One of the misnomers in e-commerce is that your store needs a shopping cart.  Sure, a store like Amazon.com or Buy.com with a huge, unmanageable inventory does need a shopping cart system, but a shopping cart could be a waste of time for simpler stores.

If you are selling a few individual products and don’t offer package savings or other special deals, shopping carts could be a waste of resources.   If the vast majority of your customers only buy one product or service, why implement a more complicated shopping cart that could actually frustrate your customers and eventually lead them away from your product?

There are several options if you don’t use a shopping cart.  Among them are the use of a “Buy Now” or “Add Product” button on each individual product, a contact us prompt for potential leads to inquire about services, and simply setting up a 1-800 number to take phone inquiries.

For the purpose of an e-commerce store’s shopping cart replacement, the “Buy Now” or “Add Product” buttons are probably your best option.  Possible payment processing solutions for this arrangement include Paypal, Google Checkout, Versign, and 2Checkout.com.

Examples of types of e-commerce stores that can possibly do without a full shopping cart include book authors, bands, companies with individual, customizable solutions, expensive products and other random items that are sold individually such as cell phones and server hosting plans.

Seth Trachtman is a Web Marketing Account Manager for The Net Impact Web Design St. Louis.

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