Shopping Cart Systems

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Setting up online shopping cart systems can seem daunting to a lot of small business owners. After all, just because you've decided to sell products online doesn't mean you know the first thing about shopping cart systems technology. Plus, the technology improves and changes all the time, so even if you manage to install shopping cart software on your home computer today, it may be obsolete and incompatible with other payment services soon.

Most small business owners hire an outside company to set up and run their shopping cart systems for them. The larger web hosts frequently offer shopping basket systems to their users. I suggest that you avoid web hosting shopping carts. I find them to be too expensive, and too inflexible.

Flexibility is key. When used creatively and skillfully, shopping carts can provide you with an amazing business tool. For instance, shopping cart systems can serve as fantastic tools for marketing. For this reason, I suggest you work with a company that is as much a marketing service as a payment service.

Shopping Cart Systems and Marketing: A Symbiotic Success Story

Shopping cart systems can be used as marketing tools in sundry ways. When a customer makes a specific purchase, autoresponders can be triggered to foster that customer's future business. These may include newsletters, questionnaires, coupon offers, and so on.

If you have to pay for each custom autoresponder, costs will mount quickly. Tailoring each autoresponder to each customer or product is the best way to make the most out of this tool. Work with a shopping cart company that gives you an unlimited number of autoresponders. If you are an online teacher, send out teleclass reminders. If you're a merchant, send out announcements to cross-promote products. If you run a non-profit, send out reminders for membership renewal. By automating these announcements and reminders, you save yourself countless hours of effort.

Work with the delay feature on your autoresponder system to time them more effectively. If you inundate a new customer with newsletters and coupons, he's going to consider any email from your company a nuisance, and delete it before reading it. Then again, if you wait too long to correspond, you may lose a potentially loyal customer. Combine your own insight and creativity with your eCommerce and eMarketing company's experienced strategies to create broadcast email advertising that really works.

Shopping Cart Systems and Affiliates

If you have an online business or a business with an online component, consider starting an affiliate program. Affiliate programs can be an awesome way to market your company! Using the newsletter feature of good shopping cart systems is an easy way to train and communicate with these affiliates.

You may even want to become an affiliate yourself, by working in partnership with the very company that powers your shopping carts! If you like what they do for you, add their link to your website to create passive income. When you really start to understand all the money-making possibilities inherent in running an online business, you'll be glad you went to the trouble of setting up your shopping cart system the right way.

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