Shopping Carts

eWish Gift Registry Service Integration with MonsterCommerce & Yahoo Stores

eWish has partnered with Monster and Yahoo to allow their merchants tools to integrate their gift registry system. For a one- time setup fee of $599.00 and an ongoing 5% commission fee, merchants can add eWish’s to their stores. This allows merchants to have “add to registry” buttons on their product pages. eWish has a pretty robust gift registry solution that includes a customizable e-notifciation, guestbook, RSVP system, and on-line photo album.

If you have a store that caters to gift market, this add-on is worth a look. A few hosted shopping cart solution offer a Wish List feature (InstanteStore and Volusion) but they are geared more toward the individual doing the shopping. Conversely, gift registries can be distributed to a group of people (gift givers) directing them to purchase the desired items that have been preselected by the gift receiver.

Search Engine Optimization and Online Stores

Search Engine Optimization 101– Marketing Keywords on the Internet

Build it and they will come. This famous line might apply to ball fields but not to web sites. Getting people to visit a web site takes a lot of work. Getting people to visit a site via a search engine when they are looking for something specific is even harder.

This paper will review the process for basic search engine optimization (SEO henceforth). Covered are the basic components of marketing a site to attract specific traffic. These components include keywords, directories, back links and content.

The first step in SEO is to define your keywords. For instance, Amazon.com’s keywords could include; books, online bookstore, etc. Careful thought should be placed in your keyword selection. This phase is the foundation to support all other SEO efforts. Fredrick Marckini in Keyword Selection - The Most Overlooked Element of Success, August 2002, Market Postion had this to say about keyword selection:

How to Switch Shopping Cart Solutions

Switching Shopping Cart Solutions Checklist

Are you considering moving from one e-commerce shopping cart solution to another? Below you will find a checklist that lays out the step-by-step instructions for making the move. Switching website shopping cart solutions isn't as hard as you may think.

Switching Shopping Cart Solutions Checklist

1. Research and select the shopping cart solution that best serves your business’ needs. This is a very important decision. Take your time and choose wisely. Questions to ask include:

A. Does your shopping cart solution integrate with my gateway?

MonsterCommerce’s SEO Catalog

Years ago ASP carts were notorious for having long garbled URLs and bloated code. Both no-no’s when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Some for the more forward thinking shopping cart solutions added a mod_rewrite to their product that translated the ASP garbled URLs and code into clean easy to read html. The result was unmistakable. The stores using these solutions rankings improved once the product pages were re-indexed by the major search engines.

MonsterCommerce took a different approach. They allowed their clients the ability to generate a separate copy of their product catalog in html. MonsterCommerce called the feature the SEO catalog. The only problem is that the SEO catalog doesn’t rewrite/convert the asp page into html; rather it makes a copy of them in html. This is a dangerous thing to do in terms of SEO as the search engines frown upon duplicate content. A few merchants reported in our forum that they were penalized for using SEO catalog when some of their pages started to be deemed supplemental by Google. Not good.

3dCart's Free Store Design

One thing that set 3dCart apart from the other asp hosted shopping cart solutions is their free store design for all new customers.

Most other solutions will either offer new stores a selection of canned templates to choose from or charge an extra fee to work up a custom design (typically a hefty fee). Not so for 3dCart.

3dCart will assign you a graphic designer to work with you in developing a customized storefront. The quality of the designs rival that of any other paid service – scan 3dCart.com for yourself and take a look. This offering alone can save a new storeowner $1,000 – $5,000 off the initial startup costs.

MonsterCommerce Shopping Cart Review

MonsterCommerce Review
Software Version Reviewed: 4.2

MonsterCommerce is a leading provider in the ASP hosted shopping cart arena. Boasting a clientele of 5,000 store owners, they offer highly available 24x7 support, rich product documentation and a lively customer forum. Support is what separates MonsterCommerce from its competition and appears to be the cornerstone of their business model. This high level of customer support goes a long way to entice fledgling online merchants to select their shopping cart solution.

Where MonsterCommerce Excels

1. Support, Support and Support.

As stated above, MonsterCommerce offers 24x7 phone support, excellent documentation and a lively customer forum that when combined; provide an industry leading support system.

InstanteStore Shopping Cart Feature Chart

InstantECart is a feature-rich shopping cart solution build on a Coldfusion platform. This shopping cart solution has the most features when compared to other hosted cart solutions. Instantestore leads the industry in new feature innovation.

Here is a listing of some of InstantEStore’s features:

InstantEStore Feature Chart (PDF)

Volusion Shopping Cart Review

Volusion Review
Software Version Reviewed: 3.1

There is a company making a big splash in the shopping cart market. That company is Volusion. Founded by former Dell employees back in 1999, Volusion is proving to be a leader of ASP based e-commerce solutions. After reviewing Volusion’s rich features and search engine friendly stores, this solution is proof that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Shopping Cart Reviews

Shopping Cart Solution Reviews

The following are reviews that our staff has written relating to the major providers of shopping cart solutions. Please be aware of the software version that we reviewed. Software is updated frequently by these solutions and our reviews might not cover recent changes or upgrades. Please read our forums for topical information relating to the e-commerce shopping cart solutions listed below.

Hosted Shopping Cart Solution Reviews

3dCart Review

MonsterCommerce 4.2 Review

14 Questions to Ask a Shopping Cart Solution

Some Questions to Ask a Shopping Cart Solution Before You Sign Up

1. Does your shopping cart solution integrate with my payment gateway?
If you are moving from one solution to another, it’s
important to make sure that your payment gateway will be compatible with your
new solution. If not, you may need to sign up with another payment gateway.
This could require additional setup fees and a curve in
learning a new virtual terminal.

2. Is your shopping cart solution PCI/CISP complaint?
Security and having a hacker-safe store is very important. The credit card
companies mandate security measures so make sure your