General Question

erint23's avatar

Adding a shopping cart into my e-commerce website?

Asked by erint23 (35 points ) August 17th, 2011

I am opening up my own e-commerce website where I will be selling affordable clothes to the public online, very much like Victoria’s Secrets and ASOS. The problem now is that I don’t have much money to invest into website development and would like to do the whole website myself – inclusive of website development, website maintence, etc.

Can anyone recommend a good website to go to to download any templates? Also, how do I add a shopping cart and include a credit card payment thing? Do I have to approach the bank for approval?

Would be great if anyone of you can enlighten me on the whole process! Thank you!

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11 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

It’s a huge question, so lets get you a couple resources to get you started.

The easiest way to get everything you’re looking for in one place would be to go with a service like Big Cartel or Shopify which can do it all and have a lot of tools for folks who don’t want to have to focus on web development to get running. They make an excellent way to get online quickly.

If you have some development experience and want to do things yourself, there’s some good open source carts that can get you started. I like Magento and they now offer a hosted version that might be easier to manage overall at Magento Go. It’s a great cart, but you’ll probably need to get in and tinker with it at some point, so I don’t recommend it if you’re not comfortable with that or can’t hire anybody to help you out.

If you don’t go with an all-in-one type service, you’ll need to have a way to process payments. The easiest route is probably through PayPal, which can handle your credit cards for your as well (at least in the US). You can also apply for a merchant account at your bank most likely. If you go that route, you’ll also need an online payment gateway. Authorize.net is probably still the big dog for payment gateways.

There are other alternatives out there in all these categories that may fit your specific needs better, but these are good places to start comparing.

As a final note, there’s a reason there’s a whole industry built around making websites in general and online stores specifically. It’s a lot to keep track of and a lot to learn if you’re going to do it all. Many folks find it easier to let someone else handle the construction of the site while they worry about building the business as a whole.

I’m not by any means discouraging you from giving it a shot, especially if it’s something you want to learn, but just expressing that depending on the size of business you’re looking to build, this may be a good place to spend some money up front to make sure it’s done right.

Good luck with the business and I hope you’re very successful.

Cruiser's avatar

I use Authorize.net and you also will need a shipper account and have found UPS has a pretty cooperative add on that calculates the needed shipping costs. The internet is where it is at as we now get more and more orders off the web and from regular customers too!

erint23's avatar

thank you @funkdaddy that was very helpful! I’m definitely gonna give it a try, and if it’s too much and it gets in the way of the business im afraid i will have to outsource it (but it’s so bleedy expensive!)

thanks @Cruiser i hope it works with Singapore too as i am not based in USA.

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