We talk a lot about e-commerce in terms of web design and the best ways to get customers to find and purchase a particular item. What’s not mentioned is how this all comes to be. Before you even think about the layout you want to use, you should ask what tool is best for you. It’s a difficult thing to ask, but every e-commerce site is different and you want to make sure what you’re using is going to be the proper fit.
I got the idea for this post when I noticed that the shopping section on the restaurant, Serendipity’s, website, links to their Amazon storefront. Now, as a restaurant, I think this works fine for the small amount of merchandise items they’re trying to sell. Though I began to wonder how many other small merchants were using Amazon for their e-commerce.
Aside from seller accounts, Amazon offers Webstore, which is an e-commerce tool that can be integrated into your website design. It’s like Amazon in disguise. Of course Amazon ensures their logo turns up somewhere, but for the most part, the customer can go through the process without knowing they’re using Amazon.
It’s a cool feature for what I personally think is best for smaller e-commerce sites like MTV. Similar to Serendipity, MTV is only selling merchandise. Conversely, MTV has a bigger budget and can afford to fully integrate Amazon’s services into their shopping cart.
If you fit the bill, Webstore may be a great option for you, otherwise I believe a larger e-commerce site is better off using a solution like X-Cart as it allows for more control. When it comes to finding the right e-commerce software, I do believe size matters. If you don’t mind being limited in options a bit, Webstore may be a viable option.