In Field Test, Practical eCommerce has gathered twelve seasoned ecommerce merchants and asked each of them the same questions around a given topic. This month’s topic is shopping carts.
The participating ecommerce merchants are: Dave Norris, House of Antique Hardware; Justin Hertz, MuttMart; Chris Stump, Only Hammocks; Mike Feiman, PoolDawg; Dan Stewart, Xtreme Diesel Performance; Cindy Barrileaux, Write Your Best; Claudette Cyr, Gear-Source; Kristen Taylor, Juvie; Jeff Muchnik, RedBox Tools; Kara English, Candles & Such.
This is the second set of merchants who have responded to the following questions. The responses were chosen randomly and arranged to maintain anonymity.
PeC: What shopping cart do you use?
- FIELD TESTER 4: We built a custom shopping cart because we needed some very specific functionality.
- FIELD TESTER 5: E-junkie.
- FIELD TESTER 6: MonsterCommerce by NetworkSolutions.
PeC: How long have you used this cart?
- FIELD TESTER 4: Just over three years.
- FIELD TESTER 5: Four months.
- FIELD TESTER 6: Since 2002.
PeC: Why did you choose it?
- FIELD TESTER 4: There were no out-of-the-box options available that would work for our business model and sell process.
- FIELD TESTER 5: _It was recommended as easy to set up. _
- FIELD TESTER 6: At the time it had the most features for the price.
PeC: Are you pleased with it?
- FIELD TESTER 4: Not anymore. It served its purpose, but we’ve really outgrown it.
- FIELD TESTER 5: Yes.
- FIELD TESTER 6: Yes, overall I am very happy with it.
PeC: Which aspects of the cart are you most pleased with?
- FIELD TESTER 4: It works. That’s about all.
- FIELD TESTER 5: It is easy to set up.
- FIELD TESTER 6: The system is well laid out and easy to navigate. The uptime has been near 100 percent, and the technical support has been very helpful when I’ve needed it.
PeC: What would you change about it?
- FIELD TESTER 4: A lot. We are actually rebuilding our site now using NetSuite, and one of the main reasons was to greatly improve the whole order-processing and shopping cart process. NetSuite development is far from painless. However, we feel the end result will be worth the time, effort and expense to get us there. It was the best option available over anything else we looked at when we made the decision.
- FIELD TESTER 5: Nothing at this point.
- FIELD TESTER 6: I would have liked to have seen more SEO (search engine optimization) features built in.
PeC: What advice would you offer merchants who are seeking a new shopping cart?
- FIELD TESTER 4: Do lots of research before you settle on a solution. Ask lots of questions; have your complete online business model defined, mapped out and in a format that can be presented to potential solution providers so they can show you how their product will serve your business. There are lots of options available now and new things coming on the market every day so, take your time, be specific and be selective. Be aware that modifying an out-of-the-box option to meet your needs is never as simple as it is made to appear.
- FIELD TESTER 5: Get a recommendation from someone who knows your unique needs.
- FIELD TESTER 6: My number one recommendation is to demo the software. Each system will offer different features the will appeal to different people.