This article will briefly explain the structure of e-commerce site.

Usually e-commerce site consists of:

  • Shopping Cart which does all calculations and has a catalog with database which stores all information about items in catalog.
  • Payment Gateway with Merchant Account, to allow bank transactions processing.

1. When selection from the catalog is done, customer proceeds to check out.

2. Total price is calculated and customer asked for Credit Card information which is passed to Payment Gateway.

3. Customer’s bank is contacted with request to authorize funds for the amount of purchase.

4. Bank approves the request and transfers funds to Merchant Account, Payment Gateway returns to the Shopping Cart system with confirmation. The order is complete.

5. If Credit Card authorization is declined, Payment Gateway notifies the customer about funds unavailability and cancels the transaction.

Shopping Cart

There are many Shopping Carts available and you are free to install any of them or even develop your own. Usually they are available as a modules for Content Management System. Intermedia used to have Miva as a preconfigured Shopping Cart.

Payment Gateway

These services can be purchased outside of Intermedia and added to the Shopping Cart as module. Most Shopping Carts support Authorize.NET and PayPal PayFlowPro as Payment Gateways, these were tested by Intermedia.

Merchant Account

Intermedia has partnered with PayQuake to bring you an easy way to get a Merchant Account. However you can choose any other service provider.

Note: In order to have Credit Card information passed safely to an e-commerce web site, Secure Certificate has to be installed on the webserver to encrypt this information. How Do I Enable A Secure Connection To My Web Server?