Shopping Cart Comparison
Hello Small Business Owner! I’m excited that you are looking into shopping carts, because you are ready to start automating the sales process online. You want people to make purchases on your website, Right?
I’m happy to point you in the right direction. There are a lot of shopping carts to choose from. When I first started my Website Design company in 2010, I struggled to find the one, but finally after researching many over a period of 8 months, I finally found the perfect shopping cart.
Now actually, there are actually 3 carts that I recommend, depending on your needs, so I’ll share all 3, in comparison to other shopping carts.
The first three columns, PayPal, ProCart.org, and Infusionsoft, are my top 3 recommendations. All three of them are what I call “Copy & Paste” Shopping Carts, which makes things very simple, and allows you to use one account on multiple websites.
In the forth column I’ve listed Virtuemart & ZenCart that represent open source shopping carts that you actually install on your website like Joomla and Word Press. Now I am a big believer in opensourse. All of the websites we build are either on Joomla or WordPress, but I personally find using Virtuemart and ZenCart quite intrusive and cumbersome on websites. It takes the fun and simplicity out of my website. You also have to then worry about the SSL security yourself, which I’d rather not handle.
In the fifth column I’ve listed Big Commerce & Shoppify, to represent the dozens of hosted shopping cart solutions out there that provide the website platform as well. There are dozens of shopping cart providers that fit in this column, and many of them have amazing features, and are really easy to set up. The disadvantages here are the you can’t have a custom designed website. In fact, most businesses that use these type shopping carts will actually have a separate marketing website, that links to this one when people are ready to buy. Personally, I like having my products right on my website.
Other big disadvantages are you can’t do SEO on these sites, and you don’t own your website’s here. You can’t ever make a backup copy of your website, or leave and to elsewhere. With a copy & paste shopping cart, you could use one for a while and then switch. My clients often use PayPal for a few months when they are starting out, then as soon as they can they upgrade to ProCart.org. My clients often stay here indefinitely, or after a few years, when they grow their email list size to 20,000 or more, they upgrade to infusionsoft. I personally like ProCart much better that infusionsoft as a shopping cart, but infusionsoft’s auto responder is more powerful.
If your budget is zero, you’ll want to start with PayPal. Then set a goal for when you can upgrade to ProCart. If you ever hear an infusionsoft presentation, they are quite compelling, but many of my clients take the dive a bit prematurely. Infusionsoft is expensive, and requires a commitment of time and energy that my clients aren’t expecting. During your first few years of growth, most of infusionsoft’s features would go unused, and you’ll be able to do everything that you need with ProCart.org. It will save you some cash, as well as some heartache. Then when you are ready, you’ll know it, and you’ll be much better prepared.
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