28 Jan Ecommerce Support: Don’t pay too much
One of the biggest factors that people don’t take into account when buying shopping cart software is the cost of support. There are many ‘free’ ecommerce solutions in the marketplace, but when something goes wrong with them, what do you do? You could post in the forums relevant to the free shopping cart you are using, but if you don’t get a reply or the solution posted doesn’t work, where do you turn? What if you are getting a unique error message?
Unless the problem you are having is to do with the server’s configuration, in many cases they will also be unable to help. You will then be left on your own and with the expensive problem of trying to hire paid support from the original developers of the cart or a third-party developer. Depending on your problem, either option could be very expensive.
Some shopping cart software products charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month in addition to the cost of their hosting environment just to give you the right to submit a very limited number of problems to them per year.
If you are choosing a shopping cart for your business, support matters. Our advice is that you should choose carefully.
If you are choosing a hosted ecommerce solution like Ozcart (where you are renting the shopping cart software but own your domain name and products), then support is often included in your monthly payment. It’s good to check however what support you get for your monthly payments. For example, ask your shopping cart provider:
- Can you get support after 5 p.m.? If you’re working a full time job, you will often be working on your store between 5-8 p.m., so look for a provider who has support during these hours.
- Can you get support at weekends?
- What support options do you get? Is there an extensive knowledge base covering the key problems you may face? Is there an email ticket system to ask questions if you can’t get what you want from the knowledge base? Alternatively, is there phone support or support live chat?
- How many support enquiries do you get for your monthly payment?
- Is proactive website performance management support provided behind-the-scenes?
- Is there a willingness of your provider to maintain a secure environment for your store?
Although Ozcart does not offer phone support (except in certain specific cases), our customers are not disadvantaged by this at all. We are proud to offer outstanding ecommerce support 6 days a week, nearly all year email support via our ticket system (with unlimited tickets on all our ecommerce packages), plus a members knowledge base with answers to questions (and tutorials) based on past customer enquiries. Our support team also provides proactive support where critical bug fixes and security patches can be implemented on stores without a ticket submission even being required if we become aware of them.
Choose an ecommerce software provider who includes support as part of their monthly fee and either provides a generous or unlimited number of ticket support enquiries and reasonable rates for extra work if required.