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Online store setup question from newbie
bootsy19981




msg:643716
 8:00 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hello group

I just found this site on yesterday and am overwhelmed with the great information that I have come across so far. I have a question to ask and hope someone can shed some light on things for me.

I want to embark on starting an online web store utilizing a drop ship method of obtaining goods until I can decide on a direction I want to go longterm. I keep seeing the terms 'shopping cart' and 'ecommerce software solution' thrown about and wondered if someone could tell me exactly what is meant by them. I was under the impression that one would have to buy an ecommerce software package or utilize one provided by a host site in order to design the online store from bottom up. Is the shopping cart a module that is needed to go along with this or is that a term that means the same thing..i.e a software solution that just goes by a different name than ecommerce software?

There are soooooooooo many solutions out there I really don't know where to start. I would prefer an out of the box solution that I can work with and configure alone.

thanks

 

chicagohh




msg:643717
 8:18 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Many books could be written just to properly answer your question ... here is a short verson.

I keep seeing the terms 'shopping cart' and 'ecommerce software solution' thrown about and wondered if someone could tell me exactly what is meant by them.

Sometimes these phrases are used interchangeably, but more often they are seperate.

A shopping cart is often a plug in module that can be taylored for your needs. Some are more flexible than others. I wrote my own just so I could have the flexiblity that I wanted. You typically load product sku's into a database and add the needed code on product pages to communicate with the shopping cart/database.

An ecommerce software solution can be a huge application or suite of applications. Some are integrated into various WYSIWYG programs and help you build your entire site. And, some are just shopping carts.

I was under the impression that one would have to buy an ecommerce software package or utilize one provided by a host site in order to design the online store from bottom up.

No, most shopping carts are stand alone applications. You add a few lines of code (typically a form) to a product page. These lines of code are represented by the "Add to Cart" buttons you so often see at sites. When the button is pressed the page data is sent to the cart (along with your customer).

There are soooooooooo many solutions out there I really don't know where to start. I would prefer an out of the box solution that I can work with and configure alone.

Just do a search on Google for 'shopping cart'. You can also search Webmasterworld much better using Google that the sites search options. Use Googles advanced features and limit you scope to the webmasterworld.com domain.

juniperwasting




msg:643718
 8:22 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome to Webmasterworld!

Drop shipping is a great way to boost incoming capital without investing the vast sums in warehousing and shipping, I say go right ahead with that.

Shopping carts are part of any ecommerce package, and often the terms are used in place of each other. There are many platforms available to you, both pre-made and "out of the box" as you put it.

Some of the things you will need to think about before you decide on a cart:

1) Will you want to manage the hosting?
1.5) Will you want to manage your server?
2) Will you be trying to handle large or smaller volume?
3) Do you wish to use a windows/linux/bsd/OSX platform?

OScommerce offers many customizable features for smaller to mid-sized e-stores, and works with most major credit card gateways. It is up to you to customize it, but that sounds like what you are looking for.

bootsy19981




msg:643719
 3:23 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the information. You have made things a lot clearer for me.

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