20 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2010 6:29 AM by psifreak

    Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments

    psifreak

      I'm rebuilding a business website in CS5.  It's currently hosted through yahoo.com.  I'm trying to use dynamic data to avoid having to make individual pages for well over 20,000 products.  I've heard that things like Cartweaver will handle the "Add to Cart" function, but it doesn't appear to accept payments or anything.

      Is there a program that can handle processing credit card info, inventory (it's a small corporate chain, 6 buildings, each with 15,000-20,000+ items), and the other benefits of a webhost like the UPS Shipping Calculator features?  Yahoo.com charges around 1% of each transaction, paypal charges around 3%(I'm still in favor but need to do some research).  Is there a program or (free?)source code I can customize?  The bosses want to host this site themselves, and it's my job to rebuild it.  There's no existing database, or anything at all to work with to make this faster.  I understand Cartweaver can do some of this, but not process payments or handle shipping calculations.  What's the best way to go for calculating shipping, and the "Add to Cart"/"Accept Payment" part?  Right now I can build pages but that only goes so far towards selling off of them.

        • 1. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
          Level 4

          You need a merchant account and a payment gateway service to process credit card transactions through your online store. Not cheap. Cartweaver has a list of payment gateway services they support. Looking up Yahoo merchant services says it's 1.5% per transaction, not %1 like you mentioned. It's also $26.96/month for 1st 3 months ($39.95/month after that)

          • 2. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
            teedoffnewbie Level 2

            A standart Cart will support paypal payments, but to process credit cards, you would need a merchant account

            and a payment gateway.

             

            I've personally used mals shopping cart and it works very well.

            • 3. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
              psifreak Level 1

              I knew it was around 1% (the current admin is rather uncooperative cuz the current failing site is his only job security).  I just knew paypal charges more (2.9% or something close + 30 cents per transaction) but those rates drop based on success and there's no subscription fee.  What about shipping calculators?  UPS doesn't seem to have a downloadable version, and I'm hesitant to trust all of the free spry/widget codes that are supposedly just as good (just can't trust everything found online anymore lol).  I know a lot of this stuff has to be accessed in a roundabout way, and I need to know where to look.  Cartweaver has the cart function, but no payments (that's ok we'll find something) and no shipping calculator (also not great, but we can still look it up manually on the UPS site if worst comes to worst).  I literally have to list thousands of products and make them shoppable.  Cartweaver seems to handle everything but the actual shopping, which we're probably going to use paypal if it comes down to it.  Still doesn't solve shipping calculation because we ship all over the country and given that our producs range from doorbell buttons to 52" ceiling fans, this is a bit problematic for keeping customer costs down without losing money because we auto-quoted them a price that changed the day or month before.  Is there an easy way to do this part accurately without the yahoo.com/UPS deals?

              • 4. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                psifreak Level 1

                teedoffnewbie, they want us to be our own host with everything (except paypal obviously) under our control, this program seems to use an entirely separate host just for the shopping side.  I've never really seen that.  How does it work?  The entire shopping cart on their site?  If it's a webhost for the site we can't really use it.

                • 5. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                  Level 4

                  I went to cartweaver.com, visited their forum page, typed "shipping in the searchfield and found this:

                   

                  http://forums.cartweaver.com/#topic/22226000000118081

                   

                  That's the best you get with built-in cw shipping functions.

                  • 6. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                    teedoffnewbie Level 2

                    Well honestly I dont think it matters where you're hosting your site. A canned shopping cart program works either way. Yes it does "take" you to their site, but you can style the cart itself to look like your site. You link it with the form action and therefore are passing the form variables to the cart itself.

                     

                    Sorry if I misunderstood what you were looking for. I thought you were specifically looking for a shopping cart that would handle shipping calcs and such. I think mals does that.

                    • 7. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                      psifreak Level 1

                      That's what I keep finding but I can't really figure out what they mean.  I know the price is based more on dimension than weight, but that's about it.  If I have to write that to handle each state, that's ok, but I just don't know how to figure all that out and keep it up with current prices.

                      • 8. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                        Nancy OShea Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Cartweaver doesn't process payments.

