We’re in the process of redoing a client’s site and website marketing, and have finally been given access to his existing shopping cart so that we can connect the two together.

Turns out, their online shopping cart can’t be connected to our new site!

While we’ve created the new website in WordPress – probably the most universal and amenable programming language to every major shopping cart on the planet – this existing online shopping cart that the client is currently working with is more of a “homegrown” proprietary cart.

This is not a good thing. As it turns out, we’re probably going to have to take another 2 weeks to build a brand new shopping cart for this client because the programmers who created this proprietary shopping cart intentionally created a shopping cart AND website so that neither product can be moved, accessed by other programmers for improvements, or connected to an “outside,” newer site.

Please don’t let programmers do this to you. This, essentially, holds your business hostage. There is no need to go with a company that “builds your shopping cart from the ground up for you.” This is just a snare to keep you with them and ONLY with them for time eternal … even if their customer service is bad … even if they don’t update their systems to match other shopping cart bells and whistles … even if their carts run at a speed slower than a turtle’s pace … you’re stuck unless you choose to completely start over and build a new shopping cart elsewhere.

There are many, many “ready-made” online shopping carts  – also referred to as e-commerce carts – on today’s market that easily handle the sale of your products or services and require very little customization. These shopping carts (the most popular (I believe) being 1ShoppingCart.com, BigCommerce, Shop Site Pro, Pinnacle and Volusion) are somewhat proprietary to their owners in that you are “renting” the cart from them on a monthly basis. These popular e-commerce carts, however, are built to be universally compatible with just about every programming code imaginable out there, thus allowing you to essentially hitch your website’s “trailer” to any one of these shopping carts.

As an example, I, for one, have used 1ShoppingCart.com since I created my first website  – www.Armitageinc.com – back in 1999. At that time, the website was coded in ASP. Then we rebuilt the website in PHP. Then we rebuilt the website in Joomla. And, a couple months ago, we updated (for good!) to WordPress. (No, there’s no reason for you to have to rebuild your website 4 times in 12 years – I just do it because I need to provide more of a showcase site for building web sites!)

In every instance, 1Shopping Cart easily connected to my website in a matter of minutes.

Now, I’ve covered the subject of deciding when you need a shopping cart vs. using a simple shopping cart attached to something like PayPal in my Armitage free subscription, Rise Above the Internet Din (in the right hand column here). I’ll also address what to actually look for in a shopping cart shortly.

If you have great experience with one ecommerce cart or online shopping cart, by all means, share it with your peers here by leaving a comment! Make it a great week.



© 2011, Diane Armitage, Armitageinc.com