With shopping carts, whatever the question is, the answer is, "It Depends". What kind you need, how long it takes to build one, what it costs... but here's some of the most commonly asked e-commerce questions.
What kind of shopping cart do I need?
It depends! Really. What are you trying to sell? If you're trying to sell a smaller amount of products (say, between 1-50 products), then a PayPal shopping cart might be just right. PayPal carts are simple, easy, very professional looking, and don't require an existing merchant services credit card processing account. Each Buy It Now or Add To Card button needs to be created individually, so once you get past about 50+ items, it becomes more efficient and cost effective to build your shopping cart in another program.
Joomla VirtuMart carts are great - for Joomla sites. If you have an existing Joomla site, they integrate near seamlessly. If you're starting a site from scratch, this may be a good option for you. It depends on your other website needs - Joomla's got some nifty features at the ready that would have to be custom built on other websites.
What if you have all your inventory and products in Quickbooks? We can build carts that are seamlessly Quickbooks compatible - if it sells in the store, it's off the Internet. If it sells online, you know to pull it out of inventory. And the entire process, from inventory updating to payments, gets recorded seamlessly onto your books.
Just need to sell a lot of products online, and none of the above seem to fit the bill? How about a ZenCart? Or any other type of host-installed stand-alone shopping cart. We are familiar with most, highly skilled at some, and recommend avoiding a few. These types of carts have no monthly fees associated with them from the cart host.
Then there are host-managed carts, like GoDaddy's Quick Shopping Cart or 3DCart or other subscription-based cart services. These can be awesome to use and manage, and really easy to set up. But the monthly fees can vary dramatically, so we research to see what the best option is for your particular needs.
What will it cost to build an e-commerce website?
It depends. On whether there are monthly fees or a one-time fee. On whether you want to add the products or you want us to add the products. On how many products there are - a 50 item website is a lot different then a 4,000 item website.
We build all custom carts on an hourly basis, rather than on a project basis. We do this because we think it's more in your favor - it's likely to take us less time than we would ordinarily build into a project quote. Our hourly rate, across the board, is $75 an hour. A cart can take anywhere from one hour to 40 - it all depends on what you need.
And this is why you give us a call at (239) 244-1244 and we sit down together to talk about what it is that you need, so we can give you some more specific details. All of our initial meetings and anything resembling a consultation are free of cost - we just want to get you the information you need to make an informed decision about what kind of web presence is right for you.
How long does it take to build a shopping cart?
Anywhere from 1 day to 4 weeks. Actually, a lot of it depends on you. We need the product information - text, photos, options and prices, if you want us to insert the items into the cart for you. We like building shopping carts, and we always look forward to launching the next one. We'll get them out as fast as you get us the information.
And yes, we can rush the launch of an e-commerce website into a 3 or 4 day window. If you need to be online right away, we'll make it happen, but there is is a percentage based "immediacy" fee attached.
If I already have a shopping cart, can you manage it for me?
Yes. We're familiar with the majority of shopping cart systems, and even if your website isn't one of them, we can adapt to it and learn it quickly. We can help you with regular shopping cart updates, adding and removing products, ensuring your payment gateway runs smoothly, getting sales reports - whatever you may need.
Can you help me accept donations online for my non-profit organization or cause?
But of course! Actually, we do this quite a lot through PayPal and Google Checkout. One of our favorite stories involved the Pete Gee Cancer Fundraiser website. Through the website (which we built as our donation), they were able to collect over $2,000 through PayPal credit card processing that folks would otherwise not have donated if they had to use only cash or check. The fundraiser was able to raise over $19,000 for Pete's family, and we were thrilled to be a part of the process.
Patty's Flower Shop in North Fort Myers, FL uses 3D Cart for their E-Commerce needs.
Coastal Cases uses Zen Cart for their E-Commerce needs.
Linda's Healthy Cookie Snacks showcases an embedded Amazon Affiliates shopping cart with Linda's reading recommendations.
Not Available on DVD uses a custom PHP shopping cart. This is a good example of a site we consult with, but did not build.