A good shopping cart is essential for building a successful online store. The shopping cart is the software you have to use to create the store, add products, process payments, organize the merchandise, keep tab of your sales, keep in touch with your customers, create discounts, coupons and more.
That is why it is very important for the shopping cart to be user-friendly, complex and secure.
How to choose a shopping cart for your business
When you are in the market for a shopping cart for your online business, you can opt for a web-hosted one or a self-hosted one.
Advantages and disadvantages of choosing a web-hosted shopping cart (SaaS – software as a service)
Web-hosted shopping carts tend to be more popular than self-hosted ones. The reason for that is that they eliminate a lot of the problems you would otherwise have to solve by yourself. They are extremely user-friendly, the hosting is included in the price, you get 24/7 tech support and everything will be administrated by the third-party, so you don’t have to worry about potential errors, issues, security and so on. You get server maintenance, regular upgrades and backups and more.
All you have to do is pay a monthly fee for the service and that’s pretty much it.
On the other hand, with web-hosted shopping carts, you don’t get as much freedom as with self-hosted shopping carts. Also, your customers will be redirected to another domain when they purchase something and have to pay.
Advantages and disadvantages of self-hosted shopping carts
One of the biggest advantages with these shopping carts is that they are open-source so free for downloading. They are highly customizable so you can do whatever you want and put your creativity to use.
On the downside, these ecommerce solutions require a lot of work and investment on your part. You have to pay for hosting, you have to pay for add-ons and SSL certificates to make sure your site is secure and trust-worthy, you have to operate and administrate the entire platform.
Aside from deciding on what kind of shopping cart is best for your needs, there are other factors to pay attention to: associated costs, backup features, available themes and reliability of the customer support (if you go with SaaS) and more.
Jimdo – is it a good option to consider?
Jimdo is an ecommerce solution developed by the company with the same name. The company is German and has been on the market for approximately 12 years.
Jimdo boasts on over 20 million websites created so far and the number keeps on growing.
How much does is cost?
Jimdo has a comprehensive offer. There are 5 plans to choose from: Play, Start, Grow, Ecommerce, Unlimited.
Play is a free plan and only includes basic features: 500MB storage, 2GB bandwidth, 5 website pages and HTTPS security.
Start is Jimdo’s cheapest paid plan. It costs approximately $10/month billed annually and includes a free domain for the first year, 5GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, 10 website pages, advanced SEO tools, Statistics, no ads and more.
Grow is your next option. It is priced at $16.84/month. Among the included features are: website statistics, premium support, 15GB storage, 20GB bandwidth, 50 website pages.
The next upgrade is Ecommerce. It has the same features as Grow in terms of storage, bandwidth and website pages, but it also adds ecommerce features: online store, 0% commission, unlimited number of products and convenient payment methods.
The most complex and expensive option is Unlimited. It is priced at $43.78/month and includes unlimited space, bandwidth and number of website pages, professional design analysis, a support response time of less than 1 hour, compared to 1-2 business days, for the other plans.
How to create your online store with Jimdo
Once you sign up, via e-mail or through Facebook or Google, you have to choose between one of the two methods to create your website. The two available methods are Dolphin AI and Creator.
Dolphin AI is the easiest route. Your website will be created by the program within just 3 minutes, based on answers you give to some questions, so that the software can get an idea of your needs and preferences.
Creator is a method used by users who are a bit more skilled and want to build the site themselves.
You have to choose the Store category, as there are 3 categories available: store, blog and website. There are also subcategories such as bar, restaurant, services and so on.
If you opt for the free plan, you can choose between 15 templates. If you subscribe to one of their paid plans, you get access to more than 40 templates, all of which are mobile responsive. However, the free plan doesn’t really include any ecommerce tools, so it would be pretty useless to you. You can only add 5 products to sell, which is obviously not enough for most people.
Of course, you can also get into HTML and CSS for deeper customization if you want to.
Some useful ecommerce features offered by Jimdo are:
- Multiple variants for your products
- Stripe and PayPal integration
- Google Analytics E-commerce Tracking integration
- Shipping cost displayed
- Coupon codes and gift vouchers
- Inventory tracking
However, there are some really annoying drawbacks when it comes to the ecommerce features included with Jimdo: you can only use Euro as a currency, which can be a real deal breaker for a lot of users, there is also no abandoned cart feature and it is extremely complicated to sell digital products.
While it is a user-friendly and complex solution and it also has a free plan, Jimdo is not the best option when it comes to ecommerce needs. If you just want a website or a blog, you have more than enough at your disposal to get great results, but in terms of ecommerce tools, this shopping cart has some deal-breaking shortcomings.