e-commerce & Selling Online Made Easy
The Quick Online Shopping Cart Tutorial
So you have some products to sell in inventory and you want to get them online for easy sale. Here are some of the areas we will explore:
- Easy ways to design a page
- Easy ways to integrate a shopping cart to your site
- Easy ways of getting your funds into a bank account
There are a couple of ways that you can sell products online. In the T-Shirt world, aside from putting up your designs on site like CafePress and Zazzle, you can secure a domain and hosting through registrars like GoDaddy.com and Network Solutions and create your site from scratch. Templated sites are the easiest way to get something live but knowing how to do custom HTML will definitely help you create a custom cool look that customers can identify with.
When we designed this website, we setup the imagery in Photoshop and sliced it into pieces to be assembled in Dreamweaver with the use of HTML and CSS. If this means absolutely nothing to you then you might want to look at purchasing a template, buy into GoDaddy's Website Tonight or hire a local web designer to get the job done for you. Fact is, you may be a great graphic designer but, if you can't handle the programming aspect of a website, it's best to hire someone or pay for or something that will do the job right for you.
At Funny Graphic T-Shirts, our goal is to provide simple answers to complicated questions. Although we don't go into depth on how to do these individual steps, we like to guide people in the right direction so that they can get stuff done on their own to fit their own individual needs. Here are methods we noticed for getting the job done when integrating a secure shopping cart system into your website.
GoDaddy has a feature called Quick Shopping Cart that is super easy to use (see the video to the right). This option is probably the most comprehensive method for someone that is ambitious but doesn't know a lot about HTML and web programming. There are over 800 templates to choose from, it takes major credit cards, has multiple shipping options (UPS, Fed Ex and USPS) and has different price points based on your usage and amounts of products.
Do it Yourself with PayPal
Have some HTML knowledge and want to stick with your cheap basic hosting? Try using PayPal buttons on your website. Once you have a PayPal account, you can click on the Merchant Services tab and choose "Buy Now" and "Add to Cart" buttons. PayPal then takes you to a page to fill out a form with your product information and, once you click "Create Button", PayPal gives you the code to insert into your favorite HTML editor. It's that easy!
There are other options you can use as well to implement shopping carts. We have had minimal (but good) experiences with Miva Merchant and E-Junkie. Other names in the industry we haven't had a chance to experiment with yet include: Big Commerce, Network Solutions, 3dcart and others. Keep in mind, proven third party systems may not seem as "professional" as doing everything yourself but it takes care of all the database, SSL encryption and coding for you and that allows you to focus time on your products.