I created a business website for a family business which is growing.
It's my family, and I'm a software developer, but I don't want to rebuild the wheels or be a shopping cart programmer. For this business, I need the web store to "just work", but... it gets complicated...
There are two parts of this business website. One of them is driven by Wordpress and I use the awesome Thesis theme. This is modern, flexible, and saves me a lot of time from doing custom coding and styling. I couldn't be more pleased with this arrangement.
The other part of the site is a Zen Cart store. It's administration and it's flexibility is frustrating and archaic Web 1.0. For the past few years, I keep hearing that the developers are working on a 2.0 version of Zen Cart, but they haven't communicated anything significant in the past few years other than to say, "When it's ready, we'll let you know."
What I'm looking for in a cart, I would need to install 6-10 additional mods, and would need to do a lot of custom coding.
I'm now willing to pay for a top-notch e-commerce solution for a small business that we can grow up into a larger business over time.
Extremely flexible shipping that let's us set up rules per product/category, tables of rates, calculated rates, max package weighs, etc. (flexibility like that available with CEON Advance Shipping Module for Zen Cart
Coupons and gift certificates
Manual order entry for phone orders
Multi-channel support (We also sell on Amazon, eBay, use Google Base and we want to maintain one set of inventory and have it kept current)
Decent SEO features
Reviews and star-ratings on products
Easy social networking features for sharing, following, liking, etc)
Easy integration with AdWords and analytics tracking
Modern and very usable product and store administration (Like I was saying, I'm spoiled by Wordpress and Thesis)
At the end of the day, I don't care if it's a hosted solution or if I have to host it myself. I just want something that is going to stay up-to-date, regularly be maintained and improved, and if I have to update it, things like the one-click update present in Wordpress is something it has to have.
Professional Webmasters, if you had to run a store / website, but you had to spend your time focusing on your sales and marketing efforts rather than diffing php files and copying and tweaking them to change even the slightest details of your site, what would you choose?