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  • #987895
    Hanah Wright
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    Hi All,

    Looking to set up a SWIMWEAR ecom website but only have 1 month to go live!
    How do I find out the right platfom?? Thinking to customize a pre-built hosted ecommerse software site that allows me to update &maintain database, email marketting, links to blog, search engine optimization, inventory management and analytics… must be compatible with mobiles/tablets etc thinking simple design homepage, category pages, product pages and utility pages (contact, return policy, etc.). Shopping cart must be CC & paypal compatible

    Product to go live with is;
    -KIDS x85 items
    -WOMENSx39 items
    -PLUS SIZE x49 items

    and wondering if anyone can tell me where to go to get this happening and how much will something like this will cost and how long will it take me!!!??

    #1164760
    Jon W
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    I use the Bigcommerce platform and it has basically everything that you need. It seems they are always moving forward as well which is good. You can select from a bunch of different templates or you could hire someone to customize the site for you. You can upgrade your level as your business grows http://www.bigcommerce.com/pricing/. Their are other platforms people use that are good too, but I have been happy with this one.

    #1164761
    MissSassy
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    Hi Hanah

    I recommend http://www.pixelfish.com.au they did my site and they are members here too. The platform they use is wordpress and I couldn’t be happier.

    They also have a 30day guarantee which fits in with your needs

    #1164762
    John Debrincat
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    Hanah Wright, post: 190608 wrote:
    Hi All,

    Looking to set up a SWIMWEAR ecom website but only have 1 month to go live!
    How do I find out the right platfom?? Thinking to customize a pre-built hosted ecommerse software site that allows me to update &maintain database, email marketting, links to blog, search engine optimization, inventory management and analytics… must be compatible with mobiles/tablets etc thinking simple design homepage, category pages, product pages and utility pages (contact, return policy, etc.). Shopping cart must be CC & paypal compatible

    Product to go live with is;
    -KIDS x85 items
    -WOMENSx39 items
    -PLUS SIZE x49 items

    and wondering if anyone can tell me where to go to get this happening and how much will something like this will cost and how long will it take me!!!??

    Hello Hanah,

    You have left it a bit late really. The main issue with getting an online business up and live is not the platform. The core and generally most difficult issue in the content. That means the images, words and other information that you need to get right.

    Supporting credit card and PayPal is not really an issue as most hosted ecommerce systems will do that. If however you need to set up a merchant bank account then you might be looking at 6 weeks or more.

    You can setup a business account with PayPal pretty quickly that can get you going and that can accept credit cards but a gateway and merchant account will take longer.

    How will you ship? I am guessing by Australia Post so you need to make sure that the system supports the Australia Post services.

    You can take a look at the Australia Post My Online Shop which includes shipping integration and also support for PayPal and payment via Australia Post’s SecurePay system.

    But remember the content and don’t launch if the content is not complete and good quality.

    Functionally you will need a system that support variations based on size and colour. Each does it a little differently.

    No one can guarantee that you will be up and running in 30 days as we don’t know where you are at with the content and other legal and financial issues.

    John

    #1164763
    MissSassy
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    John Debrincat, post: 190620 wrote:
    No one can guarantee that you will be up and running in 30 days as we don’t know where you are at with the content and other legal and financial issues.
    John

    John – Common sense tells you that if there a hold ups from the clients perspective then the 30days doesn’t happen. The guarantee still holds true from the web designer!

    #1164764
    John Debrincat
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    • Total posts: 963
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    MissSassy, post: 190634 wrote:
    John – Common sense tells you that if there a hold ups from the clients perspective then the 30days doesn’t happen. The guarantee still holds true from the web designer!

    Kelly, having a web design is NOT getting an online store LIVE as Hanah suggested was required in the original post. 30 day guarantees and the like are a bad marketing gimmick that just mislead business owners into making uninformed decisions.

    John

    #1164765
    MissSassy
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    It is a shame John, that your negativity has overtaken this thread.

    Hopefully Hannah you are able to find a solution to suit your needs ASAP. You do have a lot of product to upload and it may be beneficial to just get some great feature products up before you load the entire range. Get used to using the site (whichever platform) and become comfortable with the ongoing work required for a store.

