Do you feel like the more you read about shopping carts, the more difficult it is to choose the most optimal solution for your online store? Let me help you make the right decision. Here are the basic factors you need to consider because these elements will limit your possible options.
Your level of expertise
If you are tech-savvy and know how to code, open source carts are most recommended for you. They are offered for free and with proper skills you can use the out-of-box features to create a functional online store all by yourself. However, if your programming skills are nonexistent or if you worry that designing an online store from scratch is too much for you, choose one of the hosted shopping carts (e.g. Shopify or Volusion).
If you plan to spend $100 or less a month on your online store maintenance, hosted shopping carts are the best choice. If you plan to spend more than $100, but less than $500 a month, you can either choose advanced hosted plans or an open source shopping cart and pay for a hosting server. Hosting of your online store will cost around $100 a month, plus you might also need to pay for additional plugins and software to enhance the performance of your store. If you can spend $500 or more, you can choose an open source platform and hire Magento programmers to help you create and run the store.
The size of your eCommerce business
If you plan to sell less than 500 products through your online store, paid shopping carts are perfect for hosting product catalogs of this size. However, if you plan to sell 500+ products, hosted shopping carts will be too slow for you. Online retailers with vast catalogs of products should consider Magento as the platform for their online stores.