Shopping Cart Systems for Websites
One of the greatest dreams of an online business owner is to have a site on autopilot making money while they sleep. Now as someone that has been in the business for a decade and a half, I can tell you that this is a rare occurrence.
The success of an online store, aside from good products and good prices, will heavily depend on your ability to both deliver a positive experience to the customer as well as be able to easily, routinely and organizationally update your inventory, accept and monitor payments, issue refunds and track statistics and metrics.
When it finally comes down to deployment, you have a few decisions to make:
- Will this be custom software or will you make use of existing products?
- How many products will you be dealing with?
- Will you be manually updating your inventory or will you be using API's or other technologies to do it automatically?
- Can you do it yourself or should you hire a programmer?
- How will you accept payments? Will you accept credit card numbers yourself or will you use a 3rd party payment gateway?
- How will you ship? Will you use popular shipping API's such as those provided by UPS and Fed Ex?
We are going to start here and further expand out into the different facets of developing online stores but rather than just give you code, we are mostly going to talk about concepts and general "business logic" - we will use some example code, but only for illustration purposes.
I am currently working with PayPals IPN system for automatic payment postbacks to a website I am working on - I found some really nice info and will post it on the next page.