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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies, 5th Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Chapter 5

Putting the (Shopping) Cart before the Horse

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Identifying must-have shopping cart features

check Using hosted shopping carts

check Finding software for your server

check Developing a customized solution

Do you absolutely need a shopping cart? No. If you sell only a few items, you can easily get by with using an online order form. Customers making a purchase can print the form and then fax it to you (yes, some people still do that). Or, after customers fill out designated boxes on the online form and click Send, the results arrive in your inbox for manual order processing.

With that in mind, here’s the real question: Do you want a shopping cart for your website? Absolutely — especially if you sell more than a handful of items. We encourage you to use a shopping cart regardless of how many products you plan to sell.

Assuming that you’re serious about making money online and growing a viable e-commerce business, a shopping cart is an essential tool. For starters, it speaks to the credibility and security of your website. From a customer’s point of view, using an antiquated, ...

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