Whether you sell a product or service, there are some great tools available to help you automate sales. Wouldn’t it be great if your business ticked along and made you money even while you were sleeping? We’re going to take a quick look at how programs such as 1ShoppingCart and Infusionsoft can automate sales and provide you with a relatively hassle-free system.
Before we get into shopping carts, we want to make clear that not everyone who is selling something on their website needs a shopping cart platform. The term ‘shopping cart’ is bandied around frequently but essentially, this is only necessary where you are selling multiple items so need to give people the experience where they can ‘add to cart’ and keep browsing. For those who are selling, for example, an eBook, what you really need is a ‘payment gateway’ which we will get into later. This is simply a means for you to accept payment via your website.
1ShoppingCart is a shopping cart platform for you to install as part of your website. It basically allows you to have a shopping option on your site so that you are open for business 24/7. This is a subscription service so you do pay a monthly fee, but there are some good features to 1ShoppingCart that make it great for your business. You’ve probably visited websites and noticed the ‘buy now’ button on many of them. This is one of the features that 1ShoppingCart provides so that there is a clear path for customers who would like to buy from you. Basically, if they click on the ‘buy now’ button they will leave your website and be taken through to the 1ShoppingCart platform to complete the transaction.
Now, out of all the possible eCommerce platforms available, we are not saying that 1ShoppingCart is our favorite. In fact, we don’t think it is the most user-friendly platform available as from experience ourselves and with some of our customers, it can be a little confusing or ‘clunky’ to set up. However, it is one of the oldest and best-known platforms which still has a huge number of users.
Infusionsoft is another platform that is commonly used to provide a payment system. This is what is known as a ‘CRM’ (Customer Relationship Management) tool and allows you to keep databases of your clients as well as send emails, provide a payment gateway and create sales forms. If you are needing a shopping cart, you will still need to use another platform and integrate that with Infusionsoft as it essentially provides the payment gateway (such as for selling stand-alone products via a sales form), but does not include a shopping cart.
In terms of price, 1ShoppingCart starts at around $59 per month for a basic package. Differences between the different package levels include the % taken for transaction fees, the number of products you can have for sale and the number of user licenses available. For Infusionsoft, packages with sales automation included start at $299 per month.
We will discuss some further options in a later post, but for now, if you are looking to automate sales, think about the specific needs for your business that you would like out of a software package. Do you need a shopping cart or a payment gateway? What other features (reporting etc) would you like? It is always best to determine what you need so that it makes it easier to include or discount certain software packages from your list of options.