Inside the e-Commerce software
To create an online store for you, we will implement an e-commerce or shopping cart solution that does these functions:

A Catalog to organize your products, and display them with photographs, product descriptions and prices.

A Search function that allows your customers to search for specific products.

A Shopping Cart module that allows your customers to choose the products they like and place them in a shopping cart. They can either go ahead and order these products, or save them for a later date.
A Checkout function that enables your customers to enter the information you need to ship to their location, and pay for these products online.

An Administration module that allows you to control the entire shop, and provides you with various reports about its performance.

Each of these basic functions is enhanced by a host of additional features that allow you to run a competent and modern online store while your customers enjoy a shopping experience that is effortless and enjoyable.

Open Source e-Commerce
The shopping cart software we use is always off-the-shelf, or packaged software, and not a custom or bespoke solution created just for you. It is also always Open Source, meaning that the source code, and the way the software is built (the architecture), is transparent to everyone. There are several good reasons why this is to your advantage.

It is sure to work well. We constantly evaluate shopping cart software vendors for the stability of their software, their ability to incorporate the latest developments in technology and functionality, and their acceptance with customers and developers. The software we choose to implement will work successfully for you because it has been tried and tested by a number of companies before you.

It will be easy to maintain and improve. Unless you are prepared to employ a team of in-house software developers dedicated to maintaining your online shop, a custom software solution will almost certainly mean that that you are dependent on the firm or the individuals who developed it. Should the firm disappear, or the employees leave, you are left with a piece of software that no one understands, and few can fix.
With off-the shelf software that is also open source, you will always find people who have worked on implementing the software for other clients, who understand how it works, and know how to fix problems or add new features to your site.

It will be cheaper to run in the long run. The Total Cost of Ownership for Open Source packaged solutions (which includes not just the cost of implementing the software, but also of maintaining and upgrading it) is almost always less than that for custom or closed source solutions. A lot of Open Source solutions are free, which means that you pay even less for implementing them.

Gartner, the research company, agrees. In its report,'Cost Cutting in Ecommerce, 2009', Gartner says that 'except for market leaders, such as Amazon and eBay, custom development is likely to be a waste of effort and money'. By choosing commercial, off-the shelf, or open-source e-commerce applications, Gartner estimates that enterprises can save between 35 and 45 percent of ongoing maintenance and license costs.

Find out why Magento Ecommerce is our favourite Open Source e-commerce solution.