10 Questions to Ask Before You Invest in a Shopping Cart Marketing System
Having an online business means never having to hear “The check is in the mail.”
When you can take orders online, you can have money in your checkbook in seconds. Of course there are many companies that can process orders for you so you need to decide which shopping cart system is the best for you.
Nowadays, shopping carts come in all sizes and flavors, from bare bones to full featured. Some carts only process orders while others can do a host of marketing services as well, like send reminder messages to re-orders supplies to asking for additional orders.
Other carts can send out newsletters that help you build trust with prospects or send out coupons that can stimulate sales. Then there are shopping cart marketing systems that will even track you orders so you can see which ads work best. There are carts that are very inexpensive and very easy to use and there are carts that cost thousands of dollars and require a programmer to operate.
There are so many things to look at, you might want to use this questionnaire to find that shopping cart system that is right for you.
1. Will they grow as you grow? It is important that the company has a record updating their programs and adding new services to keep pace with the competition – or to stay ahead of the competition so you can take advantage of new services and features.
2. Will they process credit cards and work with a variety of banks and processing companies? You don’t want to find that you are working with a company that can’t work with your bank, or can’t accept a variety of cards from your customers.
3. Do they process recurring charges? Recurring payments are the lifeblood of many businesses, whether they be subscriptions to info products, membership dues on coaching programs or re-orders on supplies. Many businesses will adopt the business model of recurring charges on products. So if you aren’t doing this today, you might want to consider it for the future. Go with a system that has this built in today so you don’t have to switch (and pay the costs to move data) in the future.
4. Will they create sales reports? It is important to have your finger on the pulse of your business. So you need to have a system that will give you daily, weekly and monthly reports on all sales, as well as reports on individual products, services or business units.
5. Will they let you export all customer data and sales data? This information can be imported into spreadsheets to you can do deeper analysis to run your business effectively.
6. Will they let you import or add customer lists without a hassle? Because of spam protection systems, some shopping carts will not let you import data. Other cards will place numerous onerous restrictions that making important difficult if not impossible.
7. Do they limit the number of messages you can send customers? Every business has a legitimate reason to stay in touch with clients But some carts put a limit on the number of emails that can be sent in a month. That limit could affect your ability to send worthwhile newsletters, coupons and customer service notices that your clients need.
8. Does the cart let you send digital products automatically after a sale is made? This feature can save you tons of time and improve customer satisfaction.
9. Does the cart add sales tax and shipping calculations for a variety of services, such as USPS, FedEX and UPS? These features could save you a lot of time and save you from a lot of frustration in trying to figure this out.
10.Does the cart provide additional services like newsletter distribution? An efficient business runs off of one customer database. If you are using a separate service to send a newsletter, not only are you paying an additional fee, you are also having to either add or delete clients to the other database to keep up with the customer’s wishes. This can lead to an expensive – and unproductive – use of your time.
There you have it – 10 questions to ask when you are looking for a shopping cart system. I hope this will help you make a wise, money-making decision.