e.commerce software

  IMAGEDKTR1 22:27 04 Oct 03
Locked

hi there , i,m looking for help with designing an e.commerce website ,i know there are loads of diff progs out there that do this and ive tried a lot of different trial versions but cant seem to get what i,m looking for. basically i am after a wysiwyg web designer with e.commerce facility built in . i am not without experience building webpages (not the best i grant you) but i cant find anything thats easy to use (the site in question is for an online gallery and would need about 600 diff images uploaded and changed as stocks change)
any help advice ?

  Forum Editor 02:13 05 Oct 03

is a good example of an easy to use WYSIWYG web design application that enables you to set up an e-commerce facility with ease. In this case the shopping cart part of the site is provided (free) by PayPal.

The main obstacle confronting first-time e-commerce site owners is that they don't have 'cardholder not present' merchant status with the big credit card providers, and this stops them dead in the water. It's very difficult to obtain this merchant status, and that fact has spawned a whole sub-industry. Enter third-party card payment processors like PayPal. These companies will process your online card transactions for you, and will send the money - less their transaction fee - to your nominated bank account.

Be warned that if you register with PayPal using a business or trading name (the name of your e-commerce site for instance) you will have to have a bank account in that name - PayPal will not transfer money to an account with any other name.

A shopping cart catalogue with 600 images in it will take a very long time to set up, and you'll have to provide a separate PayPal button for every item. Paypal's site creates the button code for you, based on information about price and catalogue reference number. That enables the company to know which item to charge for, and what price to charge to the card.

E-commerce is a reasonably complex aspect of computing, and there are many pitfalls. You must ensure that you are complying with relevant distance selling regulations, VAT legislation, data protection regulations etc., and setting up a professional e-commerce operation is time consuming. If you do it, pay attention to every tiny detail before you go live on the web - mistakes can be costly to rectify. Make sure you've thought your delivery system through, so that you aren't caught napping when a flood of orders (and payments) arrive from Japan, or Australia. Once people have paid with a credit card they become very interested in a rapid order fulfilment, and they'll complain long and loud if they're kept waiting.

Another pitfall that traps many a first-timer is stock control. If you offer anything for sale online, and you use a third party card processor you must bear in mind that they'll keep selling the item until you stop them. If you have only ten copies of a picture of Loch Ness you don't want Paypal taking money from 200 people. It will be you who has to contact 190 people scattered over ten countries to tell them the glad news that you've taken their money and can't supply the goods.

I hope all that doesn't put you off the idea altogether - the web's a good place to sell pictures, and provided you take care with the preparation of your site you'll be fine.

You don't have to stick with NetOjects Fusion to do all this - you can add a PayPal shopping cart to any site, in any web design application.

  AndySD 07:52 05 Oct 03

Have you tried Actinic? click here

  harristweed 09:51 05 Oct 03

You can get a very comprehensive e-commerce solution free click here

  Forum Editor 10:29 05 Oct 03

is an excellent product,and I've used it myself on many occasions but it's not cheap. your question was - is there a WYSIWYG program with e-commerce built-in? and that's why I recommended NOF - it doesn't have PayPal built in, rather it has a built in link to enable you to set up PayPal in your site structure.

Perhaps I should have qualified my answer by saying that all shopping cart products will need to link to a third party card payment processing company if you don't have a CHNP merchant status with the card companies.

  IMAGEDKTR1 11:17 05 Oct 03

thanks for your comprehensive input FE it was much appreciated , you have given me a lot to think over and hopefully i can make a start on this site shortly .
also thanks to andysd and harristweed for taking time to reply.

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