A guide for Joomla! Developers (and web saavy do-it-yourselfers)
The customer has a site up and running with Joomla! They are now comfortable updating it, and now they want to add the capability to conduct some of their business online. Where should we begin to choose the right type of ecommerce solution?
1. Business Objective
What is the client trying to do? This is the most important thing. Selling content? Downloads? Subscription type of service? Time? Access to a web based software service?
Widgets? How many? Advertising one item? 25 items? 500 different items, many with a variety of options? Many products with many options? A fully customizable piece of machinery?
2. How do they conduct business now and what is the workflow?
DO they have customers that call and place their orders over the phone? What systems do they use to process orders? Quickbooks? A clipboard? Internal spreadsheets? SAP or other large database?
Learn all you can about how they conduct business now, since the idea here is to help the customer succeed at their business objective. So the solution here should make it easier for the client, not more complicated. Also, asking questions about how they integrate the sales process makes it far more likely that they will use the web solutions that are implemented. People have a much better response to change if they feel they had something to do with creating that change.
3. Existing Data
Does the client have their products well documented? Are they in a database? Several databases/spreadsheets/documents? Is the product not yet launched?
How does the customer get paid now? Do they sell retail, where payment is made in full at the same time the product is handed to them ?