After launching the new Amai website last week, the first question everyone asked was, “Where’s the shopping cart?” Even though Andrew and I have been in the web design world for many years, neither of us have had to deal with building our own e-commerce tool. It’s a suprisingly difficult task. Free shopping carts are poorly programmed, and custom tools are expensive for small businesses. We looked at Shopify, but they take a 3% commission which is too much for a little shop like ours. We also looked at several free cart options, and ultimately decided on Zen Cart because of their shipping calculators. This is not an endorsement for Zen Cart by any means. It is filled with too many unnecessary features and is so confusing to navigate it is amazing that the average online business can use it. The final battle came with credit card processing. Google Checkout has free processing until the end of the year, but they don’t work well with Zen Cart’s shipping calculators, so that option was out. The best option to get the site up quickly was PayPal. The integration is a little akward, but it is secure and allows us to charge any type of credit card (paypal accounts are not required.)
Ultimately Andrew conquered the ZenCart system enough to get our online store up and running, just in time for the holiday season. You can now purchase Amai sweets directly from the source and have Tea Sweets and Botanical Brownies shipped right to your door. Thank you to those of you who have already placed an order! We tried to quietly launch it this weekend while testing, but many of you caught us and got your orders in. If you notice any issues with the cart or have any suggestions please let us know.
In addition to our Tea Sweets and Botanical Brownies, we’re also planning to offer a special holiday Champange Brownie sale in December. It’s so exciting to be able to offer specials directly to you. Let the holiday shopping begin…
Amai Tea & Bake House Online Store
Thank you Andrew!