When Should You Upgrade from PayPal to an Online Shopping Cart?

Online Shopping Cart or PayPal

This is a common question when someone wants to start selling online – should I use an online shopping cart or PayPal? The answer depends upon where your business is in its life cycle. The answer can change as your business grows.

PayPal is Great for New Internet Marketers

So you have a great product or service that you want to sell. You created a website and now you want to take orders. When you are just starting to sell online – PayPal is a great option. You can start with no monthly fees – only being charged a transaction fee when you make sales.

It is easy to setup a PayPal button(s) and add them to your website to start collecting money. A lot of people already use PayPal and trust it so it adds confidence to some of your customers that they can buy from you.

What are the cons of PayPal?

There as a lot of people online who are familiar with PayPal and trust it. There are just as many or more people who don’t use PayPal. So you are missing out on a lot of potential customers who don’t want to setup a PayPal account.

With PayPal once someone decides to buy your product they are transferred to the PayPal website. Once there your customer has to go through the steps of logging into PayPal and checking out (or create a new account if they don’t have one). This of course breaks two cardinal rules of selling online.

#1 Make sure your brand is visible throughout the entire process.

By leaving your site you now have to trust PayPal to finish the sale. If they are familiar and have an account with PayPal – no problem. If they don’t know PayPal, however, you now have another hurdle to overcome. You have your brand and the PayPal brand competing against each other.

#2 The less steps to checkout the more sales you will have.

Ideally you want someone to only have one step once they click the Add to Cart button. In a perfect world they would be able to fill out all their information including payment information on one form – click checkout and be sent straight to your Thank You page after it is successful. With PayPal there are many steps even after you create your account.

When should I start using an online shopping cart?

Your better online shopping carts are going to cost you some – probably monthly. As a result, I typically don’t recommend starting with an online shopping cart right away. It is better to take that money and invest it in advertising to increase your sales.

Once you are generating several hundred (300-400) dollars a month then I would recommend getting a good online shopping cart. At this point your business can support the additional investment of an online shopping cart.

This investment will help you grow your business – you can still use PP integrated with your shopping cart but you can also take credit cards right on your website. Typically, we see sales double once you start taking credit cards on your site.