PDA

View Full Version : Can someone help me understand how shopping carts work?



Robert360
03-04-2014, 02:30 PM
I've never used one before because I've never had a product to sell. But I'm curious about how they work. Like when someone orders a product from your site, do you get an email or do you see it in your account on the website? Is it something you install into your control panel or something you put into your source code (not sure if I'm using the right terms)? If someone could just give me a link to a website that has the info that I need, I would really appreciate it. I tried asking on other websites but the people always get nasty and sarcastic as if I already know this stuff. I don't know anything about ecommerce which is why I'm asking for help.

Freelancier
03-04-2014, 02:56 PM
So I'm going to assume you don't even have a site yet, because if you did, you'd already have the answer. So your first step is to find a web designer/developer to work with you to develop your web presence.

You wouldn't need one if you just went and listed the product via eBay or Amazon, those sites you become a seller and offer your products within the confines of how they want you to list it (and they document all the details you need to know about how you get your money, how to handle returns, etc.).

Robert360
03-04-2014, 04:57 PM
So I'm going to assume you don't even have a site yet, because if you did, you'd already have the answer.

Correct. I figured it would be wiser to learn about this stuff now rather than rush into it when I'm ready to sell something.


So your first step is to find a web designer/developer to work with you to develop your web presence.

That's nice and all but I'd really like to know more specifically about shopping carts and how you set up an account to accept money etc. So a link to a website or book or something would be really nice.


You wouldn't need one if you just went and listed the product via eBay or Amazon, those sites you become a seller and offer your products within the confines of how they want you to list it (and they document all the details you need to know about how you get your money, how to handle returns, etc.).

No thanks. I'd really prefer to have more control over things.

Wozcreative
03-04-2014, 05:23 PM
The reason why you will need a website designer/developer is because they know how to develop it based on the answers you provide for the following sample questions:

E-Commerce Most Important Questions | InlineVision: Web Design / E-Commerce / PPC / Social Media | Las Vegas, NV (http://inlinevision.com/services-products/e-commerce-options/e-commerce-most-important-questions/)

There is literally 100's of books just to answer each and every one of those questions. Your question is far too broad.. you are basically asking "How do I build a store".
The answer: Hire someone to do it that has the experience. They can then ask you the correct questions needed and create it accordingly.

Brian Altenhofel
03-05-2014, 05:53 AM
It depends. I do a lot of ecommerce sites.

Some clients prefer email notifications. Some clients prefer a dashboard that can act as a kiosk screen that shows outstanding orders at a glance and allows them to fulfill them right there. Some clients don't touch anything that comes through their site - the products are downloaded from their suppliers, orders are placed directly with their suppliers, their suppliers dropship the orders with a private label, and the client takes the money. I even have one that splits the order between multiple retail locations for legal reasons.

None of my clients use offsite redirects for payment now, but they all consider their online store to be a primary sales channel and thus do enough in sales that the "low 2.5% rate" is absurdly high.

One thing you'll have to keep in mind, even if doing offsite redirects, is PCI-DSS compliance. If you're going to do ecommerce, you're running a HUGE risk if you try to do it on a $10/mo shared hosting provider. It's impossible for shared hosting to be PCI compliant. PCI-DSS isn't a legal regulation - it's a product of self-regulation by the payment card industry. Screwing up PCI can end up with huge fines from the credit card companies (it's in the contract) and possibly getting blacklisted by the industry.

jimr451
03-05-2014, 08:14 AM
You might try demoing some ecommerce software - one that I use is here:

SunShop Shopping Cart & Ecommerce Software (http://www.turnkeywebtools.com/sunshop/shopping-cart-software.html)

They have a demo for the front and "admin" side. This is an example of software you own and install yourself. You can install it on a hosting provider of your choice, hack new features into it, etc. However, it's your responsibility to keep it upgraded (if you choose to do so), and if anything breaks, you may have to pay to get it fixed. You can see the full "admin control panel" on the demo which allows you to configure your categories, products, shipping and payment settings, and manage transactions. Most everything is customizable.

You can also go with a "hosted" (or "cloud") based solution. Here's an example:

Ecommerce Templates & Online Store Template Examples — Shopify (http://www.shopify.com/examples)

For these sites you essentially "rent" the platform - paying a monthly fee at different tiered levels. The company maintains the software, upgrades it, etc. However you are limited to the features they build in and offer. However, you don't need to worry about things like security as much.

Regarding payment - you can get a "merchant" account to take credit cards, and hook up your cart to that. You will have an agreement with the Credit card companies and bank, and as mentioned, PCI compliance and secure handling of card information is a must. All the shopping carts will list out which payment gateways they integrate with, so check that list before you settle on a solution.


I hope this helps separate a few major options for you. It's not a simple thing to take on, so you might want to hire someone to step you through it. Good luck with the store.

-Jim

Harold Mansfield
03-05-2014, 11:11 AM
Generally the way most shopping carts work is,



yes you get an email or some kind of notice when a sale is made
They can be something you build onto an existing website, or stand alone solutions
They can be hosted, or self hosted.
There is normally some kind of Admin panel. Options vary. Some track inventory. Some have other tools like running news letters. Some are specifically for Digital Downloads. Some are better for dropshipping. And most have add ons that extend the functionality.


There is no one website to give you a link to that explains every possible thing. There are hundreds of options out there and people use each for different reasons. Some are better than others depending on your needs.

The first thing would be to determine what you are selling, and what options you would like a cart system to have.

Do you want something that you host and can learn to run yourself?
Do you want something hosted that includes tech support?
What kind of budget are you working with?
How extensive is your catalog?
Is it a physical or digital product?

And on and on.

I know you want a simple answer, but there is no simple answer because ecommerce is not one size fits all.

michaelstark61
03-23-2014, 12:08 AM
Exactly ecommerce is not one size fits all. Ones needs to take the services of website designer/ developer to sell his/her products online. Or else they can take the services of sites like amazon.