Home – New Forums Starting your journey Managing high volume online sales

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #978712
    Paul B.
    Member
    • Total posts: 119
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Soloists,

    I am looking to move my ebay operations to an independent webiste. My business is selling collectible postage stamps. I will be look to set up a basic website that enables users to browse and purchase my inventory.

    The website will be geared heavily towards sales and won’t offer much opportunity to engage otherwise (blogs, forums, newsletters, articles etc).

    So my questions are:

    1. Are there basic website templates that can provide for my needs? Who can provide this service?

    2. What software is available to help me track my sales? At the moment I use an excel spreadsheet. This is ok but it is too easy for data entry errors etc. It will also be a little clumsy when I increase my volume of sales.

    3. What options are there in terms of packaging and postage? Are there cheap ways to outsource this (in Newcastle). If not, how can I best manage this aspect of the service (i.e. reducing time and errors)?

    If there are any online retailers out there that can offer some advice that would be great.

    #1108996
    tkc2012
    Member
    • Total posts: 64
    Up
    0
    ::

    I can answer your first question, somewhat. There are many out-of-the-box ecommerce solutions, one of the bigguns is Shopify.

    #1108997
    Paul B.
    Member
    • Total posts: 119
    Up
    0
    ::
    tkc2012, post: 121181 wrote:
    I can answer your first question, somewhat. There are many out-of-the-box ecommerce solutions, one of the bigguns is Shopify.

    Thanks tkc!

    Have you used this before? How is their ongoing support? My web design knowledge is limited so I would need to know there is good support at the other end.

    #1108998
    King
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,212
    Up
    0
    ::

    To best respond to your needs it will help if we know how many products you will be handling and the requirements to add/delete and if these can/need to be done using csv or xml files.

    #1108999
    Tall Trees Eco Store
    Member
    • Total posts: 52
    Up
    0
    ::
    Paul B., post: 121132 wrote:
    1. Are there basic website templates that can provide for my needs? Who can provide this service?

    I use Magento Go. They have basic templates you can use and a wizard to help you put up your logo etc. They also have a free 30 day trial period so you can get a feel for it first. I took one template and changed a bit of its detail. I did have to teach myself code etc and it took me awhile however I was able to find all the info needs online through Magento specific support forums. My site is ok and will do for now but eventually I will have someone design it properly. The best thing is I know Magento back to front now.

    Paul B., post: 121132 wrote:
    2. What software is available to help me track my sales? At the moment I use an excel spreadsheet. This is ok but it is too easy for data entry errors etc. It will also be a little clumsy when I increase my volume of sales.

    Magento can help you with this. I can see very basic sales data through the CMS dashboard. You can also purchase add-ons to be more sale specific.

    Paul B., post: 121132 wrote:
    3. What options are there in terms of packaging and postage? Are there cheap ways to outsource this (in Newcastle). If not, how can I best manage this aspect of the service (i.e. reducing time and errors)?

    I use Australia Post so not too sure about sourcing independent couriers etc.

    :)

    #1109000
    Paul B.
    Member
    • Total posts: 119
    Up
    0
    ::
    King, post: 121190 wrote:
    To best respond to your needs it will help if we know how many products you will be handling and the requirements to add/delete and if these can/need to be done using csv or xml files.

    I would be expecting to do upwards of 15 to 20 items per week. Each item is unique so items would need to be added/deleted regularly.

    #1109001
    Paul B.
    Member
    • Total posts: 119
    Up
    0
    ::
    Tall Trees Eco Store, post: 121191 wrote:
    I use Magento Go. They have basic templates you can use and a wizard to help you put up your logo etc. They also have a free 30 day trial period so you can get a feel for it first. I took one template and changed a bit of its detail. I did have to teach myself code etc and it took me awhile however I was able to find all the info needs online through Magento specific support forums. My site is ok and will do for now but eventually I will have someone design it properly. The best thing is I know Magento back to front now.

    Tall Trees Eco Store, post: 121191 wrote:
    Magento can help you with this. I can see very basic sales data through the CMS dashboard. You can also purchase add-ons to be more sale specific.

    I use Australia Post so not too sure about sourcing independent couriers etc.

    :)

    Magento sounds like it has to capabilities I need, however it may be a little time consuming learning the code and seeking information on forums. I have inventory ready to go and I am undertaking this in my spare time, so I would prefer to outsource web design and support and be able to manage it myself once it is setup.

    #1109002
    DarianCulbert
    Member
    • Total posts: 49
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Paul B,

    Not sure if I can help but you can check the following link for some shopping carts which have templates that you can modify!
    http://www.itwebexperts.com/oscommerce_zencart_xcart_comparison.php

    I tried Zen cart before and it is quite easy and straight forward to use and modify!
    It should help you with tracking the sales and it also offers some popular methods of shipping!

    I think not many people are good at codes but it is not difficult to learn some popular modification! It worth your time and you should learn some if you want to fully control your website and make changes whenever you want!

    One of my ideas for you in this case is to find a gallery software which can display the stamps in galleries then have shopping cart implemented!

    Hope this helps!
    Darian

    #1109003
    Paul B.
    Member
    • Total posts: 119
    Up
    0
    ::
    DarianCulbert, post: 121234 wrote:
    I think not many people are good at codes but it is not difficult to learn some popular modification! It worth your time and you should learn some if you want to fully control your website and make changes whenever you want!

    Hi Darian,

    I completely agree, after all I am using this as a means to establish another venture I have lined up. Im sure it will pay dividends if I invest some time learning the ins and outs of web code.

