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One of my Clients has asked me to review a small group of their on-line commerce sites and report on a way to make these into a shopping mall. I would like to develop a Proposal for this project.
All the sites sell the same category of product - PRINTER INK, PRINTER TONER, PRINTERS, PRINTER ACCESSORIES. The sites operate only in one country and the Client does not want activity outside that country. You can go to any search engine, in almost any western country, and look for ink and toner and you will typical results and typical rankings.
The client has built the sites so that each shop represents only one Brand of ink or toner - LEXMARK or BROTHER or FUJI-XEROX or SAMSUNG or CANON or HP.
The Competitor sites put all the Brands and products into one large e-commerce site, with shared shopping cart and payment gateway.
The Client prefers to use separate shops for each Brand, but has an idea for a shopping mall so that the buyers can move from branded shop to branded shop and
- open only one account with the MALL
- use only one shopping cart but still go from shop, to shop, to shop.....
- see only one invoice and delivery docket, one email, etc, with the full list of their shipping
- have only one shipping fee applied to the final cart and payment
The current build is a master top-domain, that is common to all shops, and a number of folders under that domain where each folder is a separate OSCommerce V2.3 package, with independent database, domain name redirect, mobile template, payment gateway, shopping cart. All shops use the OSCommerce SEO URL add-on. The domain looks like www.topdomain.com/shop1.....www.topdomain.com/shop2.....www.topdomain.com/shop3.....
Each of the shops is linked to price comparison engines, so datafeed urls and site maps are available.
An understanding of the amount of time and effort to pull all the shops together into one shopping mall, and each buyer is a customer of the mall. The mall handles payments, invoices, email confirmation, reporting etc just like a department store, but the buyer buys from each branded shop and moves between shops to fill the cart.
Please feel free to write comments or questions. We can arrange to SKYPE to discuss any of the matters.