    The most important part will be getting people to your store and ready to buy. Once you have chosen your platform and that process is going, begin the strategies required to promote and spread the word about your store.

    In choosing your platform remember that an online store is just like a store front, people want to move around with ease, check sizes, measurements etc. If you can include delivery in your pricing structure it makes the buyers decision clearer as they only think about the product.

    I would also recommend you look at another FS member http://www.legalvision.com.au as they produce all the policies and terms you need for an online store in an affordable pack.

    Best wishes with your journey to online store and business owner.

    #1164766
    John Debrincat
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    • Total posts: 963
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    MissSassy, post: 190637 wrote:
    It is a shame John, that your negativity has overtaken this thread.

    .

    Excuse me. We deal regularly with business owners that have been mislead, conned, abused by operators that promise the earth and deliver nothing. They come looking for someone to miraculously fix the problem and there are no miracles. And I am not saying that the companies you mentioned are in these categories. But you cannot build a solution if you don’t know what the problem really is.

    So we start from a position that you can’t promise to deliver anything unless you know what the customer wants, what position they and the business are in and what the budget is. Its pretty simple really.

    You call it negativity and I call it business reality.

    John

    #1164767
    Jenny Spring
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    • Total posts: 597
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    Hanah Wright, post: 190608 wrote:
    Hi All,

    Looking to set up a SWIMWEAR ecom website but only have 1 month to go live!
    How do I find out the right platfom?? Thinking to customize a pre-built hosted ecommerse software site that allows me to update &maintain database, email marketting, links to blog, search engine optimization, inventory management and analytics… must be compatible with mobiles/tablets etc thinking simple design homepage, category pages, product pages and utility pages (contact, return policy, etc.). Shopping cart must be CC & paypal compatible

    Product to go live with is;
    -KIDS x85 items
    -WOMENSx39 items
    -PLUS SIZE x49 items

    and wondering if anyone can tell me where to go to get this happening and how much will something like this will cost and how long will it take me!!!??

    Hi Hanah

    My suggestion to you is — DON”T RUSH THIS!

    You’ll most likely end up throwing out everything and wishing you had done it right the first time.

    I’ve got a 10 year ecommerce background (my own ecommerce business – now sold), and now I run a digital marketing agency, as well as building the occasional website.

    Most of my clients wished they hadn’t rushed their website. Under pressure we make decisions that aren’t necessarily well thought out.

    That said — I’d suggest you do the following:
    1. set up a one page landing page website, and on that have your email optin. Start collecting email addresses. You can tell people your site is coming, and you’ll be launching soon, and if they are on the email list they’ll get special early offers or whatever.

    Set up your email service provider independently of your website. I use Aweber (excellent), you can use Mailchimp. Just choose one, and then link it back to this one page website.

    Then behind the scenes start planning that excellent website.

    I can help you with the above — I’m an email specialist.

    Jenny

    #1164768
    JohnW
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    Hi Hanah,
    You can’t provide enough info about your web publishing requirements in a forum like this. Therefore you can’t, IMHO expect informed answers about specific ecommerce systems.

    The choice of shopping cart programs will probably start with questions like:

    How many product categories will you have and how many products?

    Then there will be the range of freight calculations you may need. Freight is one of the most problematic issues in e-commerce.

    Then there is the functionality of the ordering process. This is another huge issue.

    Another “biggie” will be how you propose to attract visitors to your site? If you want to attract generic SE referrals you will have a requirement for content publishing that many carts may not support.

    Last on this incomplete list is the knowledge of the web developer. Developers often focus on their favourite cart program.

    I would recommend a process of writing up a design / development brief then inviting developers to quote on it.

    You will probably find a number of ecommerce platforms suggested for the same brief.

    IMHO, the knowledge of the developer in the platform they recommend is probably the most important issue.

    PS. I’m with John & Jenny who recommend you hold on your 1 month lead time if you possibly can.

    Your question suggests you have a lot more to learn about e-commerce.

