E-commerce wrap-up: What a ride!

Sit back and watch the money roll in! I started this e-commerce series on my blog with only a vague idea of how it would all come together. Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot along the way. I had this crazy idea that Zoho Creator could be used to create an online catalog of products or services to embed in your Web site, which led me to try experimenting with using this same idea to automatically create the appropriate PayPal codes for every product entered into the catalog. The idea sounded great, but I had to delve deep into the Zoho Creator and PayPal codes to try to make it all work.

Although it took me a long time to get everything working the way I wanted it to, I think it was worth the effort. I’ve had some great feedback from my readers about this series, even from the Zoho Creator team! I appreciate all of the support you’ve shown me.

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E-commerce Step 4 of 4: Optional Features/Enhancements

If you’ve been following along with this e-commerce series, you now know how to sign up for a free PayPal account to be able to receive online payments, create an online catalog of products/services, and provide your customers with more information by creating product detail pages. So if you are ready to start an online business, you have everything you need to get started.

However, since everyone’s situation is different, the steps outlined in my previous posts may not work for all of your needs. In this post, I want to introduce you to a few optional ideas or services that can be used to enhance your catalog.
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E-commerce step 3 of 4: Enhancing your online catalog by creating “Product Detail” pages

In my last post, I showed you how to use Zoho Creator to build an online catalog of products to sell on your Web site. With a little bit of scripting, you can even set this catalog up to automatically generate and display the appropriate PayPal “Add to cart” or “Buy Now” buttons to allow people to purchase your products online with PayPal or any major credit card. This is a great feature to include in your catalog, but what if you need to have more information available about your products? Most major online sellers have a page dedicated to every product they sell. They can do this because their product pages are rarely unique, individually-coded Web pages, but are pages automatically created by the server using information stored in a database. In this post, I will show you how to use Zoho Creator to build a similar functionality into your online catalog.

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E-commerce step 2 of 4: Create an easy-to-use catalog of products/services for your Web site

Automatically generate PayPal buttons for every product!Once you have created your PayPal account, you can immediately start adding customized “Buy now” or “Add to cart” buttons to your Web site (you must be logged in to PayPal to access the previous links). This will allow you to begin listing your products online and accepting payments within minutes. This is quite acceptable if you have only a few products to offer and you don’t change to your prices or your shipping/handling costs. Unfortunately, every time you want to add a product, change a price, or change the shipping/handling calculations, you will have to go through the entire process all over again to re-create your buttons. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to make these updates automatic?

Fortunately, there is a way to do this. It does require a little bit of coding on your part, but you do not need to have any previous knowledge of coding to make it work. I’ll walk you through the entire process, and you can have your catalog up and running within a few hours.

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