I had to give my credit card over the phone last week to buy a book and was sort of interested in why a site such as this didn’t have it’s own shopping cart. It’s not that it’s too hard!

SaaS is the obvious option, but many organisations prefer and need to own their brand which is not easy with Ebay and Amazon and both these organisations are regulated within the US jurisdiction which may not be appropriate. Amazon is also exceedingly expensive charging a margin rather than a cost+ service fee. Given the publicity around Amazon’s tax affairs, some publishing organisations may feel that Amazon dilutes their brand.

Lifehacker have had a look at the SaaS solution and concluded that building your own is best. (Hmm, it doesn’t sound right but hey!) So they then had another look at the problem, in an article called “How to set up your own online store”   which points out that many hosting services will offer  shopping cart functionality but they deal with what to use by describing the key functionality as a “free shopping cart script”, and it would be remiss of me not to mention that there are a number of wordpress plugins.

Looking at today’s answers, its sort of interesting how many other solutions have fallen by the wayside, and from my point of view the netscape e-commerce suite which Sun ballsed up but we can see now that it’s life time was always going to be short.

What was once sold as shrink wrapped software has become SaaS, and software is no longer a feature of hardware!


For some reason this took years to publish, as ever backdated to when I started it. The wordpress plugin originally linked to has now gone.

Some thoughts on E-Commerce for small vendors and big technology
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