Website Design and E-commerce Merchant
Serving Businesses in Pleasanton,
Livermore, Dublin, Danville, San Ramon, Tri-Valley, Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Pittsburg, Oakland, Alameda, San
Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley, Fremont, Newark, Union City, and all of the San Francisco Bay Area
If you plan to sell products
or services directly on the Internet you will
need a "shopping cart" as part
of your ecommerce website to allow customers
to make purchases directly from your site with
credit cards, PayPal, or other forms of payment.
Most people are very familiar with buying over
the Internet these days, but if you are new to
the "seller side" of ecommerce,
we can help to explain the many different options and
what is involved with each. Also, please see our
related articles - Getting
Started In ECommerce - Part One and Part
Shopping Cart Basics
We have been creating ecommerce
sites for many years and we're happy to explain their
various features and capabilities, which vary widely.
They can run the gamut from simple sites with just a
few products or services to full
database shopping cart sites with features to rival
Amazon.com. By the way, the term "shopping cart"
generally refers to the software on a website that gives
site visitors the ability to order products or services.
At a basic level, shopping carts generally perform the
- List and total the costs for items
- Calculate Sales Tax
- Calculate Shipping and Handling
- Accept Shipping and Billing information
- Allow for multiple forms of payment,
including secure credit card transactions
- Electronically process the transaction
(optional, but common)
- Notify the site owner of the sale
While shopping carts can sometimes
include many more involved functions, all shopping cart
software or services should provide these features as
Examples of other capabilities (see
cart features) include:
- Secure password protected administration
- Ability to create and maintain product
and/or category pages
- Template-driven designs for easy
- Unlimited number of products and
- Wide variety of options for shipping
- Real-time shipping rates for UPS,
Fedex, USPS and others
- Support for downloadable products
- Most Popular products display
- Discount coupons and gift certificates
- Specials listings
- Moderated product reviews and ratings
- Related products, accessories, and
- Support for wide variety of payment
types and gateways
- Online orders tracking
- Customizable printable packing slips
- Product stock accounting / inventory
- Comprehensive orders statistics
- Many more...
Different companies, products, and
services have widely different requirements for ecommerce
websites. Because we've developed ecommerce sites for
over 12 years, we're familiar with and can recommend
a variety of solid e-commerce/shopping cart software,
online e-commerce services, or custom solutions depending
on the needs of our clients. Because we are
familiar with a wide variety of options, we can recommend
the solution that best fits your needs.
If you want to allow your customers
to use a credit card, you will need a merchant account
specifically for that purpose. If you take
credit cards directly now, you already have a merchant
account. Unfortunately, the major credit card companies
require that you have a separate merchant account for
use with online transactions.
Many businesses set up merchant accounts
through their bank, and that can be a good option. However,
particularly for lower volume businesses, independent
credit cart processing companies can often provide very
good service at more competitive rates. We can help
Whatever solution you choose, your
credit card processor can arrange a "payment gateway"
to work directly with your shopping cart software or
service. This is the service that allows your
online store to process credit cards "realtime".
The alternative is for order and credit card information
to be stored for secure retrieval, but this type of
system is not used as frequently as it once was.
Also, it's important to coordinate
the choice of your "payment gateway" company,
because your specific payment gateway must be compatible
with both your credit card processing company as well
as your shopping cart software.
Credit cards represent the
most common way of paying for items in the Internet,
and they are the reason why serious security precautions
must be taken by any website that is set up for e-commerce.
Our customers typically do not want to take any chances
with credit card security, and we very much agree with
that position. Consequently, we normally set up shopping
carts for our clients to use a "payment gateway"
which allows you to have a fully-functional ecommerce
website without ever having to receive or
store credit card information.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Needs
If you have any questions or would
like to discuss your ecommerce needs further, please
for a free initial consultation. We
can help to explain the various options and considerations,
and we can suggest the most appropriate solutions for
Serving Businesses in Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville, Tri-Valley, Walnut Creek, Concord, Hayward, Pleasant Hill, Antioch, Pittsburg, Fremont, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Oakland, Alameda, Newark, Union City, the East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, and Nationwide.