Introduction to Online Shopping Cart Systems

At the very core of an online storefront is the shopping cart system that enables customers to find and purchase products and services.

The system allows customers to acquire a list of items for purchase by placing items into a virtual cart. At the checkout the software will calculate a total of the invoice with any applicable taxes, including shipping and handling.

Currently there are three different types of shopping cart systems that are built to better suit the needs of ecommerce stores; ordering systems, online storefront builder systems and specialized systems. An ordering shopping system is the most basic that makes it possible to select and purchase online. For larger store offerings, a Storefront builder shopping cart system combines all of the features of an order system combined with contact management system (CMS). This allows you a greater level of control over your store content. However, if your ecommerce store offers business to business (b2b) solutions then a specialized ecommerce shopping system would likely be the best fit.

Such shopping systems normally include a database, a storefront and an administrative area. The database stores customer data, order information, product details, etc. A storefront displays this information while an administration area allows a business to manage the ecommerce store. Storefronts should include a store catalog that is presented usefully and is pleasing for customers. Good administrative functionality should be easy to navigate, manage modules, assign options, and flexible to manage multiple shipping needs.

Many online ecommerce store builders will offer either a licensed or hosted shopping cart system. A licensed shopping cart system can be downloaded and installed on a web server often associate with a onetime fee. Since the merchant will own the license the system can be hosted on any web server. A hosted system can never be downloaded but is hosted instead through a service provider and requires a recurring fee or nominal percentage of sales.

Merging the shopping system with your ecommerce store can be easy. Shopping systems are typically able to create dynamic pages. These pages are generated using information in real time from the database that contains product information and store settings. For example a “Discount” page could contain link to a page created by the shopping cart that shows discounted products for that day or month. Some system use pre-formatted templates to display ecommerce information. Other shopping cart systems do not use templates and allow for a custom more unique graphical interface design.

A good shopping cart system enables both the ecommerce store and customer to participate in business with each other. Without it, ecommerce would not be possible and once you have set up the right shopping cart system, then you can make money online without too much fuss.

How the History of eCommerce Has Cleared the Way For Entrepreneurs

The history of eCommerce is not only interesting but has proven to be one of the greatest developments of humankind over time. eCommerce also known to as electronic commerce, can be used to refer to the act of conducting business transactions and communication over electronic device such as computers. It involves the buying and selling of goods and services over digital communication networks and encompasses electronic transactions such as smart cards and electronic money transfers.

There has been a lot of confusion regarding the difference between eCommerce and e business. To explain the difference between the two, one will need to look at the manner and location in which the business is conducted. E business involves the conducting of business over internet networks. It is purely an internet affair and encourages buying, selling and collaboration with partners online so that unlike eCommerce where the business is conducted at a specified location, e business is conducted online anywhere and anytime. This difference as we will see later has its bearing on the history of eCommerce.

The first form of eCommerce was conceived in the late 20th century when electronic technology was used for the transfer of information and for conducting business transaction between different business entities. The enabling technologies at the time were the electronic funds transfer and the electronic data interchange. Drawing from this part of the history of eCommerce, many businesses came up with ways through which they could expand their influence within the market and these efforts and innovation gave birth to what are now used as automatic teller machines (atm’s), credit cards and telephone banking systems.

A time went by and with the introduction of high-speed internet connections and relevant security mechanisms; the history of eCommerce was fast tracked for the business idea to become what is it is today. More businesses and especially those within the banking industry saw a lot of growth over short periods of time. However, the eCommerce businesses experienced their lowest points during the ‘dot-com’ collapse that saw a great number of internet businesses crumble to their knees.

Calm was restored a few years later when most of the businesses and especially those in europe began to embrace eCommerce. History was written once again when business transactions, driven by the desire to serve the increasing worldwide customer service demands and regardless of size and nature were conducted over the internet. The most remarkable companies during this time were amazon, eBay and dell that despite conducting small internet transactions have grown to become the most formidable electronic business entities in the history of eCommerce.

eCommerce has made life much easier than it was two centuries ago. It has taken into account how busy life has become so that not many people enjoy the luxury of shopping from one store to another without any time constraints. Buyers are now able to shop for whatever they want just by a click of a button. You are also able to compare prices of goods and services from stores worldwide but from the comfort of your home. Like all things good, eCommerce has enlightened most people on the importance of technology. It has also made it possible for businesses to appreciate just how much a simple invention can change the face of your business. Such is the history of eCommerce.

Magento – Extending eCommerce Beyond the Conventional

The internet has completely changed the lives of people all around the globe. Starting as a quick and reliable source of communication, it has now acquired a reputation of all-round assistance tool – offering almost every solution to the daily needs of the people. With the rising dependency of the people on the World Wide Web, the internet’s role in business operations and marketing has also increased. Companies worldwide now depend upon the internet for reaching to their customers, and for sales and profitability.

The introduction of eCommerce, or online shopping, has revolutionized not only business sales and marketing concepts, but has also changed the preferences and habits of the users and consumers. Since the dawn of 21st century, millions of people worldwide have switched to online shopping, owing to the convenience and facilities offered by it. With new advancements in the field of web development and designing, it has become very easy these days to create an appealing and highly user friendly shopping portal.

One of the most popular and highly used eCommerce development platforms in all parts of the world is Magento. The software has become the first choice of web developers across the globe, and the reasons are simply too many. Some of the amazing features which make Magento a premier eCommerce development platform are discussed here.

No Limits to Creativity

Magento was designed to meet the contemporary and dynamic needs of the businesses, and this is why it offers a limitless approach to designing and development. The software offers endless features and facilities to assist in getting the best shopping portal for any kind and size of business. It provides a user friendly interface, and drag and drop features for quick and smart web development. The ease of access and use offered by Magento is what has made it a popular choice amongst companies and developers.

Versatility in Use

With Magento, possibilities are simply unlimited. The software enables you to create a series of applications and portal for eCommerce and online marketing. Not only the shopping portal or website, the platform is a perfect way to create payment gateways, product catalogues and other contemporary marketing tools. The software is easy to use, and versatile in its approach. With smart Magento developers, you can enjoy incredible shopping portals, product catalogues etc. There are a number of outsourcing companies offering effective Magento development services for businesses of all kind.

Integrations and Add-Ons

Magento CE offers a ton of third-party integrations. You’ll find lots of free add-ons (as of the date of this article, there were around 840), including a MailChimp integration and the Facebook Connect and Like Free integration. Additional fee-based extensions can run from 99ยข up to $8000.

Payment Processing

Magento integrates with a slew of payment gateways, including PayPal, Authorize.net, and 2Checkout. While you can accept purchase orders and money orders with Magento CE, you won’t be able to offer gift cards or store credits.

Search Engine Optimization

One of the amazing features of Magento that makes it a popular choice worldwide is its SEO friendly development structure. Businesses undertake search engine optimization activities to gain a higher visibility and outreach over the internet. Magento forms the base of internet marketing strategy by supporting SEO friendly development structure. Websites created with the help of Magento have the necessary elements and structure to get higher search engine result rankings. These portals can be pushed to excellent results with smart internet marketing efforts.

All these features and advantages make Magento a perfect choice for your business’s eCommerce portal. You can find a reliable company online and get excellent results at highly competitive prices. Get an enhanced outreach and increased profitability with an online shopping portal developed on Magento.