I'm developing a site which hopes to sell affiliate products. I have a question:

Can a Zen Cart shopping cart template be used as the 'Backbone' of my website? Say I'm selling phones, sports equipment and Kitchenware (just an example)...I find a provider (for each) and I become an affiliate. They send me data-feeds right...So can those products be placed inside my ZenCart database?

How would a purchase work then..because when they click they would have to go to the providers home site. I don't really need a shopping cart at all then, but I do need the catalog and buying technology, right?

I'm completely new to affiliating, and I would really appreciate help on how to go about it...Thanks!