Thanks to Mark Baartse for his guest post for Handshake 2.0 on making e-commerce decisions for a company's online business site.
1 – Don’t choose on price alone
A cheap cart can end up being more expensive with maintenance costs quickly adding up. As well as constant upkeep costs, time spent messing around is time wasted – time on constant tweaking distracts you from more profitable tasks.
2 – Make sure you have good support
Will someone be available to help you out when your store isn’t working? Don't be scared to pay to get reliable, timely support. You will need reliable support to run a successful ecommerce business.
3 – Community
An active community can help you with new ideas as innovative thoughts and inspiration often come from other people. A community is also a great way to find programmers who have already been tried and tested. Although you can read reviews before you make your purchase, advice from people who have already been there and done it is invaluable.
4 – Get involved
Make sure you are involved in the selection of the shopping cart and don’t just delegate to your programmers. They'll often choose whatever they know the best, not what suits your business. Get hands on!
5 – Choose the right technology
If all your programmers are windows/.net product then a PHP shopping cart would be a bad choice. Avoid less popular technologies, such as Cold Fusion, as they can be expensive or hard to find programmers to maintain.
The best shopping cart is the one that suits your business and will largely vary depending on what you want from your cart.