CRM / Shopping Carts

The heart of any eCommerce or info product website surrounds the power of its shopping cart. Integrating a shopping cart locally provides for maximum flexibility, but at what cost?
↓ CRM / Shopping Carts Compared Editor Ratings

1ShoppingCart

OVERALL
★★★★½
One of the best and more thorough online shopping cart services is 1ShoppingCart (also known as 1AutomationWiz). See our full in-depth video tour of...(Read More)
Value
★★★★
Support
★★★★★
Usability
★★★

Infusionsoft

OVERALL
★★★★½
Infusionsoft offers users a powerful Customer Relationship Management system, but is this overkill for small business (and is it worth the...(Read More)
Value
★★★
Support
★★★★★
Usability
★★★★

DLGuard

OVERALL
★★★★½
Using DLGuard will ensure that your products are sold to customers in the safest way...(Read More)
Value
★★★★★
Support
★★★★★
Usability
★★★

Nanacast

OVERALL
★★★★½
Nanacast is one of the most thorough sales automation and shopping cart service available for your...(Read More)
Value
★★★★★
Support
★★★★★
Usability
★★★

HighRise (37Signals)

OVERALL
★★★★½
Business today is all about building relationships and HighRise is a customer relationship management tool that makes the process much easier for...(Read More)
Value
★★★★★
Support
★★
Usability

X-Cart

OVERALL
★★★★
X-Cart offers a do-it-yourself shopping cart solution that can easily be integrated into any PHP-compatible website. In addition to shopping cart...(Read More)
Value
★★★★★
Support
★★★★
Usability
★★★★

One of the biggest concerns any online entrepreneur faces at one time or another is how they are going to charge for sales on their website. The task seems rather difficult:

  • Technically - You need to install the code
  • Security - You do not want credit cards being hacked from your site
  • Management - You want to make sure orders actually get to you
  • Organization - You want to be able to add or pull new products rather easily


For electronic products, you options are greater. You can use services such as Clickbank or PayDotCom to manage the entire buying process for you. These services are very easy to integrate and use, but they can take a large bulk of your earnings as well as the flexibility in pricing, coupons, recurring fees and returns can be rather stringent. These services do not integrate with physical products or multi-product websites.

For eCommerce, services like Yahoo Stores does integrate a rather simple shopping cart into their websites for you, but again, these services can be a bit constricting.

Also, there is a term called CRM (or Customer Relationship Management).  This is a bit of a broader system to just a simple shopping cart (though, sales and purchasing are a major component of a CRM).  In most cases CRM systems are designed for marketers that have many levels of marketing involved (including telemarketing, personal follow-ups, etc.).  They are designed to manage visitors from clients to prospects to buyers. 

Online right now, we are seeing the simple shopping cart cross over into full-blown CRMs.  This is due to the complexity of marketing online these days (as well as the amount of deep money making opportunities back-end marketing can provide!).  These CRM systems include shopping carts, affiliate marketing programs, customer management, marketing directives, email marketing management, and so much more.  Of course, these are more costly than simple shopping carts, but depending on your business model, a CRM system can increase your earnings substantially!)


Finally, you can use other third party shopping cart solutions. There are two options here (much like what you will find with autoresponders):

  • Externally Hosted Shopping Cart - This type of shopping cart is external to your website. Here, you are given links to embed within your website and as people buy products or make purchases, they are sent to the provider\'s secured website and shopping cart. This option works great and is usually quite customizable. There is no installation and the management is usually superb. The major downside can be the cost. A service like this is usually membership based and results in a flat, monthly fee. (This is still usually better than places like Clickbank and Yahoo Stores which take a percentage of the sale).
  • Locally Hosted Shopping Cart - You also have the option of downloading and installing your own locally hosted shopping cart. This, of course, results in the most flexibility when it comes to canned shopping cart services. The management is usually just as simple as an externally hosted shopping cart. Technically, these require you to install the cart manually (but help and support is usually provided). The price is great, being that it is a one-time fee, but you still may need to pay for a secured server (or SSL certificate) to provide your clients with the required security in the transactions (though, some gateways may provide a served option for you).

Personally, I use an externally hosted service because it is the easiest to manage (even though a pay a bit more for it). The locally hosted option definitely has its price and flexibility benefits and should not be ignored, especially if you are not afraid of installing a few PHP scripts onto you website(s). Before are my picks for best locally and externally hosted shopping cart services.

Note! Be aware that these services (as well as Yahoo Stores) are NOT gateways or merchant accounts! All three allow you to process orders through PayPal, but to capture real-time purchases with a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, etc., you must set up your own gateway and merchant accounts! For NetWebVideo, I use the following:

Payment Gateway: Authorize.net
Merchant Account: e-OnlineData