Overview Of Cart Systems For Your Website/Blog, And Their Connection To eCommerce Technology
Picture this scenario.
After reading some interesting books about starting an online business, you have decided to start an online business for yourself. You already have an idea of who your target market will be, and already have an idea of how to set up your sales pages and landing pages for what you want to sell.
If owning a blog is part of this, you already have content ideas that will get visitors of the blog on the sales page. You are excited and cannot wait to begin to embark on your journey in succeeding in your location independent business. The only thing that is stopping you is deciding on what kind of cart system you want to set up. You are also somewhat concerned about how to market what you are selling beyond just creating email lists and word of mouth.
What kinds of things are sold online?
There are three things that entrepreneurs sell online. And all three of them can experience better marketing efforts via a punchout catalog.
The first thing and the thing that most people think about when it comes to e-commerce are products. Products are a physical item that is sold.
Often placed in the same realm as products are information. Information pertains to e-books (but not physical books, those are products), and guides that are printed online that helps a buyer do something.
Services are a form of applied information. When you the seller are getting paid to consult with buyers or do something for a buyer, you are performing services.
All three of these things, if sold online, utilize an e-commerce portal known as a cart system. And all three of these things, even services, require a distributor. Keep this in mind, as knowing that these things require distribution will be important later on.
What is a cart system, exactly?
Anyone who has purchased anything online obviously knows what a cart system is. But they often do not know the specifics behind said cart system. They do not know the inner workings of the cart system, and they certainly do not know that cart systems are often a marketing tool as well as an electronic sales tool.
Cart systems can function as marketing tools thanks to punchout catalogs. We will explore the connection between punchout catalogs and cart systems later on, but for now, let’s explore four different types of cart systems that you can utilize on your sales page, and what each one can do.
Perhaps one of the most popular cart systems for online businesses is e-junkie. It is popular because of how cheap and versatile it is. E-Junkie makes it possible to sell almost anything online, but it is deceptively simple to use. It is equipped with an affiliate program, but it is not as profitable as many other affiliate programs. Another thing about e-junkie is that it is not very customizable. If anybody is starting an online business for the first time, they should use e-junkie as their cart system.
Clickbank is known for its affiliate programs more than a cart system for your sales pages. It utilizes a form of punchout catalogs but does not directly do what punchout catalogs do, which will be covered later on. If there is a product, service, or piece of information from another business that you would like to collaborate with, you should use clickbank as a cart system.
Anybody who does dropshipping as part of their business should use shopify as their cart system. Shopify allows its users to create an online store with the hosting that they provide. While e-junkie utilizes cart “buttons” on a sales page that has already been created and while clickbank allows you to utilize affiliate links, shopify functions as a sales page hosting site in and of themselves. While it is a form of e-commerce, shopify functions just as much like an online store.
How cart systems can combine with punchout catalogs to enhance marketing
Anything that is sold, whether online or offline, has to come from a supplier or a distributor. Even something like an e-book cannot just come out of thin air and has to come from a source. Knowing this, what if there was a way for both the buyer and the seller to reach out to distributors this way the buyer has more access to similar things that they might need as well as having the seller’s materials seen by more potential buyers?
Punchout catalogs put all this together. The punchout catalog will transfer anything in your shopping cart system to an external system, typically your vendor’s. When this is done, it will allow the buyer to automatically be taken to pages where they can see other things available online that they may need, and it puts your materials in this network whenever something similar is purchased.
Here is how this can improve marketing. Most marketing, especially for businesses that are just starting, often needs to be conducted by word of mouth. This is usually done by visiting communities that exist in the same niche and promoting your materials there. Connecting the materials you are selling to a punchout catalog can take this to another level and make your materials even more visible.
Melissa Stanley is a veteran tech writer and editor who has worked in several eCommerce companies so far. She has been covering technology online for over five years. She regularly posts at PCGT – PunchOut Catalogs.