Most shopping carts come with standard features like unlimited categories and products, web-based administration, easy-to-use product creation screens, and tax and shipping calculation. Unfortunately, not all carts include all the functions YOUR business will need to operate an online store.
The following is a list of features to look for in a shopping cart:
Installation and Design
- Easy-to-use web interface: A web interface allows you to administer your shopping cart from any web browser that is connected to the internet.
- Shopping Cart Reporting: The ability to get detailed reports about your sales, inventory, users, categories, products, destination zones, taxes, shipping rates, orders, membership levels, etc.
- Multiple Languages: The ability to display multiple languages in your shopping cart
- Customer Support: Most carts usually provide email or forum-based support, but sometimes they provide live phone support.
- Upgradeable: Find out if you can get free updates as the software is improved. Usually you can get free updates for 12 months.
- Template-based Design: Tempate-based designs make it easier to customize the look of your website
- WYSIWYG Editor for Products: This feature allows you to enter product text and images using a word-processor-like editor.
- Content Pages: Does your cart allow you to create content pages? For example, can you create an “About Us” page?
- Mini-Cart: A mini cart is a small box that indicates if the user has items in their shopping cart. These are usually located on the top or side of the page. Most carts have this feature.
- Customer Order / Customer Account / Customer Registration: The ability for your customers to view their account and their order history.
- Product Search: A search tool for your products. This function is especially helpful if you have more than 20 or 30 products.
- Googlecheckout: Google Checkout is a new service that makes online shopping faster, safer and more convenient. Many carts have been updated so they work with Google Checkout.
- Wish list: A “Wish List” allows your customers to save products to a wish list. That way they can come back to your online store at a later date and buy the products in the Wish List.
- Send to friend: This feature displays a form that allows customer to enter a name and email address so they can send a link of a product to a friend.
- Memberships and special pricing: This feature allows you to create memberships on your store and then give them special prices or discounts.
- Printable Invoices: The feature allows your customers to print their invoices.
- Multiple Shipping Addresses: The feature allows customers to store multiple shipping addresses. This is a handy feature for customer who often ship gifts to friends and family members.