Shopping carts are a very sensitive part of any online commerce. You really want to have something that is going to be secure, and that basically means you’re not going to be coding it yourself. You need something that has some real up-to-date security protocols, which if you’re running a website is not something you can really keep up on in your free time.
Luckily, there are a myriad of services and software packages available to help you set up a secure payment system, with all the expected features. Picking one out of this group can be quite difficult, so it’s best to look at some reviews, which is exactly what I’ve done. Let’s look at what PC Magazine has called the top two e-commerce software systems.
First up, PinnacleCart is a very popular and flexible backend software for online commerce. It doesn’t actually offer a point-of-sale system, meaning the front-facing systems like shopping carts, but offers a selection of third party plug-ins that it will work with seamlessly. This allows you to set something up that matches your site perfectly, rather than forcing you to adhere to the design aesthetic of your payment processor. Between this and a couple other small technical hitches, it requires a bit more work up front, but has a very smooth and intuitive back-end experience for the website administrator.
The second place finisher is Shopify, which offers a more complete package, but at a higher price. This software gives you everything you need right off the bat, but charges per transaction, and has some nice features locked off by even more expensive advanced tiers of service. But, they do offer a free trial, which is great for getting started and feeling out the software before committing to a full subscription. It is a great option for more of a less experienced web designer looking for an easier setup.
Whatever software you go with, you’ll want to keep it updated as soon as they are available. The safety of your customers payment data is critically important for your reputation as an online merchant.