While browsing ecommerce forums, we’ve come across many questions from those who are interested in running their own web stores but just cannot choose a suitable solution from the multitude of available shopping cart options. Many of the “solutions” put forth by forum regulars only seem to further confuse those in need of help.
In this post we will take a look at 3 of the most common shopping cart options that stump those who are interested in starting their own web stores.
Paid Shopping Cart vs Free Shopping Cart
Naturally, we advise those interested in starting a web store to opt for a paid shopping cart solution (ours!). This is because our solution offers so much for just $50 a month. Many of our most successful merchants are excellent business people who aren’t very familiar with programming languages at all. They are more interested in marketing their stores and thinking of ways to improve conversion rates than fiddling with shopping cart scripts. If you share their sentiments then a paid cart like ours is your best bet.
We admit that there is some good free shopping cart software around but most of these still require you to have a minimum amount of programming knowledge in order to make modifications to your store. In addition, customer support is limited, updates are slow, they don’t have as many shopping cart options and features and security can be an issue. Of course, some do offer solutions to all these considerations but this comes at a price. So you’re better off starting with a paid cart anyway.
A shopping cart provider like InstanteStore provides a 30-day no-strings-attached Free Trial period so you can try it out before you decide. Customer support is available during the trial period as well so help is always just around the corner.
Drop Shipper vs Self Sourcing
Many shopping cart solutions are integrated with at least one drop shipper or drop shipping supplier. This is mostly for the convenience of new merchants who want to run a web store but have no links to suppliers. This is a good option for beginners. Even more established merchants sometimes use drop shippers for some of their products (as a way to broaden their product range) especially if the drop shipper is reliable and the service proves to be financially viable.
The good thing about engaging the services of a drop shipper is that you do not have to worry about storage space, stock updates and order fulfillment. Drop shipping services require a separate charge so you’ll need to factor that into cost considerations. However, the charge isn’t much, around $50 per month on average.
That said, more experienced merchants who potentially have better resources and contacts may prefer to have more control over this aspect of their business. They may prefer to fulfill their orders themselves if their product is unique or is produced in-house and is therefore unavailable elsewhere. In addition, some product suppliers do not offer drop shipping services.
Free Shopping Cart Template vs Custom Design Template
If you’re just starting out, you’re most probably on a tight budget. If that’s the case then just use one of the many free templates available at InstanteStore. Of course if you want an even more unique look for your store, you can get a completely custom theme by having the creative minds at Logo-Design-Studio.com (LDS for short) design something totally unique for you. Of course many of our merchants have done quite well with the standard templates as well. Suffice to say, most of their logos were still designed by LDS. And just so you know, when you sign up with InstanteStore, you get US$40 worth of FREE prepaid credit at Logo-Design-Studio.com.
Once the money starts rolling in, try to work in some custom site design work into your budget. It’s always good to have a site that is unique and stands out from the rest.
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