                         

                        Get a Merchant bank account. Your employer should already have one.  Talk to the bank and ask them which payment Gateways they recommend for accepting on-line Credit Card transactions.

                         

                        Authorize.net is one of the largest in the US.  You must have a US bank account to use them.

                        http://www.authorize.net/

                         

                        How it Works -

                        http://www.authorize.net/resources/howitworksdiagram/

                         

                         

                        Nancy O.
                        Alt-Web Design & Publishing
                        Web | Graphics | Print | Media  Specialists
                        http://alt-web.com/
                        http://twitter.com/altweb

                        • 9. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                          teedoffnewbie Level 2

                          We do the same thing where I work. Figure shipping costs based on weight or dimensions. All that can be done with a database. You can for each product have data related to weight and dimensions, and have those variables pass to your shopping cart as well.

                          • 10. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                            JoeDaSilva Level 4

                            If I was tasked with building a shopping site with 20K+ items the only thing I would consider is Magento. Once you figure out the theming engine, which can be a little bit of a challenge at first, you'll thank yourself for choosing something of this calibre.

                            • 11. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                              psifreak Level 1

                              It's no big deal teedoffnewb (my fault anyways really for not being more specific), I still appreciate the advice greatly.  I just read through it and it looked like it would have to host the entire site, I didn't know there was such a setup where we host the site and the cart was hosted entirely seperate.  Seemed like that would take way too much work, but getting a closer look that might be the option we go for. I didn't see the page that said we could customize the appearance on our end cuz the link wasn't loading.  I'm starting from scratch with no real referencing material so I honestly thought it was just another webhost(and the bosses will definitely NOT go for that again if they have any other options at all) and the current webhost is strange because it also hosts the shopping cart end, but we have virtually no control over how it works past initial set up.  It took the current admin almost 4 months to give the site a face lift because it was designed in a proprietary language, so I was really afraid of having to deal with that all over again.  He was responsible for the overall look of about 5 pages, and couldn't match the rest up to them because of the host, so it looks like two entirely separate sites from the shopping side to the company info side.

                               

                              I looked at magento, but with the bosses hesitating to spring for Cartweaver I don't think they'd go for something that expensive until we get our revenue waaaaay up from where it is right now.  Although I will consider it in the future(income pending) and do happily thank you for the tip.

                               

                              So factors to write a script for in shipping: dimensions, weight, range, method, and extension?(if I missed something let me know). We're not doing international shipping at this point in time, and pretty much use UPS exclusively.

                               

                              Shopping cart:  mals looks about like what I need, does anyone know if I can base that appearance off of a DW Template?  Or do I have to tailor it manually?

                               

                              Merchant Account / Payment Gateways:  Pending the bosses approval that shouldn't be too hard.  Any specific questions they need to ask besides their reccomendations?  I'm sure they'd rather know that upfront in case there's something the bank won't mention.

                               

                              Last, about mals again.  Does this have it's own database for storing the products/info/pictures/prices, etc?  Just wondering what kind of control it would leave toward something like adding the shipping calculator to that or build a new one for it myself.

                               

                              Thanks a million folks, this is way more helpful than you realize!  I really need to know all of this before I get too far into the project so that I won't have to keep restarting everytime I find out I missed something.

                              • 12. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                teedoffnewbie Level 2

                                Well, like I said, mals works brilliantly and the best thing is its free. To answer some of your questions., as far as I know you can add many styles to the cart page itself. Not sure about a full blown template, but the first time I used it I added my own header and footer, changed the colors of the page, created back links to continue shopping, and more.

                                 

                                As far as the database, I would say they dont manage any data for you. Generally that should be done on your end anyway. You really wouldnt someone else handling your data anyway, and the fact that you would want to track and maintain inventory levels in house.

                                 

                                Again, I would say the majority of ecommerce sites use a canned shopping cart of some kind. Very few small to mid size companies probably have the resourses and expertise to write their own cart, epsecially with taking into account shipping and insurance and payment gateways. Which btw, paypal now offers  their own credit card processing. I think you mentioned that as well.....something to check into.

