Ecommerce and Online Shopping Carts
There are few ecommerce companies in Wilmington NC that can claim nearly 20 years of experience. We've been developing ecommerce software since 1999. Cactusoft is the developer of Kartris, a free open source ecommerce package that is used around the world by hundreds of web developers on thousands of websites.
The in-depth knowledge of this software gives us an unrivaled ability to modify it to your exact needs. Whether you need the layout changed, or the system to talk to third party accounting software, or to pull in pricing data from elsewhere, we can build a solution for you.
Standard Shopping Cart Sites
The vast majority of ecommerce websites are quite similar in structure, even though their appearance may vary greatly. They have similar features - browse product catalog, select items and place in a cart, and then checkout and pay.
Using Kartris software enables us to build sites that are search engine friendly, attractive and intuitive to use, robust and secure, and can support product catalogs of millions of items. Template based "skinning" enables almost unlimited changes to be made to the look and feel of the site.
Site owners administer the store from a password protected control panel accessed via a standard web browser, enabling any user with a basic familiarly with the web to run a store.
The software is so feature packed that in most cases it can cover all the desired functionality that a customer requires, keeping development time and costs to a minimum.
The term ecommerce covers any type of financial transaction made online. The vast majority of such websites are fairly standard - they use an off-the-shelf (often free) shopping cart software package, and are linked up to a credit card payment gateway like PayPal. Products for sale are broken down into categories, users navigate these and add items to their "basket" or "cart". Once they've finished shopping they checkout by entering their credit card details.
Sometimes the products or services that a company is selling don't fit easily into this model. For example we've built job boards for customers where packages of job posting credits are purchased, or directory sites where a business profile page can be purchased via an annual subscription. In these cases a traditional shopping cart system doesn't work - we can code a custom system that formats the user's order and confirms pricing, submits it to the credit card payment gateway, and then updates the system (for example setting a user's account live) when confirmation of payment is automatically received by the website from the credit card payment gateway.
Since the late 1990s ecommerce has almost exclusively involved credit/debit cards, but now there are other options like Bitcoin, which even make anonymous transactions possible (especially useful for digital downloads where no physical address is required). We've been working with Bitcoin for several years.
Time to Think Global
The Internet gives small local companies the potential to sell their products nationally and internationally. The population of our US hometown - Wilmington, North Carolina - is 120,000. The global population is 7.6 billion. Our customers are often surprised how many orders they get from overseas. While these can present their own problems (shipping costs, custom duties, fraud) the benefits of expanding the market for your products are difficult to ignore.
US companies often overlook small things that can make their website difficult for people outside the USA to use. For example, overseas telephone numbers rarely fit the US format, so forcing customers to enter their number in a 3-3-4 format will frustrate many users. Similarly address fields that require a numeric post/zip code won't work for users in countries that have different formats, such as Canada and the UK. We can help you avoid these mistakes and maximize your potential sales.
Advice and Consultancy
Hopefully we've convinced you of our technical credentials in ecommerce. But over the years we've learned so much more. We've worked with clients in numerous countries, selling products including clothes, tools, food, and pretty much anything else that can be sold online. We've also been selling our own shopping cart software online since 1999. We can give advice about
- which credit card and payment services are best suited to your business
- which delivery services to use, and whether shipping pricing can be calculated in real time
- integration with accounting and other software packages
- common legal issues that might require further research
Whether you have an existing site that you want to upgrade or replace, or you're new to ecommerce, give us a call or drop us a line on the form below - we'd love to chat about your project.