Published on November 15, 2012 How can a hosted online store help your business?
A hosted shopping cart software solution is an all-in-one online shop website stored and run from the servers of the shopping cart provider (like us). The ecommerce software doesn’t have to be downloaded or installed by you as the business owner, that’s all taken care of by the provider.
What you get a web based control panel that you can use to load your products, set your specials, upload your product images, set up your product options, add content pages, configure your payment methods, select shipping methods and so on. There’s no programming code to edit, no bug fixes to do and no server security to configure. The provider does that too.
A hosted shopping cart solution has the following benefits over a do-it-yourself installed cart:
- The cart is ready to go when you get it set up by the provider. Provided your provider doesn’t require you to “do-it-yourself” with your web design, they will set up the design for you, personalise it for your business and colours, and configure the main things you need to start an online shop – like currencies, GST, invoice format for ATO compliance and security. All you have to do then is start adding your products, load in your images, set up your prices and configure your policies, shipping methods, and payment options. And of course, test everything before you start taking orders.
- You don’t have to buy your own server – you just pay from month to month for as long as you want your website. Your monthly fee includes the hosting of your website, access to the store’s admin, and support
- If you outgrow the package you are on, you can upgrade to another package relatively easily. With the latest version of Ozcart for example, package changes within our new suite can be performed in minutes rather than days.
- The provider takes care of security compliance. If you had your own website do you have the time and money to constantly update your site to protect it against “cross site scripting” or other hacking attempts? Will your website pass a quarterly PCI DSS security scan? (these scans are required by banks as part of compliance with Visa and MasterCard’s conditions for accepting credit cards)
- You benefit from the experience of the provider in actively managing a large number of shopping cart websites. As bugs are fixed for one customer for example, you get them fixed for you too.
- You can vote for or suggest new features. To keep up with the competition, hosted shopping cart providers will be developing the next version of their software as soon as the current one goes live. Get your votes in for the next round of features as the more something is voted for the more likely it is to be included.
Hosted shopping cart solutions are an easy way to get started and a smart business decision in the long run, as the hosted ecommerce shopping cart provider continues to take care of the server side of things and you can focus on your business. Get the right provider and you may also get ongoing personalisation and customisation from your provider as well.