Choosing Top Shopping Cart Software

It is a good idea that you are reading this article. It means that you are actually putting some serious thought into which shopping cart you choose. Some people will simply go in head first with a shopping cart that they are unfamiliar with just because they are in a hurry to get their website up. However, this is a very important step. It can make or break you later on down the road. Below are some things to think about when making your choice for which shopping cart is right for you.

Easy to Maintain

Even though you may be only selling a few products upon the release of your site, there is no telling at this point whether you might have a desire to add other products in the future. If this is the case, you do not want the process to be extremely difficult for you, or something that you have to dish out more money to make happen. The purpose of having a quality shopping cart is to be able to do these types of things pretty easily as well as making the ordering process simple for your customers.

It Has the Features that You Need

One of the biggest priorities in choosing a shopping cart is that you must have one that meets your needs. There are many people who take a look at a shopping cart, they buy it, and their intentions are to modify to fit their needs. However, with the vast amount of shopping carts on the market, you should be able to find one that meets most any need right out of the gate. The only exception would be if you just had some idea that was so unique that it would almost have to be custom built. Then, I would consider having your shopping cart built from scratch, not purchasing one with the intention of having it modified.

Not Too Bloated with Unnecessary Features

Having all the features you need in a shopping cart is priority over finding one that has too many. However, you still want to find one that is not overly bloated with features you will never use. This just makes maintaining your site more complicated. As well, the shopping cart may have questions and other things that are unnecessary during the ordering process. These are called bloated questions and should be avoided when possible. For example, if your product is sent via email or available to download, then you probably do not need a shipping address. If you can find one that meets your needs, then stick with that one. Too many features is not a good thing.

Good Customer Service

Although you may have found a shopping cart that has everything you need, there is still one key thing you should be looking for before making a purchase. You should verify that the developer of the script has good customer service. Although many popular developers will have forums and you can see how active they are, others may only take questions via email. If this is the case, simply send an email to them and ask them a few generic questions about the shopping cart. You can evaluate their response and determine whether it is sufficient. It will be a good indication of what you can expect as well if you run into a problem of any kind after the purchase.

Updated Regularly

This is not always a requirement, but it is something just to take a quick look at. Almost always any script will have some problems with it. It may have a few features that are not working properly or some processes that could be done better. The best of shopping carts are no different. Typically, a shopping cart in beta stages or one that has not been updated for a very long time may be okay, others may have problems that are not being addressed. You should verify with the developer selling the script how often the script is updated with new features or fixing bugs. This is also a good indication that if you have a problem, it might be addressed by the developer quickly.

Managing Time Involves Clarity About Your Priorities

Technology has transformed our perception of things. All sorts of information are readily available at the push of a button. You want to know how to cook just Google the name of the recipe. You want to learn how to repair your water tap go on YouTube. Our minds are constantly assailed by information every minute. Our privacy is constantly under pressure with the use of Smartphones: emails, What’s App?, BBM, etc. Has there been a day when you feel that you can totally ignore your Smartphone, Ipad, laptop?

You wish that it would be as simple as turning them off and not even feel guilty about it. Well, some of you have been courageous to take that first step and feel totally liberated or completely stressed out… Remember the time when there was no internet. Some of you can’t even picture it as you were too young. They were the times when a friend meant somebody whom you have actually met, talked to and shared many things together. When you wanted to know what was happening overseas, you had to buy the newspaper or waited for the TV or Radio news broadcast. Those were the days!!! You must be thinking where is she going with all this? Is she becoming nostalgic all of a sudden?

Our time management skills are constantly being challenged. There is a constant need to review your list of “To Do things” every day or sometimes every hour. At work, you are sometimes unable to complete what you have started due to more pressing matters. Being the perfectionist, this unfinished task is nagging you at the back of your mind. At home, there is always a list of things in progress – the laundry, the gardening, the food shopping list, the children’s homework. The list is endless. In the midst of all this, finding some “me time” makes you feel guilty or become a real luxury treat!

Effective time management is about setting your priorities in the right order. Right order does not mean those with the highest amount of pressure. Pressure is something that is perceived and constructed in your own mind. Your top priorities are those that are congruent with your values, norms and beliefs. There is a simple exercise that you can do on your own.

1. Your priorities list
List all the things that you would like to be able to do in the different areas of your life. For each one of them, what is the motivation or reason for you to include it in your list?

2. Arrange them in order of importance.
What impact would it make to your life if you achieve each one of them? What are the payoffs for you to put time and effort into realising them?

3. Testing your determination.
Now, you are going on a trip in a hot air balloon. Each one of your priorities is going to be stored in a box. Each box is of equal weight and size. As the hot air balloon rises, you can see, what it would be like if you were able to achieve your priorities. What images, feelings come to your mind? What would it sound like if you were going to sing about it?

You are now as high as the clouds and suddenly the winds become stronger. The burner flame weakens and the hot air balloon starts to descend dangerously. For you to survive, you would need to decrease the weight of the wicker basket. This is a life and death situation. It is either you or the boxes.

What would you take out first? Remember each priority box is of the same weight. You are told that you are able to keep only one, maybe two. As you let go of each box, what happens? What makes it difficult or easy to let go?

4. Reassess your priorities list
Are they still the same? If yes, then your perspective of life is congruent with your lifestyle. If not, there is always time to re arrange your priorities and to make the desired changes. What have stopped you from doing them? What steps can you take right now to start the changes?

5. Review your lifestyle according to your final list of priorities.
If you have chosen “being healthy” as your no 1 priority, do you spend time looking after yourself? What would it mean to be healthy? Are you actually doing them?

The hot air balloon exercise can be used to test how strong your values are, what are the main priorities in your job search or career choice. The outcome of the exercise changes over time and it is recommended to do this exercise occasionally.

Balancing Priorities

The third key to reducing that feeling of being overwhelmed is to balance your priorities. Too often work and taking care of others squeezes out time for taking care of yourself. By balancing your priorities, you ensure that you take care of yourself first allowing you to be more effective in your work and more available for your loved ones.

Determine Your Priorities
The first step is to determine what is important to you. Take a moment to write down the 5 things that make you feel best. Your list may include items such as exercise, time with friends/family, relaxing with a book, introspective time such as meditation, breathing or prayer, and eating nourishing foods.

Schedule Your Day
Begin each day with one of your priorities. Make the commitment to yourself to always do something for yourself at the start of each day. This nourishes you so that you can be your best for everyone else.

Schedule Your Week
At the beginning of each week, schedule time throughout the week for your other priorities. Perhaps you have lunch or dinner with a friend, schedule your exercise time so there are no excuses and allow time for grocery shopping and nourishing food preparation.Plan your weekly menu and enjoy your healthy leftovers for lunch.

Remember Your Priorities
Write your priorities on a few index cards and post them on your computer, on your calendar, in your bathroom and in your kitchen. Whenever you have to make a scheduling decision take a moment to ensure you are not crowding out your own priorities.

When you balance your priorities you fill your tank so that you can then do your best work, support your loved ones and enjoy your life.

All my best,
Jacqueline