19 Sep Can your shopping cart software grow with your business?
As a business grows, so does its needs. If you’re getting a business online, there will be some things you will need no-matter-what and other things that will only be useful to your business depending on its maturity, marketing objectives and size. The best shopping cart software can deliver on both of these factors.
The things your shop will need regardless of its size and maturity include a design that reflects your brand and differentiates your store from competitors, and an easy-to-navigate, professional website. Other things you need may depend on the stage of business you are at. When you’re looking for shopping cart software, the questions you need to ask are “does this software meet my needs now?” and “does this software have the potential to support my business as it grows?”
Different features for different needs
At an initial start up phase, a small business may have very simple needs for their site. For example, a way to get customers through checkout, a common postage method like Australia Post and a third party payment method like PayPal might be the key requirements you are looking for.
But as the business starts to take orders, you may have a requirement to move from a third party payment method like PayPal to a merchant and bank based solution – so that the money you earn through your website goes directly in to your business bank account in Australia. If you shop around payment providers, you’ll want a solution that is flexible enough to support you even if you don’t choose one of the 3 most popular providers in Australia. You’ll want a range to choose from.
As you grow your business you might also need:
- A more flexible promotional management system – rules to define different promotions instead of set options
- More marketing tools like Twitter and Facebook links, sale pricing, VIP customer groups, product featuring and a built-in blog
- Newsletter management to send out and maintain campaigns
- Cross selling options
- Promotional options on your checkout
- Gift registries
- Shopping comparison site data feeds
- More assurance of your store security as the risks of non-compliance compound
- Meta description management to add/edit the descriptions of products shown to the search engines for better SEO.
Make sure that you look to the future when you open your store, or you could end up with a data hassle moving your store to another provider or platform.