In previous years it was the responsibility of the business owner to host the shopping cart themselves which meant that they needed a web developer or web development company to support their website.
This was often expensive and smaller stores needed to save up to be able to start a website.
Companies such as Yahoo created Yahoo Stores which is an ecommerce hosted solution and other companies started to follow.
Interspire Shopping Cart is now known is Big Commerce, a completely hosted ecommerce shopping cart solution. At the time of writing they have over 20,000 customers!
An live example of their software can be seen on Californian Percussion
Hosted Shopping Cart Solution
A hosted solution is also known as SaaS (Software as a Service) which means that rather than selling you a software package, a company will sell you a subscription to the service they offer. This normally means that you get much better support as the software is constantly being updated. With BigCommerce you also get free updates for life so you never have to pay any more than your monthly subscription.
With an ecommerce hosted solution you never need to worry about your website going down. Should anything ever happen BigCommerce will be the ones who have to stay up late and fix any issues while you are peacefully asleep at home! In many cases the problem will have been fixed before anyone notices there was something wrong.
Features to consider when buying Big Commerce
Easy upload of your products from a spreadsheet
Many shopping carts offer this feature and this one is no different. An advantage is that BigCommerce allows you to upload Excel files when many other shopping carts only allow CSV files.
Easy design ‘point and click’ design tools
I’m impressed by this feature as it allows you to customize the design of your website really easily by dragging and dropping parts of the design
Automatic Inventory Control
This is a feature that is seen on many shopping carts and Big Commerce is no different. When an item is sold the inventory automatically updates to ensure you can’t accidentally sell out of stock products.
Every web store will have a range of promotions, the promotional banners feature gives you complete control to add banners to product categories to show your visitors what’s on sale. You can even set it to only show for a set period of time, the system removes it automatically when the promo period has ended!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
An important feature that every shopping cart should have. Big Commerce allows you to edit page titles, keywords and descriptions as well as other features that allow you to adjust your Google rankings.
Google Website Optimizer
GWO (Google Website Optimizer) is often overlooked by many ecommerce website owners as too technical. You can use it to work out the best layout for your ecommerce store and also to make sure that your website is making the maximum amount of sales. BigCommerce integrates easily with GWO and you’ll be surprised what it can do for your business (did I mention it’s free?!).
Mobile Site Design
I’m sure you have this in your plan somewhere! With so many new mobile gadgets available designing an ecommerce store that works on every one can be difficult. A feature that makes Big Commerce one of the better ecommerce cart options is its mobile commerce feature. At the time of writing it supports iPhone, Andriod, Blackberry and Palm Pre devices! Visitors can easily view products and buy from your website using their phone. Software Development, a leading Naples web design company can customize your existing Big Commerce site to make it even more responsive.
Configure your products and add options with this feature. Add options such as item size (for clothing), colour or anything you need. You can create as many options as you need.
Integration with many other services, such as email marketing
A major plus for this shopping cart is that they have plugins so that you can get your store working with other services with ease, such as delivery software, customer surveys, live chat and Facebook. As it’s a hosted solution everything just works which will save you a lot of time and hassle!
Big Commerce has become a large company and hundreds of other companies who offer services used by many ecommerce websites want to integrate their service with Big Commerce, so that they can gain more customers. This is a big plus for anyone using the system as this gives you the option to easily test new features without any integration costs.