You need to think about your autoresponders and shopping cart at this stage because you will need to incorporate features into your website and sales process as they are developed.
The very easiest option when starting out is simply to use Paypal to take payments. It is free to set up and you can get started right away. As taking the money is absolutely the most important thing in business then worrying about the absence of other facilities is something you can put off until later.
There is a common recommendation among Internet Marketers to use 1ShoppingCart. This is because it incorporates everything you need from the shopping cart, an autoresponder system, an affiliate system and most recently the Upsell module. However, it is quite feasible to put together your own package of services if 1shoppingcart appears a little overwhelming.
It is also carrying quite a lot of legacy baggage so things don’t change too fast and so it is not on the cutting edge of individual services. For example, the Aweber autoresponder provides more and better looking opt-in facilities and designs in their dedicated autoresponder service than is available with 1ShoppingCart’s autoresponder.
Total Business Cart.
This is a complete shopping cart with autoresponder services, split testing facility, affiliate management, the whole works. Developed to meet the needs of the internet marketer and used by many of the big names. I use Total Business Cart (not that that puts me among the big names!) and heartily recommend it..
TotalBusinessCart is actually a private label version of 1shoppingcart (as are many of the other shopping carts available). The owners, Paul and Philly, are internet entrepreneurs like us and this was their route to the market. They provide the 1shoppingcart product but with anglicized service. Support them – they’re in the same business as you are!
You may have difficulty with the Verified Opt-in process which is intended to protect against spam. 1SC reports a very high success rate of email delivery for the Tier 1 autoresponder service provided to their customers using Verified Opt-in. Unfortunately, the setup process is rather obscure and I found that I needed to draw it out as a reminder for use each time I set up a new product.
You will find my Verified Opt-in Process diagram here.
E-junkie came highly recommended in a blogging interview I have just been listening to. So I can’t say that I’ve used it but the sales page has certainly got my attention for future research. At just $5/month for an easy way to take payments and deliver products online it may well fit the requirement for many people starting out who do not want the heavyweight package of the big autoresponder and cart services.
BigCommerce.com is a specialist ecommerce platform and claims to be the internet’s favourite. At only $25/month for up to 100 products then it looks good for the average marketer unless you are specifically intending to run an online store with many products – when the stability of working with an established platform looks even better.
Having outsourced an ecommerce site through Elance I am familiar with the nagging worry of what happens and who will fix it when it goes wrong as it inevitably will do. Big Commerce can remove such worries – and avoid the up front expenditure of having the site developed for you as Big Commerce can be configured by the user as you go along.
As at the time of writing, Big Commerce does not have an affiliate system built in. However, they do recommend iDevAffiliate which is part of the IDevDirect family of services.