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CIM277 Intro to E-Commerce

CIM277 Intro to E-Commerce

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CIM277 Intro to E-Commerce

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  1. CIM277 Intro to E-Commerce Week 3/4

  2. Shopping Carts • There are literally hundreds of ways of incorporating a shopping cart into an e-commerce website • The three basic strategies for acquiring Shopping Cart services can boiled down to “Building”, “Buying”, or “Borrowing” • Deciding which approach is appropriate for an e-commerce site depends on factors like: • Cost • Scalability needs • Platforms supported • Tech support

  3. What Shopping Cart Services Are Used For • Shopping Carts have to connect to a database in order to be functional • Most modern shopping carts have an “output language” • Any server-side language would qualify as an output language • Shopping Cart Software are also categorized as Content Management Systems (CMS) and typically store information for: • Inventory • Customers • Shipping/Receiving • Targeted Email/Marketing Materials • Invoices/Payment

  4. Building Shopping Carts • Building Shopping Carts typically requires extensive programming • In a nutshell, a “Session” has to be created when the customer begins to add product into their cart • Cookies are also used to store customer data by requiring them to sign-in • Sessions only last for preset time and often dump their information if a user closes their browser • Virtually every server-side language, database, and web server technology has been employed to create a shopping cart at one time or another. • Most of the more popular “homegrown” efforts utilize PHP, MySQL, and Apache • Q: Why do people create their own Shopping Carts? A: They CAN!

  5. Buying a Shopping Cart • There are numerous shopping cart packages that can be purchased • Miva Merchant is the most popular stand-alone shopping cart package • Many can directly connect to Macromedia Dreamweaver as a plug-in (add-on software) • Some popular commercial Shopping Cart plug-ins for Dreamweaver • WebAssist eCart • Cartweaver • Netstores Extension • Other traditional methods is to purchase a custom-build application built by a software development firm • These services are often done with Java technology and are very expensive • Can be custom-tailored

  6. Borrowing A Shopping Cart • Many savvy e-commerce developers are leveraging shopping cart services form their hosting companies. • This strategy works best when you are serving a small client-base • Tech Support is minimized because two services are handled by one vendor • This becoming an extremely popular way for e-commerce sites to get started • In general, this is the most cost-effective way for the initial startup of a web retailer • Many popular hosting server shopping cart packages are: • OS Commerce (an open source shopping cart) • PayPal Shopping Cart • Agora Shopping Cart

  7. Which Method Is Right For You? • There is no magic bullet for any of the software choices we can pick from • My preferences are: • WebAssist eCart and Cartweaver (CFML edition) for clients that are familiar with Dreamweaver • PayPal Shopping Cart for hosting shopping cart services • Most of my choices are focused on what’s best small/medium businesses • When I’ve worked with larger clients, most of the shopping carts have been built from the ground up and require onsite programmers to maintain/modify the shopping cart application