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What are the major components of an ecommerce product?

Hi all,
 I am going to develop an eCommerce product. It should have the potential to be shrinkwrap later. Also I should provide an API for external usage.

 My main problem is: I know nearly nothing at this domain and unfortunately don't access to a domain expert right now that I am writing Functional spec.

 So I would ask you:
  1) What are the major, critical components of a typical eCommerce product that you can't live without?
  2) Is there any specific standard (even de'facto) in eCommerce domain?

 Thanks in advance for your help and time.
Ashkan Send private email
Saturday, May 12, 2007
 
 
Then move on.
KC Send private email
Saturday, May 12, 2007
 
 
>> major, critical components

Ability to buy stuff.
Duncan Smart Send private email
Saturday, May 12, 2007
 
 
>> My main problem is: I know nearly nothing at this domain and unfortunately don't access to a domain expert right now that I am writing Functional spec. <<

There comes a time when you should realize you've bitten off more than you can chew.  This sounds like one of those times.

If you really want to continue, find a domain expert.  Or buy a lot of books and spend a couple of months reading them.
xampl Send private email
Saturday, May 12, 2007
 
 
You'll be sorry you asked this before too long.

1. Ability to put something in your shopping cart.
2. Ability to remove something from your shopping cart.
3. You'll need to make a design decision about how long the shopping cart lasts.
4. Possibly related to #3, you need to make a decision about whether a person can create an "account", what the account entails, whether people should get notifications of special offers, and whether the existence of an account keeps their cart open forever.
5. Pricing in single or multiple currencies.
6. Payment.  Some of the international payments get very weird.  Brazil boleto, I'm looking at you.
7. Ability for the vendors to organize products however they like.
8. Ability to focus on certain products, specials, etc.
9. Ability to fix the charged rate if something goes wrong.
10. Ability to refund if something goes wrong.
10b. Like a double-click charging twice.  Which is a bug you should fix.
11. Ability to handle returns for faulty merchandise.
12. If they buy a product, how much goes to the online merchant and how much goes to the vendor?  This is generally much more complicated than it sounds.
13. If the product is software, or is information, do you have a good way for the person to be able to download it?
14. Figuring taxes.
15. Figuring more taxes.
16. Figuring international taxes.  God help you.


The vendor is probably going to want to run some reports to track who is buying what as well.  You have no idea what kind of quagmire you are about to wander into and you really don't want to know.
moop
Saturday, May 12, 2007
 
 
Maybe this can inspire you:

http://www.elasticpath.com/

Best regards, Alessandro
Alessandro Ronchi Send private email
Sunday, May 13, 2007
 
 
I've put together a number of ecommerce sites over the last couple of years, and there really are a lot of things to think about- everyone's needs are different. If you don't yet have a customer, get one and build a system that accomodates their needs and go from there. Take a look at osCommerce (or one of the derivatives) or the demos of other commercial products (JShop is a reasonably comprehensive system) and see what features they include, that would be a reasonable starting point for something that you could expect people to pay for.
G Jones Send private email
Sunday, May 13, 2007
 
 
We have developed, and are still developing, add-ons for tons of eCommerce frameworks (see http://community.lokad.com for the list). Our ambition is to cover most of the eCommerce market.

We did start this process by some market research on eCommerce frameworks, and the conclusion was quite painful: it exists several hundreds of eCommerce products; with one market entrant every week or so.

At this point, the real question might be what kind of eCommerce component is not already covered by the market?

Hope it helps,
Joannès
http://www.lokad.com
Joannes Vermorel Send private email
Sunday, May 13, 2007
 
 
"am going to develop an eCommerce product [...] My main problem is: I know nearly nothing at this domain and unfortunately don't access to a domain expert right now that I am writing Functional spec."

Well, have fun.

Also, don't be offended when people choose to purchase products from people who actually understand how the product works. If you don't have "domain knowledge" then try doing something more than asking us to give you headings to put in your spec.

Thursday, May 17, 2007
 
 

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