    E-commerce is a very, very tough game. If you don’t know how to do it when you start, you will be burning money like a boat owner while you get up to speed.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1164769
    NicolaKEG
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    Hi Hanah
    How exciting for you! I can only speak from my own experience but I went with BigCommerce for my ecommerce site and I couldn’t be happier. I did a trial with Shopify but wasn’t keen on the commission per sale when on the surface BigCommerce appeared to offer pretty much the same product. BigCommerce offers all those features that you are wanting. I pay about $30 a month and that’s all for the site. You can customise any of their templates but I just went with a plain one for time and financial reasons – plus my product is a ‘need’ product (medical eye patches) not a ‘want’ product so it doesn’t really have to look as pretty as say a jewellery site for instance.

    I have Paypal, direct deposit and Credit Card as payment options. I have recently switched to Stripe (this is integrated into Bigcommerce) for CC payments as I found I was having terrible troubles with Paypal doing CC payments (if someone used an email address for their order and paid by CC but that address was already linked to a Paypal account it would refund and cancel the order automatically. Very annoying!). Stripe pay my money into my account pretty well every day. There are obviously the fees from Paypal and Stripe to consider but I think it’s worth it.

    I also have another small business site that runs ProductCart which was designed by a web designer. For me, it is the most clunky, terrible and painful thing to work with. So much so that I don’t even use it anymore as a selling site.

    As others have said, a 1 month preparation time might be a little ambitious but I guess it depends on how much time you have to dedicate to it and if you have all your content ready to go and the rest of the business stuff set up (ie bank accounts, Paypal account, business insurance, etc etc). Certainly doing/getting all the product shots, descriptions etc can be extremely time consuming.

    Wishing you all the very best of luck with it though and look forward to hearing about the launch!
    Kind regards
    Nicola

    #1164770
    Fond Digital Agency
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    What a depressing thread, riddled with sales pitches and limited advice!

    Now to the point…

    You will have no problem pushing your site live within a month (and doing thus without cutting corners), provided you have time to dedicate to it (i.e. if you’re working full-time and hope to still pull it off, do prepare to lose some sleep!). Saying this, though, you will need to use a hosted solution (personally, we don’t like these, but accept their benefits for start-ups) to save you time and ensure data security, alongside a stock theme (or template, if you will). Shopify is probably the best place to start if you’re looking to go 100% DIY. It’s not great, but it rounds the edges of the major corners, without quite cutting them off!

    The best advice is to join some forums dedicated to selling online (especially those relating to your chosen content management system) and absorb as much of the advice and expertise as possible. Whilst there are perhaps some people on here with plausible ecommerce experience, you’re best to engage with a dedicated user group, whilst also trawling through YouTube!

    With respect to creating “coming soon”-esque pages using your chosen domain name: this is not an ideal undertaking for a number of reasons (although, this is a whole different discussion). Finish your site and push it live as a complete, search engine and customer ready solution.

    We should add, too, that there are no concerns around the quoted size of your product range… Any and all ecommerce CMS’s worth consideration will support a “mass-upload” of your products, meta deta, descriptions and imagery, meaning there is absolutely no need to manually load material. Taking into consideration your operational capabilities (from a storage and despatch side of things, as much as anything else), you should try to go live with as large a product range as possible. Small range ecommerce sites generally have poor engagement stats and are a real struggle with SEO (a stereotype, yes, but one that generally holds true).

    #1164771
    Fond Digital Agency
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    P.S. Take a look here and here, as well as here to get you started.

    #1164772
    Stuart B
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    The most alarming thing I found about the question was the 30 day timeframe? What is this requirement based on?

    I would suggest not rushing the development of your online store, because if it isn’t at it’s best you’ll have given yourself a big disadvantage down the track as you battle with all the little issues.

    Take the time to get the design right and make sure you’re happy with everything rather than rushing it all through. That way you won’t look back in 6 months a say something like “mistakes were made”.

    #1164773
    AngusMcKinnon
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    Lots of interesting comments in here :)

    Ecommerce is quite easy these days. You can have a site up and running in an hour so if 30 days is all you have so be it. Plenty of time.

    As some people have suggested go with bigcommerce or shopify. Whichever one you like the look of most. My tip would be bigcommerce. Don’t over think it. Just get started. Beauty of something like Bigcommerce or shopify is you don’t need all the answers now. Fill in the dots as you go. Change them later if your business changes. If you need help, post a spec on Odesk.com and pay someone who is more of an expert $100 to set up your site for you.

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