I wasn't really sure where to post this, but it's related to e-commerce, so i figure I have the right place! hehe.. Here's my question:
A friend of mine has offered me a very good business opportunity, selling the sports equipment that he develops. He has an online store that sells the equipment, as well as a "real" store, and is pretty successful with those. So as you can imagine, I'm pretty excited that I was offered the opportunity!
He has a shopping cart system that he will make me a user on, but, we need a way that I can get notifications in my mailbox of sales, as well as his. I'm not sure what shopping cart system he uses, but I'll be happy to get any information you need in order to answer this question.
Here's what he had said to me about what he wanted. If you know of anything that does this, please let me know!
Friend: when the customer makes a purchase, it should be directed to me, I will send the equipment, deal with the credit card service provider, and set up an account for you to gathered your profit, then send it to you. Friend: you do everything on your site, but the inside part of the purchase should be directed to me, like what it is in my website. Friend: the visitor will visit your site, then when they make a purchase, the order will go direct to me and better still if one notice can direct to you.. Friend: if we can make it so that one notice will be direct to you everytime visitor made a purchase, then it will be facinating.
So there ya go. Any input on how this can be done automatically?
One, have your own shopping cart like osCommerce so you can customize the store the way you want it to look and then add his products etc. Then for the checkout either have it go to his merchant account via his gateway provider, or via paypal etc.
The emails you can set to have an order email go to him with details, and then have a sales receipt go to you that something was ordered.
The other option is to have a forwarder email setup. So if an order is placed, a copy goes to him and a copy to you. This would work in the CURRENT store that he has setup - just setup a forwarder email address.
If you're just doing presales on your site though, maybe an affiliate setup would be better with his store if it has the posibility. This way you can do all the promotion on your site, give all the details etc, and when they click buy, they are transferred directly to his site with your affiliate number and you get the percentage credit for the sale.
oh yeah... i forgot to mention that he's wanting to do this with someone else, too... in france or canada or something... lol so i think the first option would be better... unless you could keep track of the sales for all 3 stores through the email forwarders.
okie dokie. thanks a bunch i appreciate it very much!
oh yes... i have a reseller account @ a hosting company (because i have a lot of websites) & they have agora shopping cart & PHPCart (or something like that) in fantastico. would either of those work as a cart for the first option?...
See if you can find out what store software he's running. An affiliate program would be the best solution. You basically put pictuers/descriptions on your site, and then when the customer clicks purchase, they go to his site, fill in all the details and you get an email that a purchase was made.
If he doesn't like his shopping cart - www.storefront.net looks to be a solution he might want. Here's a quote from their site: "Do it yourself or let us build it for you, StoreFront is the only true single-vendor solution."
From this basically THEY operate the store, and then you would have multable storefronts that link TO the site. Kinda like how Amazon does it. You select the products you want to sell, and he gets to fulfill the order. You get a notification of the sale. This would be nice if he's looking at doing multiple setups like how you want. There's limited setup on your behalf as HE updates all the info in the store. You pick what you want to offer in your store, choose your design and then get a cut of the sale. He'd probably be able to charge a fee of sorts for using his inventory or providing hosting etc.
Affiliate would be better for you, but storefront might be a better solution for him.
See if you can find out what program he currently runs - maybe an affiliate module already exists and just needs to be implemented.
he doesn't want to do an affiliate thing with me. he wants me to have his products on my own store that i host myself, as i have a HUGE amount of space & bandwidth. he just wants his CC processings company to take the orders & have a notification sent to me when something on my site sells.
I guess the only thing then for him would be to give you access through his merchant gateway, but that would allow you FULL access to his bank account to charge and credit. Not something I'm sure he'd be willing to take a risk with (I know I wouldn't).
His gateway may allow only charges from an IP number - that would safeguard him, but without an affiliate program setup, the logical step is that you would be your own store as a reseller of his products. YOU get to make the charges to credit cards, and then he dropships from his location. Not the route you were looking for.
I guess if you really wanted to do extra work, you could setup your store, collect the credit card info from the client, then log onto his site and purchase the product in their name Again, not something I'd recommend - too much can go wrong.
if you want to run the site independantly then you will need your own cart. You could easily use something like oscommerce to sell the products and just use thier payment gateway to bill the customers.
Of course you would need access to the payment gateway to process refunds ect. Or your friend could do this for you.
We have been working on osCommerce for past 2 years and have done extensive modifications for many clients. From my experience, I would suggest osCommerce for your store front. Below are answer to some of your own questions.
1. You require FULL control on the look and feel of your web site.
osCommerce will give you the control you are looking for.
2. You would like to be notified of an Sale/Order and your friend would like to notified as well.
With osCommerce you will both be notified of Sale/Order
3. You need to process Credit Cards via your friend's merchant account
With osCommerce you would be able to do so.
Please let me know if you have any other questions. If you need my help then please e-mail me or call me at 1-888-OSC-GURU. Hopefully this should make your choice very simple.
PS.. osCommerce is the best "FREE" and very flexiable solution out there.
Arpesh Patel (Senior Developer) osCommerceGURU.com "Our name say it all, we are osCommerce professionals."