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GoDaddy has emerged over the last couple of years as a leading domain and hosting provider with a long list of products and services. One of those products is the Quick Shopping Cart, which is a hosted e-commerce shopping cart application. GoDaddy's Quick Shopping cart offers the promise of easy development, multiple payment gateways and integrated (UPS and USPS) shipping calculators among its list of integrated features.
What it is
The GoDaddy Quick Shopping Cart is currently offered in three flavors - Economy, Deluxe, Premium - based on catalogue size, storage and bandwidth needs. Actual features across the three flavors are identical and all include GoDaddy's TurboSSL secure site certificate. The prices range from $7.96 per month for the Economy Edition, which offers 1 GB of Bandwidth, 50 MB of space and a 20-product catalog cap based on a 12-month commitment, up to the Premium edition which can be had for $29.97 /month based on a 12-month commitment and offers an unlimited product catalog, 2 GB Disk Space and 100GB Bandwidth.
Setting up the Quick Shopping Cart can be done quickly. There are two modes - Wizard and Advanced - for building your shopping Cart. The Wizard mode is the best choice for a quick and easy first attempt. The Wizard mode is a simple seven step process (storefront info, product catalogue, theme, taxes, shipping, payment, preview/publish) that, when completed, leaves you with a basic e-commerce shopping cart ready to take orders. Simple, well laid out screens, with an easily accessible help menu button, made this Wizard one of the easiest I've yet used to build a shopping cart.
The Wizard mode, however, is limited in that it only sets up the cart and not the rest of your site (i.e. "about us" page, "contact," etc). For that, you need to jump into the "Advanced" interface. The Advanced interface allows you to edit, control and monitor almost all aspects of your "Quick Shopping Cart." The interface adds extra catalogue features (product, category, attributes, options, links, import products, inventory, low inventory) as well as interfaces for orders, members, reports, and branding.
The Branding interface is really all about the rest of your site, allowing you to set storefront information like a welcome message, "about us" message, "contact us" link, e-mail notices, terms and conditions.
The branding part likely should have been part of the Wizard, as a site without the "branding" is just a shopping cart and not really a fully realized e-commerce storefront.
|GoDaddy.com's Quick Shopping Cart makes it easy to set up your e-commerce shipping options. (Click for larger view)|
Quick Shopping cart offers 13 design templates (as compared to 1&1 Internet which has 38 and Interland with 215 different site designs that are categorized by type) which can be customized by font and color in the advanced interface. The advance catalogue features enables users to import and export data (from Excel), which is a useful, and often overlooked, feature that should be part of any online shopping cart. Feeding your data to Google's Froogle shopping search engine is also easily done thanks to a Froogle feed option in Quick Shopping Cart.
Order monitoring, in terms of open/closed orders, as well as order and confirmation emails, is also included. Reporting is also a strong feature of the Quick Shopping Cart with multiple levels of detail (Gross Total Sales, Net Total Sales, Sales by Month, Sales by Day, Sales Per Product, Sales by Source Codes, Sales by State) to help track your shopping cart's success.
If you're an eBay seller as well, then you'll find the eBay listing tool to be helpful getting your items listed. The functionality is not quite as robust as it could be as actual eBay listing details from eBay are only updated every 30 minutes. At the end of an auction, 30 minutes is an eternity. GoDaddy even suggest that if you want to monitor your auctions more closely, you go directly to your eBay account.
PayPal is a standard feature of most modern shopping carts and is not surprisingly part of GoDaddy's Quick Shopping Cart. PayPal, however, despite its ease of use for many e-commerce newbies, is not the ideal solution for everyone in every situation.
GoDaddy also includes Authorize.net and IMS Payment Gateway that are likely better options for those with merchant accounts. GoDaddy also offers merchant accounts as an extra feature, for an additional fee. Quick Shopping Cart also offers the option of POS (point of sale) credit card processing that allows you to process the payment using a POS terminal that you may have in your bricks and mortar store, while the e-commerce storefront validates a credit card number online.
|GoDaddy.com's Quick Shopping Cart offers only 13 design templates, but they are user customizable. (Click for larger view)|
Shipping is obviously a critical area for a shopping cart and one that is often poorly served by hosted online shopping cart vendors. Not so with GoDaddy.
Quick Shopping Cart includes an integrated US Postal Services (USPS) and a UPS rate calculator. GoDaddy has also included a UPS OnLine Tools Licensing & Registration Wizard to get you set up with a UPS account online almost instantly. Users get to choose the shipping method and the rate is automatically calculated based on what you've already defined as your point of origin and the dimensions of the item. Every shopping cart should be this easy to set up shipping.
GoDaddy's Quick Shopping Cart is a compelling offering of the essentials required to make an e-commerce storefront work. Aside from the Froogle Feed, it does not, however, include much in the way of tools to help you promote your storefront to the wider outside world. Though, GoDaddy does have a number of other services that you could easily add on that would meet those needs.
The catalogue themes are not as robust in number as other offerings, but then again, the 13 designs that are currently offered are pretty good and are user customizable. The step by step startup menu and the integrated help features make the Quick Shopping Cart, easy to figure out and use.
The payment options and integrated USPS and UPS shipping calculators are top notch and for those two reasons alone could be enough to sway users to choose the GoDaddy Quick Shopping Cart.
Sean Michael Kerner is a contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com
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