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Choosing the Best Shopping Cart Platform

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
Posted in Advice by Joel Gross

There are a lot of shopping cart platforms out there, and as the founder of a leading Los Angeles web design and development agency, I have used them all: BigCommerce, CoreCommerce, Volusion, Shopify, Magento, you name it…But choosing the best shopping cart platform can be tricky, because they all promise you the stars, but many fail to deliver.

When shopping around for eCommerce platforms, you’ll notice that they all make very similar guarantees: amazing layouts, killer marketing tools, total development freedom, top-notch SEO features, impenetrable security, and an endless treasure chest of applications and extensions, all at an unbeatable price. So how you discern between the different platforms and find the best shopping cart platform for you? You need to consider some very important questions:

1)    What are real users saying about the platform? You’ll learn far more from the experience of actual users than you’ll learn from the promises made on a shopping cart website. Always shop around and read consumer reviews before settling on an eCommerce platform.

2)    Does the company offer a free trial? Most of the major shopping carts offer a 14-day or 15-day free trial. While this won’t paint a complete picture, it will allow you to get your feet wet and gain a feel for the company. You can check out the designs, the features, the tools and the overall user-friendliness of the content management system.

3)    Does the company charge transaction fees? Sometimes the listed cost of the service isn’t the actual cost of the service. Beware of companies that charge transaction fees, because these can add tremendously to your monthly bill. Companies like BigCommerce and Volusion allow you to conduct business without transaction fees, and many companies even waive setup fees.

4)    Does the company offer professional website support? Many shopping cart platforms—like BigCommerce, Shopify and Magento—have partnership programs, which allow you to connect with professional designers, developers and marketers, in order to get the most from your website. By investing in an eCommerce partner, you can maximize your company’s revenue and build a truly unique and professional brand

There are other questions to consider, of course. For instance, how much does the service cost each month? How many products can you list? How many features does your plan include? Don’t just look at the “Features” page. Find out what each membership plan actually entails, and compare your options based on the cost-benefit analysis.

If you’re looking for a personal recommendation for the best shopping cart out there, I would advise going with BigCommerce for your shopping cart needs. With amazing pre-designed templates, no transaction fees, and the best partnership program available, BigCommerce is your #1 shopping cart solution. If you’re not convinced, check out their 15-day free trial and take it for a test drive. I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

My design and development firm, Coalition Technologies, is a certified BigCommerce partner, so if you need custom design, development or SEO work, give us a call at 888-800-9101. We’ll give you a free quote and let you know exactly how we can take your eCommerce business to the next level. BigCommerce selected us as a partner because we understand the platform inside and out, and our full-time development, design and marketing teams are some of the best in the business.

We also have partnerships with Shopify, Magento and Volusion, so if you decide to go with one of these companies, we can help you to build your business online. Call us today.