Experience with Online Stores
I have offered ecommerce services for years, from custom-built checkouts to sites integrated with existing ecommerce software. Ecommerce ( or e-commerce) is essentially buying and selling of good and services online. I have built websites for customers selling kid's toys, art classes, cooking classes, pet supplies, surveillance cameras, headphones, custom artwork, computers, monitors and more.
Ecommerce Related Services
Ecommerce projects often require a variety of services. A sample of what I've provided in the past includes:
- custom site design
- logo design, stationery and other branding (online and offline)
- integration with payment gateways (Authorize.net, PayPal, LinkPoint, Shopatron, Google Checkout, etc.)
- integration with shipping companies (FedEx, USPS, UPS)
- online stock tracking
- company newsletters
- featured products, products on sale, closeouts, etc.
- products organized by categories, with individual product pages
- store coupons, gift certificates, and other discounts
Owing and operating an online store has some special requirements, in addition to a professional website. These include:
- a merchant account, specifically for online purchases (it has to be designated to allow for online purchases)
- payment verification service , which is a company to verify each purchase and handle the secure transactions between a customer's credit card and the store owner's merchant account
- an online store to handle a shopping cart and online checkout
- detailed policies on privacy, shipping and returns, available online to consumers
- a security certificate to safely encrypt all online transactions
In the past, I have worked a great deal with Zen Cart, a popular open-source tool for ecommerce that's been around for years. My current favorite is Ubercart, another open-source ecommerce package, which works alongside the Drupal content management system, for a powerful mix of features that any online store owner could use. Both are free, with no ongoing licensing fees, and used by sites all over the world. A new Drupal 7 solution, Drupal Commerce, seems to have a lot of momentum behind it as the ecommerce choice for new Drupal sites, and I'm working with that program as of 2011.
For information on setting up your online store, contact me.