There are just too many eCommerce shopping carts out there. It can be really difficult to make the best choice possible for your online business. Most popular online shopping carts have the same basic functionalities but you should look out for those features that will make it easy for you to run your online business without stress. Your focus should be on running your online business whilst the the best online shopping cart provider takes care of the technicalities for you.

Experts agree that an eCommerce website is only as good as the shopping cart that enables customers to make purchases. And, while it is tempting to simply run a search engine query and purchase the least expensive option out there, the truth is that in order for your ecommerce website to flourish, you need to ensure that your shopping cart makes it easy for your customers to make purchases.

In addition, you also need to ensure that it keeps their information safe from would-be thieves. There are several criteria out there by which ecommerce shopping cart software are judged, but there are four questions you must ask yourself before deciding on the right option for your needs. Here is a list of the four most important criteria you should employ when looking for a shopping cart software

Is it hosted or non-hosted?
For those who are a little less tech-savvy, the difference between a hosted solution and a non-hosted solution lies in where the software is housed. Hosted solutions reside in the cyber-cloud while non-hosted solutions reside on a private server.

Hosted solutions are preferred to their non-hosted cousins because they have the ability to receive real time updates that can improve usability while ensuring better security against threats. In addition, hosted solutions offer increased protection for you since the software’s security resides on the shoulders of the host rather than you.

Is there adequate support?
How many times have you visited a website and tried to make a purchase only to discover that the site’s shopping cart isn’t working properly? This frustration is compounded when that website is yours.

Choosing a shopping cart that offers higher levels of support may be a bit more costly, but can help keep your frustration level down. Just knowing that there is someone to call when something is working right offers a huge level of peace of mind.

Is it secure?
Cyber security is a huge issue these days, especially with larger, well-known companies falling victim to hackers looking for an easy payday. You need to understand what level of security your shopping cart can offer your customers so that you can attract more business and don’t run the risk of becoming the next CNN headline. Inquire about PCI compliance and other levels of security that the shopping cart provider offers before signing on the bottom line.

Is the software configurable?
Is your shopping cart dynamic? Do you have the ability to expand, upgrade or customize your configuration in order to meet the demands of your customers both now and in the future? If not, it might be time to find another cart. Features such as social media integration, adding customer reviews, and reporting functionality are a start. The shopping cart you choose should offer the ability to add new features as they are developed.

Having the right shopping cart is instrumental to the success of your ecommerce website. Doing a little homework before making your decision will go a long way to ensuring the success of your site.