A shopping cart is a push cart usually consisting of a wire basket with four self-steering castor wheels, used to transport the customer’s goods in supermarkets. Sometimes it is equipped with a toddler seat or baby seat. The shopping cart was developed to facilitate the customer’s collection and transport of goods in the market. It can thus be considered a further development of the shopping basket.
The first step in selecting the right shopping cart software for any company is to know exactly what your needs are. There are big packages and small. If your venture is brand new, the smaller packages will very likely cover all your needs quite effectively.
Scalability, Evolution, Support
If you are a small entity, even when choosing a smaller package, make sure that the shopping cart you choose allows for “scalability,” that is, that your cart can grow with you. Most shopping cart solutions do allow for growth, either by upgrades or customization. However, “most” is not the same thing as “all.” Choose wisely.
Another thing to look for is the software’s ability to evolve. Shopping cart software is evolving fast-as-lightning. Open source shopping cart software (like osCommerce, zenCart, and such) tend to develop and evolve much faster than closed source options like Microsoft products. Plus, open source software upgrades can often be downloaded completely free of licensing fees and restrictions. Being able to take advantage of technological advances can help you stay on the cutting edge in e-commerce, by providing superior service and shopping options to your customers.
It’s equally important not to overlook the bonus that a strong community can provide. This is another area where open-source products have an edge over closed source-equivalents. Open-source products have a host (as it were) of online support networks, via message boards, chat-rooms, and other online communication mediums. In addition to whatever support your actual web-host provides, these community forums go a long way in helping individuals solve problems, and expedite solutions.