What We Do:
Web design, mobile development and more.

The act of selling goods or services online through a Web site is generally referred to as "e-commerce". While once a major undertaking that was only practical for large companies with big budgets, there's a variety of options now available for small businesses (and even individuals) wishing to sell online.

Whether you've got a whole catalogue of products and/or services to offer or just one to sell, a full blown merchant account or a third party processor like PayPal in mind, Greenstick can help you get your storefront live. While we can help you facilitate all aspects of e-commerce, ultimately we'll need:

A Shopping Cart:

A "shopping cart" (in terms of e-commerce) refers to the software used on your Web site through which customers can view and choose the products and/or services they wish to purchase prior to checkout. Like a shopping cart at a grocery or department store, customers "place" the items they want to purchase inside, then "check out" once they're finished shopping and are ready to pay. At this point the customer enters their personal and payment information, then a payment gateway relays that information to the payment processor, which then responds to confirm whether the payment went through or not.

Over the last decade there's been quite an expansion in the number of shopping carts available to merchants, helping to lower licensing costs despite the fact that the software has become more powerful and sophisticated.

While large companies that require particular integrations with existing in-house software (such as inventory management) will inevitably require more expensive solutions, small businesses able to work with existing carts can usually expect to pay less than $1000 for their back end (prior to integration/customization).

Payment Processing:

The most important part of any e-commerce solution is of course, getting paid (that's the whole point, right?)

A payment processor is the "middle-man" that deals with actually taking the customers payment and transferring it to you, the seller. This is often referred to as a merchant account, and can be acquired through places like your local bank or through third party services found online.

Payment processors like PayPal and Google Checkout aren't quite the same as a traditional merchant account, but serve more or less the same purpose and are quite popular with smaller businesses these days. They're easy (and usually free) to set up, offer competitive fee structures, and handle the majority of security for the transactions on their end (usually eliminating the need for security certificates on the sellers side.)

A Payment Gateway:

Shopping carts these days can facilitate gateways for the majority of major payment processors/merchant accounts. If you're using a merchant account setup in which payment details such as credit card numbers will be entered directly on your site, this requires some additional steps such as getting a security certificate, setting it up and of course, testing out some transactions and verifying security.

Once we've sorted out the above details, the remainder of the development process is similar to setting up a content management system. Company particulars from your mailing addresses to tax details are incorporated into the back end, a design is created for the front, then items for sale are added in as 'content', either by the client themselves once setup is complete, or on our end if preferred.

Got questions about setting up your own e-commerce solution? Contact Greenstick and we'll be happy to answer.