Shopping cart definition

A shopping cart software or ecommerce platform is a software application that allows marketers to sell products online. A shopping cart software allows you to build an online store. There are many shopping cart solutions available from free solutions (open source software) to really expensive ones. There are also the subscription-based or hosted solutions.

Types of Ecommerce
  • B2B - Business to business – Wholesale business to business online commerce (Ariba, Beautynavigator, French Heritage…)
  • B2C - Business to consumers – Retail business to consumers online business (Amazon, Macys, Overstock, Domestic Comfort…)
  • C2C - Consumers to consumers – Classifieds, auctions, portals consumers to consumers online business (Ebay, Alibaba, Craiglist…)
  • C2B / C2G - Consumers to business – Private or public portals where ownership entities sell to a large organization or the government (reverse auction, bid etc.)
Types of Ecommerce / shopping cart software (Self Hosted vs Fully Hosted)

All ecommerce solutions fall into two camps: self-hosted and fully hosted solutions.

  • Self-hosted solution is when the software is purchased by the marketer and hosted on the marketer's server or at a hosting facility of their choice (this is the case for all Quick Social clients)
  • Fully hosted solution (software as a service) is when the software is rented through a monthly/annually subscription fee and runs on the software company’s servers. Generally, there is a fee + a % on sales. This is the case for Shopify, Big commerce, Volusion, etc.
Credit Card Security & PCI Compliance

No matter what above mentioned solution you choose the software as well as the servers and facility you are hosting your ecommerce site on must be PCI compliant and moreover the software should work with the most reliable payment gateways so client credit cards should not be kept in server databases.

A modern shopping cart solution should have the following features:
  • Scalable Performance (unlimited products and users)
  • Security PCI compliant / Fraud score protection
  • Customizable
  • Multi-Currencies
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Analytics, Affiliate Tracking
  • Multiple Payment Methods (Credit cards, Gift vouchers, Check, Money orders, Wire transfer, Reward points etc.)
  • Payment Gateways (Pluggable with all 60 major payment gateways)
  • Categories (multiple categories)
  • Distributors (Unlimited)
  • Manufacturers (Unlimited)
  • Warehouses (Unlimited)
  • Products (unlimited) with unlimited variants
  • Product (bulk import-export)
  • Product List (Child categories)
  • Product Detail (individual SEO) Zoom with variants, sizes etc.
  • Product Filter (unlimited pre-defined product attributes.)
  • Product Showcase (promote one or multiple products)
  • Product Comparison (allows product comparison)
  • Packing (create your own custom rules)
  • Shipping (Unlimited custom shipping methods.) + Real time with major shippers (FedEx, USPS, UPS, ABF etc.)
  • Handling (All custom handling method calculations)
  • Taxes (unlimited tax rules, exemption, international etc.)
  • Promotions and Coupons (Start & expire, fixed amount, free shipping, points, date, discount, buy one get one free etc.)
  • Order Administration (Search orders, cancel and return, place on hold, manual transaction, phone order, Payment status,
  • Gift Vouchers (unlimited custom vouchers with email generation and historic) import voucher deals from Groupon, living social etc.
  • Rewards Points (loyalty points, custom points reward etc.)
  • Reports (all standard reporting tools, charts on sales activity, inventory, abandoned cart, recovery rate, analytics, etc.…)
  • Cart, Checkout and Confirmation (Customers can change and modify anything) Multiple step or single page checkout mode.
  • Wish List & Gift Registry
  • Quick Order Entry
  • Customer Manage Order, recurring orders, address, payment, product download, rights, reward points, wish list, etc.…
  • Multi-vendor Marketplace
  • Accounting (API ready for major accounting/ERP software)
  • API (Web service using friendly REST approach (XML over HTTP).
Price comparison self-hosted vs fully hosted solution

Self-hosted Quick Social Ecommerce solution (unlimited users/products) = $5,500 (one-time installation & training + 3 months hosting) – (you own the software) after the onetime payment you pay only the hosting, maintenance, security and technical support. $3000 no subscription fee, no % fees so the cost based on 5 years $20,500.

Fully hosted solutions like Shopify, Big Commerce, etc. Depending on your subscription plan assuming you have unlimited products, users etc. and sales around $2000/month at start with a possible monthly sales increase like 10% per month. After 5 years including subscriptions fees, sales % and maybe some support you pay $147,000.