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If we consider websites that are purely shops, they provide the customer with one
thing—the opportunity to buy some products or services. Websites that are not at
all shops, generally provide information on a subject, and sometimes offer visitors
additional features or access to online communities. Drupal e-Commerce helps us
bridge the gap in a seamless fashion. Traditionally, if someone wanted a website that
had an online shop as well as a website, the two would be bolted together similar to
a garage being joined to a house. With Drupal e-Commerce we are not bolting the
two together, we are extending one into the other, similar to a new extension being
added to a house.
The figure above illustrates these different types of websites and shows that with
Drupal e-Commerce the shop and website are the same and interlinked, as opposed
to two separate entities.
With separate shopping carts bolted onto a website, they generally loose the
consistent theme of the website, and provide an added bonus for the visitor. We will
create an online shop and an online resource where each complements the other.
As e-Commerce is embedded into Drupal it allows us to make the most of a very
powerful CMS to improve the presentation of our products.
Doug is an avid dinosaur and model enthusiast, and runs his own shop and museum
selling model dinosaurs and offering information and facts on various dinosaurs.
He only has one property, and it's based a few miles outside the center of Newcastle,
a large city in the UK. Because his store isn't based in the center, he doesn't get as
much business from tourists and visitors to the city as he would like, and his main
customer base is school children in the local area; occasionally local schools make a
few bulk orders from him and bring a few large groups to see the museum.
Because Doug's business has been slowly declining for the past few years, he wants
to set up a website to advertise his store and museum but also to sell models online.
He hopes that this will increase his sales as he will be able to serve customers across
the globe, and also as tourists and visitors to the city will be more likely to find out
about his museum and realize it is only a short bus journey from the center, he may
get more customers for the museum too.