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Shopping Cart Solutions - Your Options

Get Online in Ten Minutes with This Guide




This is a brief discussion on your options with shopping cart solutions. There used to be a time when eCommerce websites had to program their own shopping carts to facilitate the order taking and checkout process. Today, however, various shopping cart programs have become readily available and come in many different forms and functionalities.

Unless you are an online giant like Amazon or Landís End, you really donít need a customized shopping cart solution. Itís not only complicated to program, but it can be expensive and a time consuming task. If you want to sell online from your website, you want to select a web host that provides a built in shopping cart program or use a service like PayPal.

If you already have an existing web host that did not provide you with a shopping cart solution, consider a merchant account that provides a built-in shopping cart if you choose to accept credit cards directly on your website.



Built in Shopping with BlueHost

I recommend a host like BlueHost that provides a free shopping cart solution (with an SSL Ė Secured Sockets Layer for secured transactions) that comes with your hosting service. The shopping cart still needs to be integrated into your website, but the setup is very simple and doesnít take long at all.

You do not have to program or build the shopping cart yourself. It is already built, you simply attach it to your website. BlueHost provides a free domain name, site promotion package, Blog, Forum, Discussion Boards, unlimited hosting space, file transfers, free site builder and $100 in pay-per-click credits along with the free shopping cart. Absolutely cannot beat that offer!

Procedures to use each functionality are very well explained and extremely simple to implement. Read more about BlueHost here.



Built in Shopping Cart Provided by Your Merchant Account Provider

Along with the ability to accept credit cards online, Charge.com provides you with an eCommerce shopping cart at no charge for your website. You will be provided with software that handles payments processing instantly and gives you the ability to accept credit card payments online in real time. You will also have a web-based terminal which you can use to process orders by phone, fax or eMail.

The shopping cart solution is extremely easy to add to your website. You also get the following with Charge.com all for free. The free online application takes 5 minutes to complete and itís free !
  • SSL (very important for an eCommerce website Ė protects your customerís personal information)
  • Online payment processing software
  • Web based terminal
  • Reporting and management tools
  • No application fee
  • No setup fee
  • No paperwork
  • Free American express set up
  • Free search engine submission



PayPal is a Good Alternative

PayPal is a service that was created by eBay to service its auction website. Today however PayPal has evolved as the most popular free shopping cart solution in the online marketplace.

You can get started with PayPal immediately with just a valid eMail address and an active bank account. It is free to sign up for their service and you can view your activity and statements anytime online.

Just like an independent merchant account provider, PayPal handles your customer payments and processing of credit cards. PayPal also gives customers the option to pay you by routing or wiring funds to your account directly from their bank accounts. All funds are directly deposited to your PayPal account, which you can recall anytime you want. The best part is that your funds earn interest while in your PayPal account, no different from a bank.

Unlike a merchant account provider, with PayPal you donít need to be a ďbusinessĒ. No formal business documents are required. You donít have to install a shopping cart solution on your website either. All your transactions will be handled by PayPalís website.

If you are an active Internet shopper, you know what PayPal is. Learn how PayPal works here and how you can make it work for you.





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