Shopping cart software and ecommerce is pretty complex and there are many opportunities for problems. Whatever shopping cart model you choose, be sure to consider amount and type of support offered by the leasing host or the software seller. Because a smooth operation of your website and shopping cart are necessary for financial success, you’ll want to have appropriate support for emergencies.
If you are going to use a leased shopping cart, or you are going to buy shopping cart software, find out which payment gateways will work with the shopping cart.
Note: Each shopping cart provider builds their own interfaces for payment gateways.
Will your website and shopping cart be hosted on a Linux / UNIX server or a Windows server? If you are going to use a hosted shopping cart, you probably don’t need to worry about this unless you already have other web-based software applications installed on your current web host.
If you are going to buy shopping cart software, your choice might be limited by your server choice. Currently there are many more shopping carts made for Linux / UNIX than for windows.
Every shopping cart I have installed, designed, and configured, has required some customization. In most cases, the client wanted to do something the cart did not do. For example, one client wanted the ability to send a custom email with specific products so he could send special instructions whenever a customer ordered a specific product. A few shopping carts have this ability (see WooCommerce Custom Product Emails), but most don’t.
The best solution is to first determine your specific shopping cart requirements and then find a cart that fits your needs. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a cart that does EVERYTHING you want it to do. If this is the case, you’ll need to have some custom development done to add a new function to the cart.
Keep in mind that many popular shopping carts have dozens of Modifications and Plugins that you can add to the shopping cart software to make it fulfill your requirements.
Note: If you use a leased shopping cart, you will probably not be able to make modifications to the software.