GoECart Provides Shopping Cart Solution for Serious Ecommerce Businesses
By Greg Holden
In a previous column, I wrote about a shopping cart/ecommerce platform that provides a substantial number of services to startups at low prices. Suppose you aren't exactly a startup. You've been in business for a while, perhaps with a brick-and-mortar store, and you want to expand to online sales. But you want to do it right: you want to invest in an advanced site, one that presents consumers with a streamlined shopping experience.
For middle market businesses looking to get online and willing to make an investment in their hosting solution, GoECart is there to meet their needs. GoECart is not for those on a tight budget. Its Small Business Solution, for instance, has a Professional set of services that costs $4999 per year or $499 per month. The Premier Edition runs $7999 per year or $749 per month.
For "mom and pop" businesses trying to get a foothold in the market, these might seem like high prices for ecommerce hosting. But for an established brick-and-mortar store that wants to expand its operation to the Web and operate on par with its competitors, or for an existing Web-based business that wants to grow in clientele and revenue, GoECart can provide an attractive set of options.
"While we have some big brand names among our customers, our solutions are primarily directed toward small and mid-size companies," says Manish Chowdhary, 31, CEO of GoECart. "I would say we help serious businesses. It's not the size that matters, but how they view ecommerce. Is this strategy the best one? Is this approach important? An established business is going to put the time and resources behind it. We target companies that have an excellent brick and mortar presence and that want to expand and have a commitment toward success."
GoECart is an outgrowth of a previous company that Chowdhary founded in 1999 while a student on the campus of the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. That company, MachroTech, assembled computers and sold them to students on campus.
Chowdhary comes from a family of businesspeople, and felt the entrepreneurial itch when Macrotech started to become well known. In order to sell his computers worldwide, he built an ecommerce website. After graduating, he focused on growing the company and bringing in business. His staff began to build ecommerce websites for other companies. He decided to focus exclusively on ecommerce solutions, and in 2003, GoECart was born. The company still has its headquarters in Bridgeport.
As you probably know if you have looked for a company of your own to host and help you develop an ecommerce website, there are hundreds of players in the field. Chowdhary says GoECart's drive for innovation sets it apart from the competition. "We really believe in product innovation." He also cites advanced features that affect the experience a shopper has when navigating an ecommerce site: rich media, search engine optimization, faceted search, and "intelligent shopping carts" that remember who a shopper is when he or she revisits a site.
GoECart's list of clients includes some big names, but smaller businesses host with GoECart as well. Ray Miller, president of MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com, chose them when he was just starting his own company in 2003.
"We chose GoECart as our shopping cart host because we needed a solution that was flexible and could be tailored to our specific needs," Miller says. "They have been both responsive and innovative to our custom Web site needs."
Miller says his business has grown exponentially over the years, even in tough economic times. "GoECart's SEO-friendly architecture is one of our favorite features," he says. "This has allowed us to generate over 80 percent of our Web site traffic organically over the last seven years. The more organic traffic we can generate, the lower our total advertising costs." He also praises his hosting service's customer support.
GoECart, like many other shopping cart platforms, provides Software as a Service (SAAS): you pay a monthly fee, and your site is located on one of GoECart's servers, where the ecommerce features can be continually maintained and improved. "We like to call it free upgrades and innovation delivered for a lifetime, seamlessly," comments Chowdhary.
Why does GoECart charge more per month for its services than other shopping cart/ecommerce platforms? "Generally we are dealing with businesses that are going to be serious about ecommerce," he says. "They have gigantic plans, and they need that level of service and support. If you are migrating a site that is already somewhat of a success, it has to be done with all the T's crossed, so business doesn't take a dip."
Looking to the future, GoECart is working on adding some "hot" features to its site, including social marketing, mobile commerce, and personalization. Because online commerce is becoming so competitive, with big players becoming bigger at the expense of small businesses, it's important to avoid mistakes and at the same time add the features that will give shoppers a positive experience, Chowdhary says.
"It's like launching a rocket into space," he adds. If you don't do it right, it will drop back like the force of gravity. You want to align yourself with the right group of people to make sure that does not happen."
Find more information on the GoECart website.
For a look at AuctionBytes' ongoing shopping-cart series, see the following links:
Four Tips for Selecting an Ecommerce Shopping Cart (June 6, 2010) - Link to article
ZenCart Helps You Build Your Own Store Online (June 20, 2010) - Link to article
Shopping Cart from Magento Helps Entrepreneurs Launch Ecommerce Websites (July 11, 2010) - Link to article
3DCart Brings Ecommerce to Startups on a Budget (July 25, 2010) - Link to article
About the author:
Greg Holden is EcommerceBytes Contributing Editor. He is a journalist and the author of many books, including "Starting an Online Business For Dummies," "Go Google: 20 Ways to Reach More Customers and Build Revenue with Google Business Tools," and several books about eBay, including "How to Do Everything with Your eBay Business," second edition, and "Secrets of the eBay Millionaires," both published by Osborne-McGraw Hill. Find out more on Greg's website, which includes his blog, a list of his books, and his fiction and biographical writing.
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