    Thank you for your suggestion, I will give it a look. THere have been some good leads so far in terms of E-Commerce web packages – thank you all so much!

    On another note – if I do sign up to these web hosting sites, and later decide that I want a web developer to build me a custom site, am I able to take the existing code and domain name with me? Or does the host own it?

    #1109004
    Ondetto
    Member
    • Total posts: 110
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Paul,

    there are many good providers out there – Big Commerce is very good and quite powerful with many templates to choose from that can be modified to your needs.

    Shopify doesn’t have such powerful features but plenty of design templates. Depending on your number of products it may be more expensive than Big Commerce though.

    Magento Go sounds very good but I haven’t used it myself so can’t really comment.

    If you’d prefer a local provider, Ashop offer a great feature set and fantastic support (http://www.ashop.com.au/). However they don’t have as many design templates available so you may have to get a custom job done.

    All of these integrate with shipping providers such as Australia Post, or you can set a flat rate shipping fee etc.

    If you later want to move to a custom designed shop, you can either get someone to design a new template for you while you stay on the same eCommerce platform, or you need to have it set up again from scratch but can export your products to move them over to the new platform.

    It might be cheaper in the long run to get a web designer / developer to create a store for you with an open source software as the monthly software fees for hosted solutions can really add up. PM me if you want to talk about it further.

    #1109005
    SavvySME
    Member
    • Total posts: 201
    Up
    0
    ::

    My experience is with open cart – as after a lot of research this was the best platform for me. It is pretty much identical to MAgento and it’s open source as well. The benefit of Opencart is that it has a lot of great themes you can use to make it look better.

    Either way make sure whatever platform you pick have a great support network of developers so you can continually to change and innovate your website.

    Thanks for reading,

    Wendy, co-founder of SavvySME – a new social platform for small businesses

    #1109006
    DarianCulbert
    Member
    • Total posts: 49
    Up
    0
    ::

    After choosing what open cart/source to use, you can search on Google templates/themes for that open cart/source! There will be many providers out there both free and premium for you to choose! Browse their themes/templates gallery then select the one that you like most, use it!

    It will take time to modify and if you are not so good, you can turn a good one to a bad one ;-) so for the first start, it is important to select the best template/theme which you don’t need to change much, just modify some necessary things to suit your business. Use it for a while before you can get to know all features of the cart/source and the theme. When you are experienced with this, things will be much easier!

    Hope this helps!
    Darian

    #1109007
    Paul B.
    Member
    • Total posts: 119
    Up
    0
    ::
    Ondetto, post: 121248 wrote:
    Hi Paul,

    there are many good providers out there – Big Commerce is very good and quite powerful with many templates to choose from that can be modified to your needs.

    Shopify doesn’t have such powerful features but plenty of design templates. Depending on your number of products it may be more expensive than Big Commerce though.

    Magento Go sounds very good but I haven’t used it myself so can’t really comment.

    If you’d prefer a local provider, Ashop offer a great feature set and fantastic support (http://www.ashop.com.au/). However they don’t have as many design templates available so you may have to get a custom job done.

    All of these integrate with shipping providers such as Australia Post, or you can set a flat rate shipping fee etc.

    If you later want to move to a custom designed shop, you can either get someone to design a new template for you while you stay on the same eCommerce platform, or you need to have it set up again from scratch but can export your products to move them over to the new platform.

    It might be cheaper in the long run to get a web designer / developer to create a store for you with an open source software as the monthly software fees for hosted solutions can really add up. PM me if you want to talk about it further.

    Ondetto,

    Thank you for those suggestions. Big commerce has some impressive features but it is also noticeably mre expensive than some others. I think that the simplicity of what I want does not justify going with such a capable provider.

    I had a quick look at your website and am impressed. I will PM you soon if you dont mind to pick your brain a little bit :)

    #1109008
    Paul B.
    Member
    • Total posts: 119
    Up
    0
    ::
    DarianCulbert, post: 121343 wrote:
    After choosing what open cart/source to use, you can search on Google templates/themes for that open cart/source! There will be many providers out there both free and premium for you to choose! Browse their themes/templates gallery then select the one that you like most, use it!

    It will take time to modify and if you are not so good, you can turn a good one to a bad one ;-) so for the first start, it is important to select the best template/theme which you don’t need to change much, just modify some necessary things to suit your business. Use it for a while before you can get to know all features of the cart/source and the theme. When you are experienced with this, things will be much easier!

    Hope this helps!
    Darian

    Thanks Darian.

    Am I correct in assuming all open cart/sources provide web hosting? Or do some require you to host the website independently?

    #1109009
    DarianCulbert
    Member
    • Total posts: 49
    Up
    0
    ::
    Paul B., post: 121363 wrote:
    Thanks Darian.

    Am I correct in assuming all open cart/sources provide web hosting? Or do some require you to host the website independently?

    Hi Paul B,

    Web hosting is provided by independent companies such as Hostgator (http://www.hostgator.com/) – this is the best provider that I am using!
    Some hosts can allow you to install the open cart/sources automatically from the control panel. Some other providers, you will need to install the open cart/sources yourself! It will take time and you can get into trouble installing yourself so it is better to ask your host to help with this!
    If you use Hostgator, the following cart can be installed automatically from the control panel in a section called “Fantastico”:

    – CubeCart
    – Os Commerce
    – Zen Cart

    The staff of Hostgator is also available 24/24 so just talk to them if there is anything else related to technique that you don’t know!

    Hope this helps!
    Darian

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.