Spotlight on Woocommerce and Magento Open Source Platforms

Best Shopping Cart PlatformsRunning a successful online business means having to make decisions based on future projections. Your eCommerce shopping cart is one such decision, and not one to be taken lightly. The cart you choose must facilitate the final step in the Sales process, so it must be easy for shoppers to navigate, inspire their confidence relative to the security of their transaction, and only take as many steps as necessary. For those already tasked with running a business learning about the available solutions and determining their needs then weighing these against the available options is like taking on a second full-time job.

To begin, it is important to know your eCommerce site’s shopping cart requirements. What are the absolutes, the “must have” shopping cart functions? Does your product line include variations such as sizing or colors? Then you’ll need a cart that offers product variation features. Since most websites welcome customers and clients from all over the globe, multi-currency and possibly multinational site options should be considered. What about future needs and requirements? Will the cart accept upgrades or must you return to the drawing board and the bank for a sizeable loan?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, Open Source platforms (as self-hosted carts are also known) offer most businesses the freedom of choice and scalability every online enterprise requires. Which platform you select will depend on the size of your business, and your budget. Among the open-source carts, WooCommerce is one of the best. Built on WordPress which powers almost 30% of the sites on the Web, the options your site requires, and only the options your site requires can be swiftly applied. The number of themes, plugins, and other WordPress/WooCommerce options grows daily. This allows small business owners the flexibility and functionality that formerly could only be attained by larger enterprises with much larger budgets.

If determining needs creates confusion, consult an eCommerce marketing vendor. If you’ve not yet made this selection, visit websites that are similar to yours as well as those larger eCommerce sites in the league your business aspires to join in the future. Shop these sites and see how their carts function. Additionally, to retain customers you’ll surely need a tax and shipping calculator, an easy to use Content Management System (CMS) for on-the-fly updates, inventory trackers, email generation for abandoned carts, thank yous, and other personalized communications. But what about having the ability to add gift card sales as your business grows? Or to let prospects know that an out-of-stock item is now available? Think about what your current shopping cart requirements are as well as what additional functionality you’d like to have as your business continues to grow and thrive.

Need a Highly Robust Solution?

Another of the best self-hosted platforms is Magento. It is the industry leader that powers over $500 billion in transactions annually. As might be expected, Magento is a solid, highly-robust platform that provides the perfect solution for many small to large-scale eCommerce enterprises. That is due, in part, to the degree of control users have over their online stores. Also, the solution grows along with every eCommerce business’ needs. Additional features can readily be implemented via plugin and extensions. More sophisticated requirements can be built and implemented as needed by professional developers. Magento’s chief asset is that it is a cart that can grow along with your business, therefore your enterprise’s revenue and ROI are limitless.

For business owners, weighing the pros and cons of each platform may quickly prove that they are out of their league. However, the programmers and web development professionals at Active Web Group, a leading digital agency, understand their dilemma. They recommend that you contact our office at (800) 978-3417 for a confidential consultation. Together we’ll assess your business needs and your budget to find the right fit for your current and future shopping cart requirements. A solid business relationship and the solution to your eCommerce cart needs begins with that call. If you’d prefer, fill out the form below and we’ll be glad to schedule a conference at your convenience.