1. What is the #1 advantage you have over your competitors?
CS-Cart software is known for its usability, ease of customization and stable operation but what considerably differs it from other shopping cart programs now is, undoubtedly, its operation speed.
We faced the matter of performance when more and more users turned to us with the question: “Will CS-Cart handle hundreds of thousands products I plan to have in my store? What can be done to improve my site’s performance?” It was obvious that the operation speed matter is crucial and we set a goal to achieve eminent results in this area.
Apart from code optimizations, we created a high-performance solution for CS-Cart – Searchanise. It employs the Cloud Computing and the Sphinx. This absolutely free solution proved to handle millions (!) of products and hundreds and even thousands of concurrent connections. Moreover, use of this service allows to unload servers that surely affects the performance positively.
2. From your experience, should a merchant run a small shop with limited number of items, or rather a big one with many items for sale?
It depends on the peculiarities of a concrete business model. There are single-product stores based on CS-Cart as well as huge online marketplaces with millions of products and lots of independent vendors. CS-Cart is designed to satisfy needs of all: small, medium-sized and large-scale businesses.
3. Please give us one example to a successful creative move of one of your merchants.
It is rather difficult to single out just one successful example of more than 30,000 online businesses based on our product. Numerous websites remarkable in their own way come to mind. Perhaps, www.ambientlounge.ca is one of those worth mentioning.
As far as I know, they have been working in the sphere of ecommerce for several years using our software from its early to present-day versions. And over this considerable period of time we keep on observing the constant improvements in their approach to modern online business.
So what’s so special about this store? It is its usability and design that make it stand out amongst many others – as easy as ABC. As a result, shopping experience is user-friendly there which is vital in a competitive market.
4. Do many of your merchants run a brick and stone store as well?
Yes, today far from all entrepreneurs concentrate exclusively on online sales, for many, online stores are still just a complement to a business rest upon a physical store or a retail network.
As far as I remember, we had several interesting projects dealing with the integration of CS-Cart Shopping Cart software into business processes of brick-n-mortar stores.
5. Can you share any interesting plans for your platform in the near future?
There are plenty of ideas and quite exact plans such as the changes in the CS-Cart product line (http://blog.cs-cart.com/2012/09/05/edition-changes/), upcoming release of the new version of our software – CS-Cart 3.1.1. Besides, we actively develop API, work on the SaaS solution and many more, so CS-Cart users will not only get new awesome features for their stores soon but will also be able to expand horizons of their online business with us.
6. How do you cope with the high pace of changes in the eCommerce arena and specifically in the social commerce world?
Apparently, it is not enough just to keep up with the modern tendencies as you will always drag behind those who set the pace. We try to use a creative approach in our everyday work and it helps us to stay among the leading world shopping cart software developers.
7. Which big brand names are using your service?
Unfortunately, we cannot disclose brand names but I can say that we were involved in a number of projects for the leading world fashion, automobile and food companies.
8. Do you believe that in 10 years, shopping will be done mostly online?
Judging by the present-day volume of sales all over the world and especially in the United States and Europe where more and more consumers refuse to visit physical stores in favor of purchasing goods and services online, comparing to the situation 5 or even 3 years ago, I can forecast that online sales will at least reach the level of physical sales in the decade.
9. From your experience, what is the first thing a merchant should pay attention to when opening a web store?
When a merchant has already determined the way his or her products or services are positioned, when the target audience is detected, the choice of an appropriate piece of shopping cart software becomes an extremely important step.
One of the most widespread problems store owners face, is the migration of a shopping cart on a certain stage of their business development. The transfer of all products, orders and users data may turn out to be time consuming which means that an online store is out of business for some time. Naturally it incurs losses, a real headache, isn’t it?
We would advise not to try to save on such significant things as shopping cart engines from the very beginning if a company seriously plans to go in for business. Especially taking into account the fact that the use of free software or hiring a freelancer for creation of a budget-level store brings nothing but problems and turns out to be even more expensive in the end.
Of course, we understand that the financial matter is always topical for start-ups that forces them to compromise while choosing software platforms and that’s why we not only offer different editions of our shopping cart software to satisfy the needs of all types of businesses, but also plan to introduce an absolutely free version of CS-Cart with limited functionality but quite suitable for creation of an online store.
Moreover, we plan to make the transfer from free CS-Cart edition to a paid one (for instance CS-Cart Ultimate http://www.cs-cart.com/ultimate.html or CS-Cart Multi-Vendor http://www.cs-cart.com/multivendor.html) smooth and easy.
10. Tell us something about your platform that would make our readers remember it.
CS-Cart is shopping cart software that sells, what else can be said? 🙂
**We want to thank Alexander Shabayev, CS-Cart Partner Relationship Manager, who took the time to answer the above questions. CS-Cart is an amazing eCommerce platform, which we highly recommend.
Eyal is the co-founder of StoreYa and a leader in social commerce. He has extensive experience in online marketing and project management. He is passionate about building amazing products that will grow your business!
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