Large Companies with Thousands of Products:
Clients in 2012 having products to offer, will be venturing into the world of E-Commerce.  Some may choose to have a site developer build a custom site with built-in shopping cart feature, programmed to deliver the unique result required by the company’s vision. Once the site is developed however, this method may require a fulltime IT individual to maintain and run the shopping cart. Those who have thousands of products will most likely choose this option. Larger companies and nationwide distributors often choose this option.
Smaller Companies with Fewer Products:
Others, who are smaller companies, are internet savvy and have only a few products or a few hundred items for purchase may choose to use the online applications already available. There are many shopping cart platforms available for use. The client simply pays a monthly fee and they will have the advantage of adding their own products after a small learning curve. They will need to become familiar with the particular shopping cart’s instruction manual to make changes effectively. The drawbacks to this method is that some platforms are easier to use than others and without having the custom look developed by a professional, the client can only customize certain areas. The shopping cart thus takes on a more generic look.  Also many of these software platforms do not provide adequate support services.  Therefore in some cases, the client is on their own to learn the system, once purchased.
Combination of Custom Design & E-Commerce Platform
We prefer doing a combination of both. We build a “custom” website and use an e-commerce shopping cart platform that we prefer which is user friendly for our clients. In this way they get the best of both worlds. They have a “custom” look and are still able to develop the site by adding their new products, and making daily changes using a more user friendly software. There is still some training involved and the client will need to become familiar with the shopping cart instruction manual. We prefer PrestaShop, Magenta and CartWeaver to mention a few.   However, there are hundreds of platforms to choose from and new ones coming on the market often.
The shopping cart platforms we recommend are all connected to “secure servers.” Paypal is one of the secure servers that we recommend but others are available.  Paypal has come a long way and now offers a secure server which accepts all major credit cards.  This provides the user with the knowledge that their purchase is secure.
Call us to set up a meeting to discuss your E-Commerce Project for 2012. Have a great month ahead and our best to our viewers.
Jean Holland-Rose, Chief Creative Officer
InsideDesignOrlando.com
An Orlando Website Design Company since 2001.