Individual business needs will always vary but when it comes to an easy, painless customer shopping experience, having great shopping cart software installed within your site can speak volumes about your credibility and reputation. Shopping cart platforms help you advertise and sell products as well as give your customers the option to check out as a guest or create and log into an account. Most shopping cart software is PCI compliant and either offers SSL certificates with software plans built into the price of the service or will allow you the option of shared SSL certificates with additional fees. According to Ryan Hansen of Top Ten Reviews, “Every company in our shopping cart review provides web hosting along with its online store builder. For our in-depth testing of each software, we assessed each platform based on our proprietary ease-of-use score. This score incorporates types of editors available – CSS or HTML – as well as how efficiently our reviewers could complete specific tasks, such as customizing a template, changing texts and images, and adding products. Volusion and Pinnacle each earned high ease-of-use scores in our reviewer-conducted tests. (Hansen)”
As well as offering a deluxe shopping cart experience, there are other tools you can implement on your website or blog to help monetize your business. I think the most common is the use of affiliate marketing. You want to start by finding a product that you use and love and start advertising it on your site. By providing an affiliate link, you can earn anywhere from 30-70% of the product price. This is just by referring someone who clicks on your link and purchases! Similarly, another way to monetize your business is by accepting donations from visitors. Robert Mening of "33 Proven Ways To Monetize a Website (or a Blog)" says that “Accepting one-off donations isn’t a fast road to wealth, however, it can help you cover expenses in the short-term if people like what you have to say and want to support your journey. (Mening)” If you have a strong community of site visitors with a dedicated following, this could be a good way to bring in some extra cash for your business.