Building an online store


A few das ago, I met with a friend of mine. He has started a small business and wants to provide a store for his customers.

The requirements are quite simple. Basically, he wants his users to go through these steps to purchase an ad placement:

  1. Step 1 - Build your ad and place it
    1. Upload the media (image/video)
    2. Select the ad location
    3. Select time blocks where the ad will appear
    4. Repeat 2-3 as much as you need.
  2. Step 2 - Repeat step 1 for as many ads you want
  3. Step 3 - Confirmation
    1. Review the order
    2. Submit it
  4. Step 4 - A system admin will review the ad content and placement
    1. On approval, the user receives a email to complete transaction
    2. On denial, the user receives an email with the reason behind the refusal
  5. Step 5 - Payment
    1. The user makes the payment to complete the transaction

Simple, isn’t it? Well, even with a user flow as simple as that, this will be a hard task. Building a modern e-commerce system is complex. There are many things that must be implemented to provide a solid user experience. Just to name a few: session/cart management, user management, order managements, payment handling and so on. So building something from the ground up is a no go considering the timeframe and the budget I have.

Available solutions

There are a few e-commerce solution out there that I will be looking into:

There are a lot more solutions out there, but I decided to look at them because I have experience with PHP, Wordpress and Java. The next step is trying them, see how extensive they are and then pick one to build my friend’s store upon it.