally cheaper than other online shopping carts but not very much so. They are also good if you're on a dial-up connection. On the minus side, they can only be used on the computer that you've installed them on. So if you've got a shopping cart program on your home PC and you're traveling with your laptop, there's nothing you can do till you get home. Also, it's not very beginner-friendly. I've got one of these still working on an older business of mine but will probably be phasing that out soon. I'm planning on shifting to a script-based plan, seems to be the best option for my businesses right now.

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