There are hundreds of ecommerce solutions available in the market. For those who have the time and have knowledge of programing, open source ecommece solutions is an option. But for millions of others, a paid shopping cart software is the more viable route.
Even for paid shopping cart software, there are so many to choose from. Just do a search for ecommerce solutions and you can see the number of competitors vying for just that key phrase. In fact, 9 of the 10 results on the first page are point to shopping cart software providers. To make matters worse, each of these providers offer up to 6 different price packages. If you are a newcomer to ecoomerce, which package should you choose?
Consider The Number Of Products You Have
The first thing you need to look at is the number of products you intend to sell. Some paid ecommerce solutions providers offer packages that cater to merchants who have 5 products or less to sell. And they provide you this service for free.
Naturally, there are limitations. You will only be allowed 1 image per product and basic customization of your store. However, you can be assured you will not be paying in such a situation.
But the majority of new ecommerce merchants have a few hundred products to sell. If you fall into this category, it would make more sense to sign up for a package which would allow you to upload anywhere from 100 to 500 products. You do not need a package that allows you to upload an unlimited amount of products as this may set you back an additional $ 100 a month. A typical 500 product package should cost you less than $ 50 a month.
Please note that some ecommerce solutions providers count every single product option as a separate product and this can eat into your products quota. So always check to see if this is the case, especially for those of you who intend to sell products with options which would include different sizes, colors and styles.
How Much Disk Space Would You Need?
How many products you upload will have a bearing on how much disk space you need. Images use up the most disk space so be sure to optimize your images before you upload them to your store. And average store with 500 products needs between 1GB and 1.5GB of disk space. Some ecommerce solutions providers will offer you 5GB of space for a 500 product package just so they have a reason to charge you $ 10 or $ 20 more. Why pay more for what you do not need?
How Much Bandwidth Do You Require?
New stores take time to attract traffic. Even if you are using Pay Per Click (PPC), there would only be so much traffic you can afford to drive to your site. Aside from traffic, images also use up bandwidth. The more data – text, images, flash files – your page contains, the more bandwidth it will use up every time someone visits your site. This is why optimizing images for a site is so important.
A new store, on average, would need about 2GB to 3GB of bandwidth a month. To be on the safe side, get a package which offers 4GB of bandwidth for a 500 product package. New stores rarely require 10GB of bandwidth a month. So, again, do not pay for what you do not require.