Many online sellers start out with journey using marketplaces like eBay or Amazon but often hear they need to have shopping cart solutions ready to go to scale their business. So what are shopping cart solutions? Well, while a marketplace is a place where you can join, create listings and sell alongside other sellers, shopping carts are becoming the same as your website. If you have a product and have a brand, you will eventually want a website for your brand. Eventually you will want to sell your products off of your own website, this is where a shopping cart comes into play.
Shopping cart solutions really start out with your look and feel of your website. This will typically serve as your domain provider, your hosting plan and website design. Once you have a published website, you can add products to your website and a checkout flow for a new customer to buy your products. There are many shopping cart solutions on the market today. Initially you will want to determine what you hope to get out of shopping cart and how technical and hands on you plan to be. If you are a little technical and want full control over your shopping cart experience, for example you would want to look at WooCommerce which is powered by WordPress. If you are looking to be more hands off the technical side and just design using an editor, than someone like Shopify is a good fit.
In addition to being your website and cart, you will want to also consider what you need to run your business and ensure it exists in the shopping cart solution you go with. For example, if you sell on marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, does it integrate with those to make your life easier? If you need to ship out products, does your shopping cart solution have a shipping integration for you to use? What about your marketing needs such as email or social? There are many options available for shopping cart solutions so start your journey making sure you know what you want out of one and then start to search around for platforms that meet your needs and your budget.