Adding ecommerce to a bespoke site

Hi,

My company built our own CMS which we customise for individual clients. One of those clients wants to add ecommerce functionality to their site but they want it to be integrated with the existing site rather than a separate site.

Does anyone have any suggestions about the best way to approach this?

Thanks.

For me, depending on the complexity of the e-commerce part, I would look at Paypal it is very simple to take payments on line automatically, generate emails with a payment link or generate payment buttons and even invoices.

They have a Sandbox option for testing and I believe they have an API. But you can very simply create a payment option to take payment via debit/credit cards or paypal account - you will need your own Paypal account to recieve payments.

You need to open your Paypal account in a country that allows electronic transfer to a bank account or you can have loads of money in your Paypal account and no way of accessing it! I have done this for a Diving Education company taking on line payments for diving courses and it worked great.

You don’t even have to have it on ANY website, you can simply automatically send an invoice by email with a payment button!

Thanks for this. We did actually suggest this approach initially but the client doesn’t want to use PayPal and wants a more full-blown ecommerce solution (I should have mentioned this in my original post).

I’ve been doing a bit of research into headless ecommerce although I’m not sure if that’s going to be overly complicated for what we need.

One important question I can’t see addressed: how much is your client willing to pay for this? I don’t mean for your work - I assume that has already been agreed - but for the ongoing cost of accessing the e-commerce facility. This may limit your options.

That’s a good question. In this particular case the shop is very much secondary to their main business, just selling a few branded items so I don’t think they’d be willing to pay a monthly platform fee.

We’ve had a couple of other clients in the past wanting to do a similar thing. For one of them I think we ended up using a simple PayPal Checkout as it was just one product and the other we build a separate WooCommerce site.

Ideally what I’d like is some kind of open source package that we can integrate into our own CMS so it’s something we can offer to other clients in the future as well.

There’s no shortage of PHP ecommerce packages but they all seem to be for building stand-alone sites. I expect we could use one of those and hack it to get it integrated with our site/CMS (I did a similar thing with osCommerce many years ago) but I wonder if there’s a better way.

Have you looked at Roman Cart?

No, but I’ve just checked it out and it looks interesting. I guess it’s similar to PayPal Checkout in that you just add a button to your site and the cart and checkout side of things is all handled by Roman Cart. I can’t quite work out how it works with setting up products and the documentation is somewhat lacking but we’ll definitely keep this in mind. Thanks!

I suspect this particular client might want a bit more in terms of functionality (eg. related products, accounts, etc.) and one thing that puts me off a bit is the external checkout so if anyone has any other suggestions I’d be interested to hear.

Sorry but I have not followed up on this post for some time. But I did have another thought. Some time in the past I set up an e-commerce site for myself - not active any more (the site I mean, not me).

I set up credit card payment facility with my bank and they supplied me with a script example that I could amend that accessed their payment server, took the card details and credited my bank account. I had to send my amended script for approval as well as refund policy. This meant I could have any price list or shop cart I wanted, pass the values to the script and they were submitted to the bank and my account credited automatically.

So in short check with the bank and if they don’t have this facility look at another bank. Mine was very helpful.