My client would like me to design a brochure-type site for him displaying only a few of his items. The "buy now" button on the site will then go to another site that is a directory for retailers called whatsonsale.co.nz.
I explained to him that it may be best that he have his own CMS site displaying all his items and have his own shopping cart facility. However, due to finances, he chooses to go with the external shopping cart site for now.
Can anyone advise on the pros and cons of the separate site for use of shopping cart and full database?
thanks so much
The main issue here is the user being led to an external URL without being notified. This decreases trust and will probably make more customers cancel their purchase. This cannot be fixed entirely but you can improve the situation a lot by being up-front about the fact that you're leading them to another site. This could be done by saying "Buy now on externalsite.com" instead of just "Buy now".
You should tell your client that having his own CMS/shop on 1 site would greatly increase the amount of completed sales, and that, depending on the size of his business, having a single site developed would probably earn him the development costs back.
- As stated above; Trust is an issue, users are removed from the site and brand they are familiar with to a third part brand they might not know. This could be problem but not necessarily. If the online shop provider is known as a trusted brand (ie PayPal) the user might feel even more safe handling their shopping through their system.
- Usability, an involuntary redirect of a user can be frustrating and confusing. Inexperienced users might "think something is wrong" while more experiences users that like controll might get irritated. And a site that irritates can quickly become abandoned all together.
- When using a specialized service like and third party e-shop you don't need to worry about updates and security. That is something you pay for and they fix. No hassle. Being responsible for security and updating issues can be tedious (and when a users money is involved; legal issues is something you Don't want...).
- Controll: a third party system is what it is. It might have all the bling and more your client wants. But it might also have it's quirks. You might encounter accessibility issues in an otherwise swell system that you just don't have any controll over. If you build or host your own solution you have full controll.
But if you handle all third party request "in the background" (ie through custom APIs and the like) you will circumvent most of the above problems.
Thanks very much. Your answers confirmed my concerns.