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.
- I have used both Drupal Commerce and Big Commerce now, and those are my preferred platforms now.
For information on setting up your online store, contact me.