Whether you need an e-commerce website to sell a little or a lot, Blue Mountain Websites can create it for you. Determining what type of e-commerce application will work best depends on your current needs matched with your long term vision. Below is more information on both basic and advanced shopping cart systems. Not sure what's right for you? Give Blue Mountain Websites a call!
Basic Shopping Cart System
PayPal makes a great shopping cart system for those with basic needs at the least additional cost. If you only want to sell a set number of items with minimal additions here & there, PayPal Basic is a good way to go. However, if you have downloadable products for your store, numerous item categories, or need more shopping cart options for your product(s), please see the 2nd panel below named "Advanced Shopping Cart System".
PayPal also combines merchant services with their shopping cart making it convenient and easy to get going. But do keep in mind that there are other shopping cart & merchant options beyond PayPal. Not sure of the difference between a shopping cart and a merchant? Please open the 3rd panel below named "Shopping Cart vs. Merchant Account" to learn more.
Advanced Shopping Cart System
An advanced shopping cart system is best for those who desire their e-commerce store to grow in categories and products. However in some cases, a single product can have advanced needs that go beyond the limitations of a basic cart. Downloadable products are one of those that require an advanced shopping cart since most basic & free carts do not offer that feature.
There are excellent advantages and fantastic tools with the advanced shopping cart systems that go above and beyond what basic carts offer.
Advanced Shopping Cart Features Include:(click to advance slide)
REPORTS, HISTORY & STATS > View various reports such as sales, products, inventory, customers and affiliates. Follow customer and sales statistics and be able to track all current, pending and past orders.
ADD - CHANGE - DELETE > With the ease of a few simple clicks you can add or delete products, make changes to their price, description, inventory and more. You are also able to swiftly add new product categories.
SHIPPING OPTIONS > You can set prefigured rates or you can opt to have your system sync'd with with real-time shipping rates with multiple carriers.
CUSTOMER CONVENIENCE > Shoppers are able to create an account and save their information for future purchases. A full range of options is available to them such as viewing their reciepts, tracking purchases and/or returns, changing their password and updating their profile.
COUPONS & GIFTS > Allow for special discounts during checkout with designated coupon codes and gift vouchers. They can have special rules, discount amounts and expiration dates.
Please keep in mind that you will need a merchant account in addition to a shopping cart system. Not sure of the difference between a shopping cart and a merchant? Please open the 3rd panel below named "Shopping Cart vs. Merchant Account" to learn more.
Shopping Cart vs. Merchant Account
To have an E-commerce website, you will need both a shopping cart and a merchant. A shopping cart and a merchant are two different things. A shopping cart is the vessel in which enables the customer to add items to their shopping basket and is what collects information through the check-out process (ie: name, billing & shipping address, credit card number, etc.). A merchant is a company that processes the information and makes the actual charge to the customer's credit card. The merchant is also the company that deposits the money from your sales into your bank account.
Some companies, such as Pay Pal, are a combination of a shopping cart and a merchant since they provide both services under one label. This can make it appear as though a shopping cart service and a merchant service are one-in-the-same, when they are actually two separate functions.
Many basic shopping cart services are free, however merchant services are not. For instance, Pay Pal does not charge fees to use their basic shopping cart on your website. Therefore, no fees are paid by the seller if there are no sales. However if a sale is made, Pay Pal will deduct approximately 3% from the sale, per purchase. Essentially, this is how it works with all merchants and is called a merchant fee. No venue escapes the merchant fee if a credit card sale is involved.
Aside from the merchant fee deducted from each purchase, many merchant companies charge a monthly fee as well. For example, a merchant company may charge $50/mo for their services PLUS 3% of each completed sale. In addition, if you need advanced features for your shopping cart system, this
is where you will begin to find monthly fees for shopping carts as well. These fees can add up so it is important to factor them into planning your e-commerce website.
The world of e-commerce can quickly become complex and confusing. Blue Mountain Websites has the experience and knowledge of creating an e-commerce website and putting all the puzzle pieces together seamlessly. Letting a pro take care of it frees you of stress and hair pulling! Blue Mountain Websites can discuss with you the
options and help you head in the direction you want to go with your e-commerce business.