Most people refer it as a shopping cart on their website, however the actual shopping cart is only part of a true E-Commerce platform – which is really required to actually conduct business on the internet (ie. sell your product online). To conduct e-commerce, you also need a merchant account, a payment gateway, the shopping cart technology, distribution channel management, affiliate/reseller technology, email marketing and autoresponders for new and past customers – just to name the major components.
When considering how to open your new online business, one must truly evaluate the likely need for most of the above mentioned solutions to really conduct business online. You need to get a merchant account or payment system like Paypal and you’ll need to enlist a payment gateway, the major one being Authorize.net which I highly recommend.
If you want to develop, build and manage your own e-commerce site, I’ll just go ahead and give you my secret. 1ShoppingCart.com
That’s it… I use it myself and if you’re a “roll up my sleeves” kinda person and want to do it yourself, there is no better, cheaper solution out there and they have the training videos to tutor you through the process. Of course, if you want a truly complete solution, you’ll want your website and content management system (ie. blog platform) developed and built as well and then integrated directly with your E-Commerce solution like 1ShoppingCart.com
Building this as a complete solution and getting everything working and integrated is not easy and most business owners simply hire experts liks us to complete the work for them. If you want to inquire about us doing the development and build for you, please use our Contact page or call Lane directly at 813-438-2428.
Here’s more on what Wikipedia has to say about E-Commerce…
Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily with widespread Internet usage. The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction’s lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices and telephones as well.
A large percentage of electronic commerce is conducted entirely electronically for virtual items such as access to premium content on a website, but most electronic commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way. Online retailers are sometimes known as e-tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail. Almost all big retailers have electronic commerce presence on the World Wide Web.
Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses is referred to as business-to-business or B2B. B2B can be open to all interested parties (e.g. commodity exchange) or limited to specific, pre-qualified participants (private electronic market). Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses and consumers, on the other hand, is referred to as business-to-consumer or B2C. This is the type of electronic commerce conducted by companies such as Amazon.com. Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce where the buyer is directly online to the seller’s computer usually via the internet. There is no intermediary service. The sale and purchase transaction is completed electronically and interactively in real-time such as Amazon.com for new books. If an intermediary is present, then the sale and purchase transaction is called electronic commerce such as eBay.com.
Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of the business transactions.