Building E-Commerce Sites: It doesn't have to suck.


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As co-founder and developer of, I'm passionate about E-Commerce. I believe customers deserve more than a painful purchasing experience. Design and function matter.

There are so many options out there and until recently, most of them have sucked. How do you pick one that meets your client's needs? What about security, PCI DSS, taxes, shipping, downloadables, subscriptions, coupons and integrating with your existing backend systems like inventory, accounting and CRM? Should you add e-commerce to your exsting website or build out a new one? Should you go hosted or self-hosted?

Some of these details can take a profitable contract bid and flush it down the toilet as the never-ending project from hell. Get informed. Figure out what you don't know, what you need to know and what you can hopefully ignore.

In this session we'll explore your options and finish up with some back story on how you can take an idea and bring it to fruition as a system serving thousands of customers worldwide.

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  • Who's here?
  • New to ecommerce: Overview What Options you have Experienced in ecommerce: Cover some details you may not have thought of Best practices
  • Awesome website design, awesome ecommerce
  • Modern ecommerce: Modal cart Single page checkout + signup/login mobile commerce social commerce Security: PCI-DSS PA-DSS The Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • FoxyCart founded in 2007 We've processed over 300,000 transactions this year alone for over $30M over 1400 websites using FoxyCart to power their ecommerce NOT A SALES PRESENTATION
  • Out of date, but you get the idea... ecommerce is important
  • Use the right tool for the job, work with what you're comfortable using.
  • Quickbooks Salesforce Custom fulfillment systems Your CMS of choice
  • Again, work with what you're comfortable with. - table based layout? - font tags?
  • Security issues: card holder data passing through your infrastructure Difficult to style Tries to be the “one-size-fits-all” solution for everyone Creates a disconnect between your website and your online store
  • Difficult to integrate Have to learn new template languages
  • Keeps you using the tools you're comfortable with (CMS) but may not give you the flexibility you need on the eCommerce side of things.
  • Integrates your website with your ecommerce Brings the purchase closer to your content
  • Cons Requires customization Inventory category pages Pros: Stick with the tools you know One website, not 2 Service based – let each system do what it does best More control to integrate with the tools you're already using (not one size fits all) Not cookie cutter, allows for flexibility of catalog, cart and checkout pages “ Oh, look, another osCommerce store...” Lots of great options, many of which didn't exist when we started FoxyCart
  • Discount rates: percentage of transaction Transaction rates: set fee for each transaction ($.30 to $.50) Chargebacks: $30-$50, total PITA. Application fees Ongoing fees Settlement fees: $.05 to $5 Keep in mind that it can take quite some time to get your merchant account setup so get the ball rolling early. Full credit checks are often part of the process. Be sure to read the fine print of what is and isn't allowed.
  • Tangent: Lots of hands in the cookie jar. Make sure your business model is profitable FIRST Don't jump into an idea with tons of venture capital YouTube made $240 million in 2009 and spent $700 million to do it FoxyCart's story isn't sexy it's just a hell of a lot of work with very little sleep. We were profitable right away because we never borrowed money. Our growth has been steady because our users spread the word because we're meeting a real need: ecommerce for developers. For your business idea: meet a REAL need. Get feedback from tools like User Voice. Make a profit!
  • Think about how the information you collect online will integrate with other parts of your business
  • Multiple attack vectors: Systems/Hosting Software Social Engineering Client Naivete Emailing CC numbers No such thing as "Secure" High profile failures include JC Penny Google Facebook Security is HARD PCI is 200+ requirements. You can't take care of it by paying a simple fee (don't be scammed) PEN testing required SSL Certificates Server Monitoring
  • Workflow Current Future Think about moving to a service based architecture Don't duplicate your data Use the best tools for the job
  • Fired a client 2 years ago and that version of osCommerce is getting hacked? What then? Customize self-hosted package too much, how can you upgrade?
  • Figure out your needs first and ensure the features are there Brett story, 3-4 different shopping cart solutions for the same client. Ensure you have workarounds Doing conference registrations now, but what about selling the tracks as downloadables?
  • Legacy Systems, Website, Store, Payment Gateway, Merchant Account and back to your legacy systems Use the best in breed tools Security is EVERYONE's job
  • Building E-Commerce Sites: It doesn't have to suck.

    1. 1. Building E-Commerce Sites It doesn't have to suck. #bcn10ecom
    2. 2. <ul>What's in it for me? </ul>Developers
    3. 3. <ul>What's in it for me? </ul>Developers Designers
    4. 4. <ul>What's in it for me? </ul>Developers Designers Merchants / Marketers
    5. 5. <ul>Who is this guy? </ul>General projects team leader and developer at Co-Founder and core developer of Luke Stokes [email_address] @lukestokes
    6. 6. US E-Commerce Revenues page104.html
    7. 7. E-Commerce Overview
    8. 8. Legacy Systems
    9. 9. The Store
    10. 10. The Store CMS + E-Commerce (self hosted)
    11. 11. The Store CMS + E-Commerce (hosted)
    12. 12. The Store CMS + E-Commerce (CMS Specific)
    13. 13. The Hybrid Store
    14. 14. The Hybrid Store CMS: E-Commerce:
    15. 15. Payment Gateway
    16. 16. Payment Gateway Connects your website to your merchant account
    17. 17. Merchant Account
    18. 18. Merchant Account Allows your bank account to accept payments via credit and debit cards
    19. 19. Profit!
    20. 20. Profit! Meet real needs, serve well, get paid Issuing Bank Acquiring Bank
    21. 21. Integration
    22. 22. Gotchas Security Integration Upgrades Features
    23. 23. Gotchas - Security Multiple attack vectors Client Naiveté No such thing as &quot;Secure&quot; Security is HARD
    24. 24. Gotchas - Integration CRM Email Marketing Inventory Accounting
    25. 25. Gotchas – Upgrades Security Hot-fixes New features your client “needs” Customizations
    26. 26. Gotchas – Features 90% may not be good enough subscriptions / downloadables / registrations / coupons / gift certificates / custom fields Workarounds Future business needs
    27. 27. Demo
    28. 28. Takeaways <ul><li>Be familiar with all the pieces involved
    29. 29. Use the tools best suited for your needs
    30. 30. Have a plan for handling PCI compliance, security and ongoing maintenance including bug fixes and feature requests </li></ul>
    31. 31. Questions? Shameless plug: FoxyCart handles much of your PCI concerns, has the features you need or ways to integrate with them, removes the need for an SSL certificate, supports multiple accounts with one login, lets you design your site how YOU want it, has one of the best checkout flows in existence and integrates with anything that can handle XML