Shopping Cart Software Confusion

kaplandj • October 15, 2009

Software Business

For those that love the iPhone Application Sketch Book, I’m deep into the development of a new product that I’m sure (hope) you will love. I was playing it safe when I used Amazon to fulfill my Sketch Book. They have a slick bullet proof system that did not fail me. All that will be going way with the Sketch Book when Apress takes over the publishing (in a few days).  Great service does come at a cost however. Amazon takes almost $5 out of a $15 sale.

So with the new product I decided to sell and fulfill it myself. How hard could that be? Right? So I started to look around at Shopping Cart Software. And I must say by this point my head is spinning and I’m pretty much right where I started out. There are hundreds of vendors. Hundreds of options. So I decided to treat this project like I might any other software project. I’m under a tight deadline of having something up early November. Demitri Pagonis will be redoing our Website to incorporate the new Apress Sketch Book and the new “secret” product. So that part is covered. I need a great checkout system for my product.

Here are some requirements:

  1. Take in credit card payments of major cards
  2. Simple one page checkout with no requirement to signup as a member
  3. Calculate shipping for USPS (my only shipping method I will offer)
  4. Store orders in an order database
  5. Store shipping information in Endicia XML format so the shipping process can be automated
  6. Create logs of everything with automated backup
  7. Be secure – check credit address validation and validate numbers
  8. Store customer information in a CRM system – possibly
  9. Be able to restore quickly (a plan?) in case of disaster
    1. Not cost an arm and a leg (might want to make some money off new product)
Sounds simple you say. I’d like to stick with my current ISP. I haven’t found anything off the shelf that will fit into our new website. Keep in mind this site is custom and not a store front template. The shipping automation some carts integrate but shoots cost up. I looked at some of the open source carts that I could tweak and that is certainly an option. And we are a software company and not afraid to roll our own. But time is running out.
I’m all ears and open to suggestions. Tweet to me about your experiences in this area via @Kapsoft. THe comment system on this Blog is currently AFU, so don’t post your brilliance there. Thanks.