If you are looking to open an online store, you are likely to have seen many advertisements for a package deal. Some of these deals are better than others, but before you start comparing prices, you need to understand that there are certain things any package deal should include. The following are among the most important.

A good shopping cart

Amazingly enough, there are companies that will offer you a store, but there is no shopping cart. In these situations, it is up to you to get your own shopping cart, and then integrate this with your store. For most people, this is a waste of time. You want to sell online and not become a software expert. Online shopping carts are a part of any good package deal. They are essential for customers to check out and pay for their items. In fact, a shopping cart is the most fundamental factor that separates an eCommerce site from other types of websites.

The ability to make your own store

You don’t want to have a store that looks like every other store. Your online store needs to stand out and be different from others, especially your competitors. Many stores that are prepackaged will look the same except for a difference in a heading or banner. A good package deal will include many templates that can be modified in many different ways. The number of possibilities for the look of your store should be large.

Bulk upload capability for your inventory

You need to be able to upload your entire inventory in one file. This may not be an issue if you are only selling a few products, but the more products you have, the more difficult it is to create your new retail store. Manual entry is too time consuming. Also, you should be able to download your current inventory from your website. For retailers with large inventories, it is often easier to take an offline inventory, and then once you have an accurate inventory number, to purge your old inventory and replace it with your new, accurate inventory with a single bulk file.

Payment integration

Pay attention to what method of payments you will be able to accept in your new store. You will want to offer all of the popular methods of payments, so you do not lose any business. Your site should also have a Secure Sockets Layer certificate. Without an SSL certificate, a customer’s web browser will likely warn the user that the site may be unsafe. In addition, an SSL certificate will give customers confidence when they buy your products.

A tiered package offer

When you first start a retail business online, you will not need every feature that can be offered in a package. Therefore, you want to use a company that has at least three different levels of service. Some of the things you may not need in the beginning include full-featured marketing tools. Also, you may not need as much memory for storage, but as your business grows, you will need to increase this.

The above list may not include something that is important to your specific product line, so you will need to make a note of anything else to look for when comparing eCommerce packages.