Businesses across the spectrum of sizes and industries engage in the buying or selling of products and services over the Internet. Electronic commerce is the entity that makes these transactions possible over a multitude of electronic devices through an array of web browsers. Whether you’re a small business retailer or a nationwide pharmacy, chances are your website utilizes the virtual equivalent to shopping carts—ecommerce shopping carts. In addition, chances are such that you probably make a considerable sum of profits from such technology.
An electronic shopping cart allows visitors to your site to browse through the products and services you offer and to select items for purchase in the exact same way they would by shopping in person save for one key difference—the hassle. Many people of a younger and more educated demographic find this breakthrough in consumerism is more convenient than traditional shopping. One can easily learn the details of an item being considered for purchase in the comfort of one’s own home and shop other sources to compare prices. Most ecommerce sites also clearly define which items are in stock saving consumers from a trip to the store. Some custom shopping carts can even be saved with a user’s login information so she can make purchases in the future or later that day. This is unheard of at conventional brick-and-mortar stores as things typically get misplaced or sold to the wrong party when placed on hold if such a service is even offered by the merchant.
The end goal of any e-commerce website is to persuade visitors to splurge on featured products or services. Purchase totals will be higher the more items customers are able to place in their shopping carts. Ecommerce enables your shop to make sales outside store hours. There are many shopping carts available on the market and switching software is not advised once you have already linked a particular cart to your website. There are literally hundreds of programs dedicated to the creation of shopping carts! With so many choices it is wise to leave this vital task to the experts. To simplify this process, our web developers utilize open source shopping carts when customizing a cart for your site as opposed to shopping carts produced by proprietary systems. Our software of choice for this purpose is the Magento ecommerce platform that is used by over 150,000 merchants including Vizio, Office Max, Samsung, and more.
Our reasoning for favoring open-source systems is based on the freedom it allows pretty much anyone with experience in web development to personally tweak and maintain websites without paying fees to a host company. There are significant advantages to engaging open source software. Software deemed “open source” allows developers all over the world to collaborate on formulating plug-ins for existing software. This enables websites to maintain a production model that is always growing alongside the business. The downside of proprietary software lies in its restrictive tendencies. With proprietary software, your business will require custom coding at any time it chooses to expand causing you to rely on the abilities of one specific development team.
The problem here lies in the fact that there is no universal format that coding follows; therefore, if you receive custom coding from one team, it is impossible to hand it over to another team for edits. In this way you are limited to one team for the rest of your site’s existence. It is also not cost effective to surrender a payment whenever you need to tweak your site’s existing code. This is why open source software is handy. Within open source solutions there exist custom developed attachments called “plug-ins” that are backed by solid support teams. If anything is able to break in the plug-in, any developer can contact the support team for assistance. Extensive information on a plug-in’s setup and functions are also available for developers to learn more about it. This is akin to a manual for developers, which is something proprietary software does not provide.