>>SecureNetShop looks like it has everything I want and I
>>can afford it, but it is hosted on their site.
that means it's a remotely hosted shopping cart and no need for you to install anything. remote carts make life very easy for the site owners - simply create html pages and add buy now buttons. also, because you're not tied into a combined catalogue / cart system, you can switch to a different remote cart fairly easily.
however, a quick look at securenetshop shows it's a combined catalogue / shopping cart system. that might not be so good (see below).
you might like to look at another remote cart, www.mals-e.com - this is often recommended here, has lots of shipping options, works with paypal and many card processing companies. there are others out there as well ....
>>I recommend using a shopping cart software that is
>>database driven. ... you will be better off in the long
>>run to have easy edit software.
when using a combined database driven catalogue with shopping cart, be careful that it doesn't include session IDs in the URLs and links. session IDs will stop search engines spidering the site and you will lose traffic. turn cookies off to check if session IDs are used in the catalogue - if so, dump the cart.
also watch out for the query string - the bit of the URL like?item=1234&colour=blue - search engines have trouble with these. if you're hosted on *nix servers, use mod_rewrite so you can use www.yourdomain.com/1234/blue instead.
>>Have you ever heard the expression... sometimes an
>>inexpensive product will end up costing you more?
look very carefully at every product / service and make sure it's right for your customers. think about the payment system as well - do your target customers all have paypal accounts? if not, do you think they'll open an account through you? or will they just go elsewhere? why not just let them pay with credit cards from day 1?
[edited by: Crazy_Fool at 1:51 am (utc) on Mar. 19, 2003]