Internet marketing solution

Discover the Internet marketing solution for automated order-taking

If you sell more than one or two products on your site, consider automating your online order system with the ultimate Internet marketing solution for the task: a shopping cart.

(No, we’re not talking about the carts you push around the aisles of your local grocery store!)

Shopping carts are simply Internet marketing business solutions in the form of software applications. The software "collects" the products you want to purchase on a sales site and places your orders for them.

So why is an online shopping cart the perfect automated Internet marketing solution for order-taking?

Well, a shopping cart stores information such as product details, customer data, and ordering information, and displays this information to store visitors. It also includes an administration area that allows you to manage your store (i.e., add new products and set up shipping and payment options).

The typical shopping cart includes:

  • A system that tracks products selected for purchase by your customers and calculates total purchase price, including tax and shipping costs.

  • A maintenance system that allows you to easily add new products, remove old ones, adjust prices, and set up special offers.

  • An order-retrieval system that provides you with all the information you need to fulfill orders (like name, mailing address, product ordered, etc).

On top of these fairly standard features, there are usually a variety of other options (some of which you may have to pay for, and others which may be included free as part of the package) such as:

  • Storage of customer information
  • Revenue tracking
  • Inventory management
  • Advertising capabilities
  • Permission marketing

Once you've decided which features you want in your Internet marketing solution, you can start narrowing down your search.

There are literally hundreds of shopping carts to choose from, but they typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. ASPs (Application Service Providers) provide the shopping cart as a service to you. The ASP hosts the cart on their server and gives you everything you need to run it. Signing up with an ASP is like paying someone to take care of the whole process for you.

  2. Shopping cart software is just what it sounds like — software that you pay a flat fee to licence. In this case, you are responsible for installing and hosting the application yourself.

  3. Customized shopping carts are ones that you build yourself. In our opinion, there's no need to write your own shopping cart software unless you have VERY specific needs and TONS of money!

    The average small business web site doesn't typically need this level of customization.

So which option should you choose?

One of the key differences between ASPs and software Internet marketing business solutions is that ASPs also come with a merchant account and payment gateway (for which you may be charged additional fees), while software packages typically do not.

So if you don't want to deal with the technical challenges of installing software yourself, and you'd like a one-stop Internet marketing solution, go with a shopping cart provided by an ASP.

To get Derek Gehl's proven system for starting and growing a wildly profitable online business -- and to get an Internet marketing solution for EVERY aspect of your online business, visit www.marketingtips.com/tipsltr.



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