By Shweta Kale
In recent times of economic down turn; it is very natural to opt for as much as possible FREE to use open source application. Shopping Cart application is also such application where you have wide verity of selection in free to use application. But we want you to read following article and then take your decision, because everything has its pros and cons.
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1. Hard to Install Software
The free softwares are basically built on open source technologies. These Open Source eCommerce solutions have GNU public license. Installations of such software some times need some sort of software installation knowledge and server side configuration knowledge. Though many a time comprehensive documentation is available but such documents are very technical in nature and at such time it may be difficult for novice user to understand them they may have to take help of web developer’s which will cost.
2. Complex to Use
Most of the time such open source based ecommerce solutions are developed to cater wide verity of users; so such software most are featured reach but complex to use application. This may some time frustrate new users. Or many a time some users don’t want all the 100 list of features they just want very simple 10 basic features! If Ecommerce shopping cart is not that easy to handle, there are great chances that you will give up using such application, it is waste of time and money. A software is said to be user friendly when even a novice user is be able operate the cart easily.
3. Hire Developer
Free to use but complex to install and operate ecommerce application my lead you to hire one software developer or out source your work to such company who can handle job for you, but certainly it is going to cost you. Ultimately your software may be FREE to download and use, but it costing you run it and use it. Please consider such points before you reach any conclusion.
4. Is it secured?
Security is the most important requirement one must check and recheck when setting up a cart. As most of the transactions, be it your customers billing page transaction or product selection page transactions should be completed in a completely secured environment. Please check your selected application provides enough security features.
5. Payment Modes
There are many modes of payment one can offer to customers. If a customer has many options on how to pay then it may lead to retention of customer. Basic modes are Online payment and Offline Payment. Paypal is the simplest payment mode anyone can use it. Others are Authorize Net, Nochex, PayOffline and RBS WorldPay.
But in a free cart there are some limitations as they might only provide one mode of payment for eg. Paypal but customer may be familiar with some other. The customer who has some patience to use a new mode will pass the transaction phase successfully. But this may not happen with every customer as there are few who will just abruptly close that page and go to some other shopping cart site.
7. Overhead Costs
Now if you start calculating all the costs you will realize the real price you paid for your so called FREE shopping cart. Your expenses list will be like:
ﾃ｢窶督ｺ Hired Developer
ﾃ｢窶督ｺ Security - Bought a digital certificates
ﾃ｢窶督ｺ Added more payment modes by asking developer to redesign the cart
ﾃ｢窶督ｺ Time - You can’t bring back the time you wasted on its installation, operating etc.
There still are many more factors still I am analyzing them for you, but for now I think this article might have given you some insight, if FREE shopping cart software is really FREE? And I hope you will make the right choice while selecting one for you. I would just like to say that Prevention is always better than corrections!!
ﾃ｢窶督ｺ ShimBI Cart