Trying to find the right online shopping cart for your ecommerce business can be a real headache. Periodically ShopTab features reviews on our site to help make those choise a little clearer; however, we realize it is a big decision and can still be a nightmare. Recently we discovered a very cool service online that helps select the shopping cart best optimized for your needs for FREE!
Help us spread the word about this blog post by using the Retweet Button above and ShopTab will randomnly select one of the Tweets and that person will receive either for their use or gifted to someone else ShopTab Ultimate Pro for 6 months at no cost ($120 value).
This week we interviewed Nick Grant, the co-founder of ZippyCart. Since 2003 Grant has been working with start-ups such as Blue Nile, CarDomain, AllStarDirectories, and Wishpot (a wishlist site we found to be pretty cool for the holiday times). In 2009, Grant co-founded ZippyCart out of Seattle, Washington. Since then ZippyCart has quickly become the leading online resource for anyone who wants to build an online store.
There are so many tools out there to start an online store that it can sometimes become overwhelming for current and prospective merchants. Because of this, Grant and his business partner created ZippyCart.com which acts as a directory of the best ecommerce solutions available today. Each year, they work with a panel of independent experts in the ecommerce industry to review and rate the top shopping carts on the market. They provide these expert reviews along with merchant reviews, feature lists, side by side comparison charts, and more to ensure that people have all of the information they need to find the right ecommerce software to power their online store. They also provide a detailed guide to ecommerce, daily ecommerce news, and an ecommerce forum where merchants can get answers to their questions with ease.
Q: How does ZippyCart work?
A: There are a number of ways in which someone can use ZippyCart to learn about their options for ecommerce software solutions. One of our most popular tools on ZippyCart allows people to find an ecommerce solution in just three steps! The first step allows people to dictate their desired price, the second step allows them to choose their features, and then we show them their matches for step three.
Additionally people enjoy using ZippyCart to read our expert shopping cart reviews and customer reviews of the different ecommerce software solutions available today. Another area of ZippyCart which people value is our versus pages, where we compare two ecommerce software solutions side by side, such as CoreCommerce vs. AmeriCommerce, or Pinnacle Cart vs. 3dcart.
Our ecommerce news blog features a great team of writers reporting the latest industry news to help online entrepreneurs learn and grow. We release anywhere from 6-10 news stories each weekday and report breaking news any hour of the week.
Finally, our ecommerce forum provides users with a venue to add customer reviews, ask other merchants questions about shopping cart software, and provide their own expert opinions to those in need.
Q: Why did you launch ZippyCart?
A: In 2009 I realized that there were not any great sites online that helped people make sense of the world of ecommerce software solutions and all of the different options out there for them to consider. There are some sites online that have some reviews on ecommerce solutions, but almost all are outdated or biased towards particular software. We wanted to be the most thorough and up-to-date resource online for people who want to review, compare, and rate ecommerce software solutions. Now after almost 2 years of work, we have created a popular brand that is the leader in our niche.
Q: How many consumers have used ZippyCart?
A: In terms of traffic, we now receive well over 100,000 visitors every month to the site. This leads to thousands of people each month using our tools to find the right ecommerce solution to power their online store.
Q: What features or benefits make ZippyCart stand out?
A: One of the things that people like most about our site is that our top ecommerce software solution rankings are unbiased, meaning that we will not accept money so that a particular solution can be the #1 pick on ZippyCart. Instead, we work with a panel of independent experts to review, analyze, compare, and ultimately score a plethora of ecommerce solutions each year. In the end, a shopping cart achieves ranking on our top 10 list based on merit alone. We also do not change our top 10 list for the year. We do offer two other ranking lists that do change throughout the year, but also rely on independent evaluations for a solution to rank. These are our Top 10 Hosted Shopping Carts and our Best Licensed Ecommerce Solutions lists. These lists evolve with the industry, allowing merchants to evaluate an ecommerce solution based on its standing for the year, as well as its achievements throughout each quarter.
Also our tool to find an ecommerce solution in just three steps is quite unique since it lets a merchant find an ecommerce solution based on a variety of factors, rather than just cost and rating.
Our ecommerce news blog is also massively popular, as we have a team of writers who work to produce numerous ecommerce related posts each week.
Q: How do you categorize the features of different shopping carts?
A: While all ecommerce solutions have some features that make them stand out (or a lack of features that make them disappear) in the crowd, there are common features available across almost all high-quality shopping carts. In our comparison charts, we break these down into 3 broad categories: Merchant Interface, Customer Management & Marketing Tools, and Product Management & Shipping Tools. Of course, there are also features that aren’t as easy to judge a solution on when just visiting their website, which we call “Phantom Features.” These include value for the money, customer service, ease of use (for both the merchant and the customer), true ability to customize the solution, and whether or not the software company will continue to improve their product. These features are where we can be really helpful. On ZippyCart, ecommerce solutions are scored on their overall feature set, as well as how that set of features compares with another solution, but we also score them based on these phantom features, which makes a big difference.
Q: How do you choose the carts that are featured on your website?
A: Each year during Q4, we begin a review process that starts with the selection of 7 independent panelists in parallel with the selection of over 100 e-commerce solutions to be reviewed. The solutions reviewed are based upon our research, ecommerce expert feedback, and ZippyCart visitor requests. Panelist names are kept secret to ensure opinions remain unaltered during the 3 month process.
Each ecommerce solution is reviewed based on a variety of factors which are scored on a weighted scale. These factors take into account a full review of the ecommerce software solution from administration panel to online store builder, reporting, social media and SEO tools, and much more. Each ecommerce software provider is also scored based on their customer service, which is determined by many tactics including secret shopping and customer reviews. Ecommerce solutions are also compared side by side, to further determine which options are the best. Finally, ecommerce solutions are also evaluated based on the overall value for the money, which is a factor that is very important to many merchants in the current economy.
Q: What are ZippyCart‘s future plans for development or additional features?
A: 2011 is going to be a BIG year for ZippyCart. We plan to release our rankings for our 2011 Top Ecommerce Software Solutions, and debut our new scoring methodology which now includes more factors and weighted averages. The changes to our scoring methodology and the introduction of weighted averages will allow us to do a much better job of evaluating the ecommerce solutions, so that visitors to our site will have a deeper understanding of how the solutions stack up against each other.
You can also expect to see a new and improved navigation in 2011, which is going to make browsing through ZippyCart even easier for visitors.
That is all we can tell you for now, but there are definitely other big things in the works that we will announce early next year.
Q: What other helpful tools do you provide users?
A: We have a Guide to Ecommerce section on our site with a bunch of helpful info. However our ecommerce blog has become one of the most helpful tools we provide, as it allows us a forum to communicate tips and information to our readers that can help them improve their online store, and hopefully become more successful!
Q: Do you have any other comments about ZippyCart for ShopTab readers?
A: The best thing about ZippyCart is that we love what we do. We are a small team of hard workers that tend to nerd out when it comes to all things ecommerce. Because of this, we always have happy interactions with those who visit our site. If someone contacts us, they can be sure that they will be reaching out to an expert (especially since myself or the other Co-founder Amy usually answers our forum and emails). If you want to find success selling online, but don’t know where to start, checkout ZippyCart.
Check out ZippyCart at http://zippycart.com/. Have you used ZippyCart before? Share your thoughts on the service below.
Want to have your company’s eCommerce shopping cart featured or have a Shopping Cart Recommendation for a ShopTab Cart of the Week? Contact us with your suggestion.