Shopping carts are an essential part of any ecommerce websites. As a provider of web development , we regularly get customers who require us to build their customized shopping carts , which often forms an integral part of their website . However , to note , some of these websites do wish to handle online payment processing , while some of them only handle item selection and lead generation in a systematic way , while some are also used to create custom lists ( with options to print ) and then followed upon via more local channels. This is entirely dependent on the business model of the vendor and how his customers are at ease with .
Hence , as solution providers , our first task is to understand how a website owner wants his shopping cart to perform , what is his exact requirements , who his prospective site visitors are going to be , what expertise level are they at – before we start pitching for the project with a quote . If you ( reader of this post ) are a prospective customer 🙂 , please take a little time and provide us with details such as how much is online payment important to your e-business , do you need to constantly update your products and prices , would you be interested in having cross selling of items on your pages , do you need to have multiple product / item categories and sub categories , will your customer be searching for products or will he be categorically viewing different options , do you sell egoods / services or will it include shipping etc .
Also important questions are : If your cart will be used for lead generation , do you wish to have multiple emails – for customer, for admin ; is it important for you to track how the visitor arrived at your cart , which items he expressed interest upon , which he selected and then removed ?
If your cart is not for end users , but for distributors , who would be selecting items in bulk and saving them in personalized accounts and printing them , do you want them to provide any other options such as discounts , save searches etc ?
Apart from the use of the cart , being on the topic , i should also like to mention : even though we have good expertise on developing custom shopping carts , there are also some open source alternatives available , which provide similar facilities . Quite a few of our existing customers had given us specific projects , where we had to customize oscommerce , and zencart etc . The advantages are well known , so it is probably not required to be detailed , but what i sometimes feel is a shopping cart , like a CMS is better made with custom requirements , instead of being a ready made package , because ready made packages comes with design ideas , functionality which has been conceived not by you – thus you would be often be forced to adher to the ways specified by the package , and spent time learning a plethora of features and documentation , which may or may not be required for your website and website visitors .