Shopping cart applications have become more and more popular for small business owners. Gone are the days when the idea of an eCommerce site was only reserved for “big” corporations. Smaller businesses can implement shopping cart components into their websites at a reasonable cost with a back-end that makes managing products a breeze. Online shopping continues to grow at a staggering rate. The 2013 holiday shopping season once again confirmed this trend. Black Friday 2013 was the first billion-dollar-plus online shopping day, with total online sales for the day reaching $1.2 billion, up 15% over 2012.
At 540 we have implemented a number of online shopping components for clients from simple registration forms with online payment processing to complete online mobile ready stores. The majority of this eCommerce functionality is built right into an existing website to reduce the cost of building a new eCommerce site. In this article we will take a look at 2 client sites that contain shopping cart features, one built with a simple Paypal plugin and another with a full eCommerce store featuring 100+ products and user account management.
Simple Online Shopping Components
JKFlashy is a premier makeup services company in Westchester County, NY. Although their primary business is makeup application they started developing their own line makeup products and needed a simple solution to start selling products online. Since a full online store was not required we used the Paypal API to setup a products and add-to-cart buttons directly onto a page within the website. The advantages of this Paypal approach includes:
- Lower Cost- Uses existing Paypal functionality reducing the cost to implement full eCommerce into the website.
- Transactions processed outside of the client website- although the shopping is done within the site, the transaction is completed through the Paypal server, eliminating the need to incorporate secure SSL functionality on the website.
With this solution you are taking existing code from Paypal to implement into the website and Paypal will handle the secure credit card processing. It’s a cost effective approach but does have some limitations mainly in customization and the fact that the customer will leave your website to process the payment through Paypal.
Complete eCommerce Solution
North American Wireless Solutions (NAWSNY) is a national wholesale distributor of cell phones and related merchandise for the Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin brands. They contacted 540 to build a complete eCommerce solution with custom shopping cart functionality that allowed for orders to be processed directly through their warehouse.
The NAWSNY website was built on WordPress with a customized version of the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce straight out of the box is an extremely powerful eCommerce solution for complete online store functionality with customer account management.
Some of the highlights on typical client eCommerce builds includes:
- Easy to use dashboard with order summaries and various types of reporting on sales, customers and stock
- Shipping & tax settings
- Customer login and account management
- Product & inventory management
- Promotions including the ability to add coupons
- Payment gateway integration
I have been using WooCommerce extensively and find with a good knowledge of CSS and WordPress coding it can be highly customized to meet the client’s requirements.
If you are considering an online store option for your website please send us an email to see how one of these solutions or other eCommerce options can be implemented into your website.