Subscription growth hack (by PayKickstart)
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If you’re looking to add a checkout cart to your website, one of the first questions you need to ask is whether you should have a custom checkout solution built or should instead use something like PayKickstart that works right out of the box.
Which cart is right for you?
There are advantages and drawbacks to each approach, so let’s take a deeper look.
“Custom solution,” says it all. If you develop or pay someone to develop a customized checkout solution, you can set it up exactly how you want. Often, those companies that do opt for custom solutions have highly specific needs and are willing to pay a lot to meet those needs.
Costs, however, are a major concern. A custom shopping cart solution will usually start at about $500 but expect the cart to be bare bones. Of course, you can pay for further customization but you’ll have to shell out a lot more to cover development costs. You may also end up having to pay for updates, maintenance, and more.
Hiring programmers can get expensive.
Many custom shopping carts do not charge transaction fees like Shopify and some other prebuilt carts. This is great! However, PayKickstart also eschews transaction fees, instead of charging a monthly or yearly subscription free.
As the old saying goes, time is money. That’s true of your time as a business owner or manager. Keep in mind that building a custom solution will usually require a lot of input on your part.
Time is also an issue when it comes to selling. If you have to wait an extended period of time before you can start selling, you could miss out on sales.
It might be weeks or months before you have your payment system in place. An out-of-the-box solution like PayKickstart, on the other hand, can often be installed in just a couple of hours.
Arguably the biggest problem with a custom solution is that it simply might not be as good as a pre-built cart. A lot of science, experimentation, and testing goes into developing an effective shopping cart that encourages conversions. With custom shopping carts, you often miss out on all of that.
While the custom solution provider can provide insights, you’ll often have to pay consulting and design fees. Further, simply implementing tools and features can be very time consuming, especially if they are built from scratch.
At PayKickstart, we’ve obsessed over improving conversions, customer lifetime value, repeat sales, and other metrics. While we respect the early versions of our shopping cart, we also know that we’ve come a long way in the years since. With custom solutions, you’ll miss out on that evolution of features and design.
1-Click Upsells are one of the many powerful conversion tools PayKickstart offers.
If you do decide to update your custom solution or add more features, you’ll have to hire a developer to add the features.
Ultimately, a custom shopping cart may simply not be as well optimized as the best out-of-the-box shopping carts available. That additional customization could, in fact, be getting in the way of optimization.
If you use a custom shopping cart solution, maintenance and security updates will often fall onto you and your staff. If there is a flaw in the code, you may have to update the code yourself, or else pay a developer to do so. Should the shopping cart be compromised, you may end up being responsible.
Likewise, you’ll often either have to pay someone to maintain the code or you’ll have to do it yourself. Most software programs, even well-built ones, require regular maintenance and updates. While some custom solution providers will provide maintenance for a limited period of time, and may also fix major flaws with their code, eventually the costs will fall to you.
For the vast majority of businesses, a custom-built shopping cart simply isn’t necessary. In fact, unless the shopping cart is expertly optimized and includes advanced conversion tools, you’ll probably suffer worse results while paying a premium.
Most good pre-built shopping cart solutions can be quickly integrated into your website. While it might take weeks to develop a custom shopping cart, you should be able to install a prebuilt solution within a day or two. You may end up tweaking the cart further, but regardless you can start selling right away.
While you might think that a custom shopping cart solution would be more feature-rich, the opposite is often true. At PayKickstart, for example, we have built numerous advanced conversion tools into our shopping cart. Order bumps can be used to monetize your shopping cart, our subscription saver makes it easy to solve payment issues with subscriptions, and our data analytics tools make it easy to view all of the insights.
When it comes to pre-built solutions, you can buy and install stand-alone software or you can subscribe to “Software-as-a-Solution” (SaaS). If you opt for SaaS, the provider will provide most of the maintenance needed to ensure that your software is running smoothly.
They will also handle updates and ensure that security gaps are addressed. This could help you save money in the long run and you’ll be able to rest easier, knowing that the software itself is secure. You’ll still have to take measures on your own end, such as using hard-to-crack passwords, but you won’t have to worry about forgetting to install a security update.
Great SaaS providers also regularly optimize their software and add new features. Over the years, PayKickstart has added a variety of tools. Our customers have gotten access to many of these new tools and features at no additional cost.
Most organizations will be better served by a pre-built shopping cart solution. Installation and maintenance are easier and security will be tighter. Perhaps most importantly, the overall results will usually be better. With the right pre-built shopping cart, you could enjoy more conversions and higher revenues. At the same time, if you chose a shopping cart that doesn’t charge transaction fees, you can also keep costs low.
Michael Harbone is an experienced copywriter, writing professionally since 2017. He has written for multiple digital marketing companies gaining the reputation for writing engaging, concise articles one which received an award from Upcity.Read More About Michael Harbone