                                 

                                Hope that helps somewhat.

                                • 13. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                  psifreak Level 1

                                  Hey guys, think I found something that could be good.  Just wondering if anybody knew enough about the programs they mentioned(or just sharp enough to notice syntax differences) to tell me if this would cause a problem with DW compatibility.  The code looks fully legit and functional (if in need of tailoring for my site).  Second opinions?  It looks like code I could use easy enough.

                                   

                                  http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/php/how-to-build-a-shopping-cart-using-codeigniter-and-j query/

                                  • 14. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                    JoeDaSilva Level 4

                                    The link I sent you is to the Magento "Community" version, which is open source (free).

                                    • 15. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                      psifreak Level 1

                                      teedoofnewbie, question for you.  That mals link seems like pretty much what we're looking for, but the forums are a little unclear about a few things.  How hard is it to set this up with like paypal or googlecheckout, and all that kind of mess?  Our current webhost (yahoo.com) had an easy walkthrough that pretty much automated setting up the payments, bank info, etc.  Does this offer the same kind of set up feature or is it mostly done long hand?

                                      • 16. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                        teedoffnewbie Level 2

                                        If I remember correctly, it's pretty basic. I think it gives you the option to select only paypal

                                        as a payment method, or also allow credit cards as well, in which case you'd I assume have to specify your merchant

                                        account info.

                                         

                                        I do know however that paypal now offers a way to process credit cards through their payment gateway that may or may not be cheaper than your own account with a bank, so you wouldnt need a merchant account.

                                         

                                        Everything else is again pretty basic. Seems like there was a little trouble at first getting it tweaked exactly like I wanted it, but that was mainly because it was my first time setting up a shopping cart. I think the issues were more with adding a header and styles than with the actual functionality of the cart itself.

                                        1 person found this helpful
                                        • 17. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                          psifreak Level 1

                                          Thanks.  Browsing through those forums was getting me nowhere, there's apparently people out there dumber than me and it's scary how many there are.

                                          • 18. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                            psifreak Level 1

                                            http://www.ecommercetemplates.com

                                             

                                            Exactly what people with a task like mine are looking for.  I've written them and asked some questions, they've got all the functionality we need, and there's only the one time payment.  According to their e-mail replys their program can handle 20,000 + items easily, there's the option of a generic code that has easy integration with an existing template, or template downloads with customizable appearances, and the site admin loses no control whatsoever.  It also has a built in UPS, FedEx, and several others in their shipping calculators.  Easy to use and effective.

                                            Thanks for pointing me in the right direction guys.  I can suggest you guys look this one up if you're still building sites, they even have a developer's license pack with 4 templates, equates around 60% off if you buy it like that.  Food for thought.

                                            • 19. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                              JoeDaSilva Level 4

                                              I don't know anything about their system, but it the HTML that's on their "demo" store is horrible by todays standards. This also costs $149 more than the industry standard I suggested (Magento). Oh well, caveat emptor I guess.

                                              • 20. Re: Adding a Cart Function/Accepting Payments
                                                psifreak Level 1

                                                Admittedly, one of the first things I noticed was that HTML.  But I'm not buying the template that made that.  They have a generic version that simply adds the cart function.  It's about 5 lines of proprietary code that we're not supposed to mess with, the rest being fully customizable.  It just adds the database / Add-to-Cart function.  Take a look at their tutorials on the generic version, it's a little bit of copy and paste to the HTML side, (except a couple files that go right into the file directory).  Then you have the functionality and full freedom over the rest.  The generic uses PHP inserts and a couple forms (didn't see and HTML but I might have missed it), and looking at them, they may be a little sloppy (I upped the resolution on some still shots for a better look), but I couldn't find any flaws that would stop them from working.

                                                I tried magento, the bosses don't want to pay that kind of subscription  and the e-mail they replied to said they can't really do anything for  that size inventory on the free version(I completely believe the other  version would though, I've read enough good reviews and seen enough  demos).

                                                Thank you for the observation though.  If anyone notices something in the tutorials for the generic, feel free to mention it.  I've had myself and our current admin checking it out, looks a little sloppy but completely functional so far.