Like a low-profile athlete who eventually gets noticed for having skills more established competitors must now contend with, a technology category once known for offering primitive online shopping carts has evolved into something far more capable.
No longer designed just to handle the most basic of modes of product presentment, order taking and transaction processing, a number of the available cart technology platforms come with a range of built-in and externally integrated features common on today’s sophisticated e-commerce sites. They include: consumer ratings and reviews, gift registries, wish lists, detailed product images, site search with segmented navigation, and data feeds to e-marketplaces and comparison shopping engines.
Offering this broader range of features is supported by faster and easier technology integration through application programming interfaces and XML and other forms of web services.
Not all cart technology is the same, of course, but it’s worth noting how a small but fast-growing retailer like Candy.com is hitting its stride on a low-cost but feature-rich platform from a company like 3dcart. Read more about this in our June issue.
So there’s a dual message here for retailers and technology vendors: Strong merchants looking to grow with capable e-commerce technology need not necessarily consider only the priciest of platforms while looking over their shoulders at their toughest competitors. E-commerce technology vendors, meanwhile, need to keep a sharper eye over their own shoulders to ensure their technology is keeping up with the combination of functionality and value offered by their less pricey competitors.