Once upon a time, in the early days of the Internet, shopping online was not all that easy. In fact, when you wanted to purchase something, you usually had to call someone and order over the phone.
Then, eventually, payment processors realized that more and more business owners wanted to sell their products and services over the web and offered a way to create simple, “buy now” buttons.
But, as more and more people took advantage of the benefits of setting up an online business, the need for an application that would assist people in sales and marketing became clear. So, finally, someone invented the online shopping cart and began offering it as a service to the small business owner. Of course, digital shopping carts had existed before then, but they were primarily proprietary and created solely for the use of larger ecommerce websites with a huge inventory of products to sell.
Benefits of Online Shopping Carts
Online shopping carts are so common today; their significance to ecommerce can be easily forgotten. But these modern arbiters of online transactions are the key to developing and nurturing Internet commerce. Digital shopping carts:
Facilitate the transfer of funds from buyer to merchant over the Internet.
Protect the intellectual property of business owners so that only customers who pay receive the downloadable product.
Make the online shopping experience easier and more comfortable for the consumer.
Assist business owners with the accounting tasks of ecommerce.
Increase sales by providing cross sell, up sell and down sell opportunities.
And so much more.
As you can probably see, your selection of digital shopping cart software can have a big impact on your business. And, making this decision more difficult is the fact that there are hordes of companies that offer shopping cart applications to choose from.
But you can narrow the field down by understanding a few things upfront. You will need to know what business model you’ll be using and what shopping cart features that model will need. You’ll need to have an idea of how big you want your business – or at least your list of products and services – to grow. And, you’ll need to keep in mind what kind of navigational and online shopping experience your customers will prefer.