Web Hosting Shopping Cart
The first step to setting up a web hosting shopping cart is to build an electronic shop front that can be displayed in an environment known as an e-mall (in other words, in a place where many 'stores' are hosted on a web host site at once). When it comes to buying the shopping cart itself, bear in mind that a web hosting shopping cart isn't generally bought outright: instead, a license fee is paid for the cart to be hosted remotely.
When looking for a web hosting shopping cart provider, be sure to find out whether the cart can be adapted to suit all functions of your business, and how well it will integrate into your existing website - does the look of the shopping cart template suit the look of your site?
Web hosting shopping carts are the simplest form of e-commerce solution: their advantage is that the investment in the technology is low, and transactions are taken care of remotely. But before you choose a web hosting shopping cart provider, check the functionality of the site, and how easy the software is to modify where your company or products change (some cheap shopping cart packages only allow you to stock a certain number of products at one time, or deal with a certain number of transactions a month). Also make sure you find out what sort of security measures are in place to prevent computer hacking and credit card fraud: most hosts can provide 95 per cent security, so accept nothing less.
Some of the simplest web hosting shopping cart options are free to set up and are popular with companies that only have a small number of products, but be sure to look at the online demo to check whether the 'off the peg' design suits your companies needs. www.x-cart.com offers a range of hosting options that range in price from under $100 dollars to the $500 mark. Ecbuilder Pro (www.ecbuilder.com) will help you build a shopping cart with real-time (and secure) credit transaction capability), as well as a product brochure.
When opting for a web hosting shopping cart, bear in mind that you'll be hosted in an e-mall along with other companies (including your competitors), so make sure your e-commerce marketing plan helps you stand out in the crowd.