Probably it does not require further explanation describe what “e-commerce” is. If you have a product or service with a predefined set of features and price and your target customers uses internet then you can think to sell it online. An automated system can do the job of an “efficient sales representative”, even taking payment and depositing in your online account. Now how you should move totally depends on the nature of the product and complexity of the selling procedure.
However, if you have searched the web you could have found hundred of eCommerce software, everyone claiming their software to be the best. Even you would get the eCommerce software free of cost from your web hosting provider. But if you try to find the popular websites selling products online, probably you will hardly find a single website using the so called renowned eCommerce software. Surprising!
The fact is that, to make your website sell, it must be able to convey ONLY the right message in the right way to your target audience. The ONLY is very much important, because if you tell more the visitors will be confused. And the PLUG-n-PLAY eCommerce software will always dump you something more. If you hire a developer to hide (in most cases removing will not be possible) unnecessary stuffs, your cost will go higher in the long run. Some of those PLUG-n-PLAY eCommerce packages are not at all SEO friendly. On the other hand making a fully customized eCommerce site can be out of your budget. So taking right decision really becomes difficult here.
What ever you go for, first thing you must consider that you are not using proprietary system such as MIVA. Once you, you will have to pay high amount for making small changes. Simply you lose your freedom.
Next thing to consider is the nature of your products. If you are selling shopping products, your requirement is similar to other websites, you want your website quickly, your budget is at lower end, or you want to “see and move ahead” then you can think of open source ready web stores like osCommerce. If you are selling services it is quite likely numbers of products will be less and those will not be displayed in the way shopping products are. On that occasion you must have to add different shopping cart application and that might involve filling additional forms. Our own e-commerce module (may need some changes as per your requirement) may best serve you. This can fit with our existing CMS module too.