Geek Speak: Get ready to $ell on your website

By Oscar Myre IV

Valley Bugler Columnist

Ready to start selling your product online? There is no shortage of options for website shopping carts.

eCommerce websites sites can be a great way to sell your products. eCommerce simply means electronic commerce or selling stuff online. I encourage you to take some time on this article and on additional research before you start building a shopping cart. I bet you are eager, but please don’t gloss over your planning. It is much less expensive to figure this out before you build the cart. I’m going to focus on WordPress options. Don’t worry if you don’t have WP, the last 3 will work for any website.

The beauty of WordPress is that there are a lot of plug-ins you can install to add a shopping cart to your website. The difficulty here is finding the right one for your needs.

5 things to consider when selecting a shopping cart plug-in.

1) User Experience

The cart needs to be easy to put items into and checkout. I recommend trying demos of whatever carts you are considering. I’ve included some links at the end of this article.

2) Payment Gateway

Payment gateways should not be overlooked. Be sure that your cart will work with your payment processor. Some top gateways are PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.

3) Required Features

You need to give some thought to what you want to sell and what options you will offer today and in the foreseeable future. Let’s say you want to sell T-shirts. Your cart will need to allow customers to click select size and color of shirts and you might also wish to offer larger sizes at higher prices. Shipping? Do you want to calculate shipping based on total weight, item sizes, or possibly use UPS or USPS calculations? Or offer digital downloads. Tip: Look at what competitors are offering.

4) Theme Compatibly

Your current website theme (template) might need some extensive changes to fully utilize all of the features. An alternative to updating your theme could be to use a theme that is built for your plug-in.

5) Actual cost

There are many costs involved in a shopping cart. Here is a list to make sure you are aren’t surprised by some hidden costs.

A) There is always a cost for the cart, even if it is free.

B) Add-ons such as shipping calculator or payment gateways are often an additional fee.

C) Per transaction and discount fees are paid to the processor.

D) Shopping cart setup cost to pay your web developer / designer.

E) Opportunity Cost – the cost of your time for learning how to and setting it up.

Ready to start? Don’t start yet. I encourage you to check out a couple cart options and create a plan for your success. Happy Selling. ~:-)

Woo Commerce https://woocommerce.com

Ecwid https://www.ecwid.com

Cart 66 https://cart66.com

Shopify https://www.shopify.com

Shopp https://shopplugin.net/

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