If you sell anything online, whether digital products and services or physical goods, a shopping cart is required to process the order and interface with a payment processor.
Some payment processors, for instance, PayPal provides buttons and links you can use to place on your website, or in an email or blog post. However, since their main business is payment processing, they usually are not very flexible or robust as they were not designed from the ground up to act as an independent shopping cart to use everywhere.
2005 Was So Long Ago in Internet Years
Like most internet marketers, my first use of an online payment processor was with PayPal. I used its buttons to sell books and consulting in the early years of my online business, which began in 2005. At various times, I’ve also used Stripe, Square, Mint, and Authorize.net to process payments. Today, I use a combination of PayPal and Stripe.
Built-in shopping carts are often handy. That is the case with my online course platform. I have used Teachable for three years and am very happy with its performance. Through Zapier, which connects web apps, it integrates with my Infusionsoft email marketing provider. I’m not targeting international sales. If I did, Teachable could be set up to collect and pay EU VAT taxes, for instance. It also has a built-in affiliate program that makes automatic payouts to affiliates for me.
Why Would I Want to Use an Independent Third-Party Shopping Cart?
Given Teachable does so much, why would I want or need an independent shopping cart service?
I have several reasons:
- First, I don’t like being entirely dependent on a dedicated platform like Teachable. I want to know I can use my shopping cart anywhere I choose without restrictions.
- Second, I take great comfort and get value knowing I can promote my products on my website, blog, Facebook, and via email directly with no constraints on who can take my payments or what service I use to send my emails.
- Third, it’s the only way to get options to make bump sales, upsells, downsells, and more.
- Lastly, I want the ability to tag customers who make a purchase, abandon the cart, request a refund, or have a payment declined. Each of those gives me options to save a sale.
Okay, Why Should Artists Consider an Independent Shopping Cart?
The reasons why an artist would use an independent shopping cart are many.
- To start, all the reasons listed above apply to artists.
- You can integrate it with your blog or website, and even Facebook, to sell from pages within them directly.
- You can use it to make an upsell when someone purchases from you. You are only limited by your creativity when it comes to offering an upsell. Think about providing upscale framing options, color or design services, art classes, workshops, or trips.
- You could offer an affordable hanging service within a given area.
- Use it to help you set up a membership, or trial membership to your collector society.
- You could upsell to offer note cards or other goods that bear the image of the original art, and so on.
I Use and Recommend ThriveCart
Here is a screenshot from ThriveCart showing the drop set behavior rules that will pass tags from ThriveCart to Infusionsoft. If a buyer abandons the cart, the tag can be used to initiate an email sequence to the potential buyer. It could offer a coupon for an extra 10% discount or something else to help save the sale. By the way, ThriveCart makes using coupons with it easy.