The best place to start is by finding sites you like.  Find out who developed the site (there is often a link to the web developer at the bottom of the page). Contact the developer and set up a meeting to discuss your online shopping requirements and find out what functionality their shopping system has.

Another excellent research tool is using the online demo sites of open source shopping systems. Open source systems have been built for free by a large community of programmers and put onto the internet for free.  Some web developers will use one of these free open source systems to build online shops for their clients – and may add their own code to customise the system.

Other web developers will create their own shopping and content management system from scratch with their in-house developers responsible for enhancements to the system.

Open source versus developer’s own system have their pros and cons but if you talk to at least three web developers you will soon get a good idea of what each system offers.

Questions to ask about the recommended shopping system:

  1. Is it search engine friendly?
  2. What is the URL structure like for the product catalogue pages?
  3. Are they recommending their own product or an open source system?
  4. If it’s their own system how long has it been in development?
  5. What plans do they have for future development of the system?
  6. Do they have a demo site you can use as a shopper and an administrator?
  7. What kind of support will they give?
  8. Are there any guarantees in regards to bug fixing?
  9. What about future upgrades and enhancements?
  10. What will you own the rights to?
  11. Can you move the site to another developer in the future?
  12. If they have recommended an open source system, do they have much experience with it?

Looking for more help? Contact us for a free selling online consultation today.

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