Shopping Cart

Todd-Art4you

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Posts
122
From
Ontario, Canada
I am in the process of building my own website. So far so good. I am using Dream weaver and want to include a shopping cart component. I don't want to use pay pal etc and want to host it myself. Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences they can give.

Thanks
Todd
 

Framerguy

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Apr 12, 2001
Posts
7,261
From
Destin, Florida
Yes, ............. don't!

To set up your own shopping cart and conduct business over the internet requires a secure site/page for the credit card transactions and they are fairly difficult to do from scratch and require more expenses and time than they are worth at the start of your website sales. You probably have high hopes of selling a bunch through your website but, take it from a guy who had a working website for 4 years, PayPal is the way to go, or some processor akin to PayPal. They have the shopping cart all set up for you, they only charge you for your actual sales online, and you don't have to maintain the shopping cart, secure website page, nor pay a monthly fee for doing business on the web from a regular merchant service.

Just my personal opinion but that has been my experience. I sold 1 to 3 items per month when I started and the fees from PayPal were nominal compared to what it would have cost me to do it all myself.

Framerguy
 

Mark Rogers

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Posts
138
From
Dallas, TX
I agree with Framerguy. E-commerce is a steep learning curve. Not that you should not try to climb it, but it is hard to jump to the top in one leap. PayPal is a safe economical way to get started. I believe Papal will allow people to pay without opening an account now, although I am sure you have less protection which is not much issue for us vendors since we don't really have much anyway. You will have plenty of other details to worry about such as database inventory management, taxes, and real time shipping calculations.

As you go further up the ladder there are a couple of paths that I am aware of. You can go with a service like Yahoo. They provide the hosting and all the backend functionality such inventory management, statistics, shopping cart, merchant gateway and shipping interface but you have to pay $40 a month plus pay a transaction charge. One nice thing about a place like Yahoo is since they are well known to have secure sites you might get a little better discount rate from your merchant account company. Or you can just have a company host your website and you either buy shopping cart software or hire someone to create your website for you. This cost more money and time up front, but then your long term hosting charges fall to about $20 a month or less.

You might need a new merchant account. Some do not like to mess with the Internet and charge considerably higher rates if they allow it at all.

Mark
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 7, 1999
Posts
3,807
From
Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
Todd,

We operate a true, secure shopping cart on our website, which is hosted locally by a small company. There are some distinct advantages to having your site designed and maintained by a professional company. One is the economics of size. They purchase the shopping cart portion for our site is bulk, and charge us a monthly fee of $10.00 for the shopping cart portion.

We happen to use Cart 32 , but there are many others out there as well. This software has tons of flexibility, where I can design and control shipping methods, charges, etc.

Credit card charges btw, are run through our conventional instore system. With CVV2 security, this is easy. We've run almost 400 web orders through this system in the past 12 months.

Todd, if you're heading to Las Vegas in January, I'll be conducting my seminar for PFM, Building a Better Framing & Artwork Website.....unabashed plug!


John
 

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Posts
4,859
From
Kodak, Tn. USA
We do quite a bit of on-line sales. Nothing to compare with John, I assure you, but a fair amount relative to our business size.

We don't have a cart system as of yet. For the time being, the customer calls and places the order. I'm sure we lose some sales, but for the time being, that can't be helped.

A cart system is definately the best way to go, but don't let things being "perfect" stop you from doing what you can, when you can.

Too many people wait until they get all their ducks in a row to do anything.

Sometimes, ducks don't like to line up...

Betty
 

Bill Henry-

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Posts
20,885
From
Boondock Bowerbank, ME
Business
Retired from the grind
Todd,

I agree with the other guys. Let someone else handle the problems.

If memory serves, I believe that to truly build such a shopping cart from scratch, you will need to take a side trip from learning DreamWeaver and immerse yourself in the intricacies and nuances of JavaScript.

After I felt comfortable with Adobe GoLive, I explored trying to build forms and link it with the “shopping cart” that my server provides, but got discouraged when I found out how involved it was.

I suggest that you farm it out.
 

Mike Labbe

Administrator
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Posts
18,229
From
Lincoln, RI
Business
Get The Picture
Most internet providers provide a free cart system with the package. You just have to secure the bank's permission/merchant account.

We don't have any immediate plans to add a shopping cart to our site, although we get a small amount of internet generated phone orders. It's on the long term goals list...

John: I wish we had signed up for your class in Atlanta!
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 7, 1999
Posts
3,807
From
Appleton, Wisconsin, USA
Originally posted by B. Newman:
......but don't let things being "perfect" stop you from doing what you can, when you can.

Too many people wait until they get all their ducks in a row to do anything.....
Betty,

You are one of the most well read, business oriented framers I know, but I'm going to strongly dissagree with your philosophy stated above.

Web savy visitors are intolerant of partially completed websites, and "non-up-to-date" methods. Folks who shop on the internet, do so for one of two reasons.....1) They're very busy people, or 2) They live on the internet.
In both of these situations, how much time do you think a visitor will spend on a website, when they read...

To place an order for any of our wonderful items, please print this form and fax or mail this to us at......

They've already backed to the search term, and moved on to another site. :( Don't let that happen. The phrase, Do it Right, or don't do it at all holds more water when you're discussing web business than anywhere else.

Don't launch your website, until it's user friendly, and developed. Positioning the site is another matter, but any visitors should have an experience that keeps them on your site, and makes them want to come back.

Geee......just like a real store.

John
 

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Posts
4,859
From
Kodak, Tn. USA
Thank you John. You are so right. I guess I'm so used to people using the "yeah, but" excuse for all kinds of customer service and marketing that it spills over into this catagory as well.

There is also a big difference when you're selling something that is very difficult to find, and something that is readily available. I guess that's where it works for me.

I stand corrected. (and by a better source than any available!)

betty
 
Top