Combining Webvanta with a hosted shopping cart system.
Webvanta is focused on creating great, content-rich sites, with complete design and database flexibility.
The Webvanta database makes a fantastic system for organizing a catalog of products and presenting it exactly how you want. Unlike simple store-builder systems, you have complete control over everything: the fields in the database, related database items such as companies, category pages, item pages, and so forth.
When it comes to completing the transaction, you can integrate any third-party shopping cart that is available in a hosted version. (We don't run any shopping-cart software on our servers.)
The most popular hosted shopping cart for designers using the Webvanta hosted CMS has been FoxyCart. It fits perfectly into the Webvanta approach because it doesn't store your product catalog—the product database is kept in Webvanta, and product information is passed to FoxyCart when the user clicks an Add to Cart button. FoxyCart also allows the cart and checkout pages to be styled to match the rest of your site, so it appears fully integrated.
See Setting Up eCommerce with FoxyCart for details on how it works and what you need to do to set it up.
If you want us to do all the setup for you, we can do it for $500 to $1,500, depending on how much customization you need.
Some examples of FoxyCart/Webvanta sites:
The biggest limitation of the FoxyCart approach is that it does not deal with orders once they have been placed. It's great for completing the transaction, and it handles sales tax, shipping options, and various kinds of payments. But once the order is completed, the store owner needs to process the orders and communicate with customers based on the notification email they get from FoxyCart.
Some of the things FoxyCart does not provide: a list of items that need to be fulfilled, notification emails to customers when products have been shipped, a place for customers to log in to get the status of their order, inventory management, and reporting. (We can build some of this capability into the Webvanta side of the solution on a custom basis.)
If the site is likely to do a few transactions a day, then this approach is fine. But if you expect to be handling more volume than that, you probably want a more complete system.
In this case, you may want to look at Shopify or BigCommerce. These hosted store-building systems maintain the entire product catalog, so they don't integrate with Webvanta in the same way as a solution like FoxyCart. You can, however, combine a store site from one of these suppliers with an informational site built with Webvanta, using different subdomains for each an unified design and navigation to make them feel like one site.
Many sites use either PayPal or Google Checkout for simple payment processing. These services also support shopping carts. They are simple to setup and have no monthly base fees, but they do not give you control over the checkout experience—the user is clearly on the PayPal or Google site when they complete the transaction.
Additional hosted store options include: