So, you've made this landmark decision to become a self-employed and to build an e-commerce website. Plenty of questions are buzzing in your head, and right now you haven't got enough answers. The most important thing on this stage is to keep calm and try to divide your questions into several groups:

  1. Legal aspects - that is everything connected with your legal status as an enterprise or seller, taxes to pay, facilities to rent for product stock, etc. If you’re going to sell digital downloadable products like music, video or audiobooks, don’t forget about copyright.
  2. Financial aspects. Here you study all necessary investments for goods production/buying, web store building and launching. Perhaps, you'll have to hire a web admin or a designer for unique templates and e-shop storefront, so don't forget to count their salaries in your costs. Online shopping cart solutions are also a part of investment to be paid monthly or yearly.
  3. Technical aspects. You are really lucky if you’re a techno geek knowing HTML and web design well enough to adapt and tune any PHP software. Otherwise, it’s easier to opt for a ready-to-use platform. The problem is – how to choose it among dozens available on the market? What features and characteristics are vitally important for smooth shopping experience, correct and quick work of an e-shop?
No one but you can choose the solution which will provide the success of your business project. So take time to study carefully at least several platforms in order to compare them and make up your mind. Fortunately, all ecommerce website solution providers offer a free trying period of 2 weeks or one month. Usually it’s enough to understand and try the crucial features of any software. Here’re the major points worth special attention while choosing the powerful shopping cart software that suits best your evolving business.

First and foremost, look for something simple yet effective. User-friendliness and usability are core parameters of any top-notch e-shopping cart platform. Today there’re thousands of virtual shops, so customers have a large choice. They don’t want to waste precious minutes on trudging through intricate site navigation, neither they are looking for frustrating shopping experience. They’ll just close your page and skip to another web shop where they can minimize time of search and purchase. That’s why easy ecommerce platforms make a world of difference in terms of usability and shopping speed. The solution should be easy not only for customers, but also for you as the main administrator and tuner of your online store. Surely, the initial tuning takes a lot of time, but then you’ll have to make some minor changes just for download pictures, descriptions and all other necessary customer information. The more time you spend on tuning and resolution of website technical problems, the less will remain for selling itself and building customer loyalty.

Don’t forget about attractiveness and beauty – try to draw customers by colorful images and previews, as well as well-designed menus and filters. If you manage to retain them, they won’t leave empty-handed. Moreover, if their shopping experience is pleasant, they’ll come back again and again, recommend you to their friends and relatives. That’s the final and the most important stage of marketing hourglass – loyal customers become your free and voluntary dealers who bring you referrals, that is new customers. Take care of payment and data security - provide secure hosting and install an appropriate SSL certificate on your webserver. Moreover, high speed connection is also very important – it provides rocket-speed image load and downloading of digital products. That is a so called “instant delivery” that customers greatly appreciate.

Powerful shopping cart software solutions

Powerful shopping cart software anticipates the evolution of your sales and traffic volume, so it offers a comprehensive scalable solution that can be tuned according to your needs. Another important point is marketing options. What can draw and retain customers, apart eye-catching product photos? Surely, it’s marketing events and offers, such as discounts, sales and seasonal sales, loyalty programs and even free shipping for certain goods or from a certain purchase price. That’s why you’d better opt for a solution with an extended marketing component. Don’t forget about mobile customers – the Internet users who go online from mobile devices: tablets, smartphones or laptops. They often access the Web via special browsers compatible with Android and iOS operating systems. So, if you don’t want to lose this part of prospects you’ll have to create a mobile version of you e-store. Mobile version requirements are the same as for a classic one – security, speed, attractiveness and usability.

But even if you choose one of the best online shopping cart solutions, sooner or later you’ll need help in tuning, or you’ll face any other technical problem that will push you into a corner. In this case a solid customer support team available 24/7 will be a good service to you. Anyway, whatever technical difficulties you’ve got with your online store, do your best to launch it as quick as possible. Even if there’s much tuning left, even if something works incorrectly – just start selling. There always be something to improve or repair in the e-shop, but it will be working already, and that’s what really matters. It will motivate and encourage you all the way long to successful ecommerce business. Perhaps, your online store is destined to become world-famous, so don’t run down the clock. As Shakespeare said, it’s better be sure than sad.

If you want to get additional functionality for your online store we invite you to browse through the range of professional add-ons created by the CS-Cart team.