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  • #977676
    wbw
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    • Total posts: 34
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    Hi, I am wanting to set up a small website with 3 – 4 pages with a small shop that sells baltic amber jewellery. I am just wondering whether I need to have ecommerce hosting to do this?

    Also can any one recommend a free or low cost easy to use shopping cart?

    Many Thanks

    Kym

    #1099874
    marketingweb
    Member
    • Total posts: 625
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    wbw, post: 112598 wrote:
    Hi, I am wanting to set up a small website with 3 – 4 pages with a small shop that sells baltic amber jewellery. I am just wondering whether I need to have ecommerce hosting to do this?

    Also can any one recommend a free or low cost easy to use shopping cart?

    Many Thanks

    Kym

    Hi Kym,

    The answer to your question depends on the degree to which you are looking to expand in the future.

    If you are thinking that your rang could expand significantly and end up being significant in number, then it may be worth building your site based on a full ecommerce solution, using something like prestashop or opencart – although I would avoid “bigger” systems like oscommerce or magento.

    On the other hand, if your range is small and will continue to be this way, a full ecommerce system may be overkill. In this case, a couple options come to mind:
    1) Use paypal “Buy it Now” buttons. These are free to implement. In this case you do without a shopping cart completely, create the products simply as “pages” on your site, and then the button links to paypal so people can pay (with paypal OR just credit card). Paypal does also offer a basic shopping cart system as well but it’s a bit more tricky and has some limitations.
    2) Sign up as part of Etsy. This is basically as site for hand made, craft, art, unique clothing etc. Etsy allows you to have your own shop within their system, which you can link to from your main site.

    Finally, if you are somewhere in the middle – where you want a “proper” online store on your own site, but want to still keep it simple to set up, there are a couple services that may help you. Do bear in mind that the disadvantages of these systems are the fact they are based on ongoing monthly costs that can add up, and don’t allow you to customise your site functionality to a high degree.
    1) Shopify – from $29/month for up to 100 products.
    2) BigCommerce – from $24.95/month for up to 100 products.

    In both cases you may need professional assistance to put everything together – don’t take the “set it up yourself in 5 minutes” type claims literally as they are basically marketing hype.

    If you would like any further help with this either development wise or just someone to talk it over with, please let me know via pm. Remember also, that building the site is only half the battle – you then need to get potential customers to visit. And that’s where the real fun starts!

    Best of luck with your venture,
    Matt

    #1099974
    marketingweb
    Member
    • Total posts: 625
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    wbw, post: 112598 wrote:
    Hi, I am wanting to set up a small website with 3 – 4 pages with a small shop that sells baltic amber jewellery. I am just wondering whether I need to have ecommerce hosting to do this?

    Also can any one recommend a free or low cost easy to use shopping cart?

    Many Thanks

    Kym

    Hi Kym,

    The answer to your question depends on the degree to which you are looking to expand in the future.

    If you are thinking that your rang could expand significantly and end up being significant in number, then it may be worth building your site based on a full ecommerce solution, using something like prestashop or opencart – although I would avoid “bigger” systems like oscommerce or magento.

    On the other hand, if your range is small and will continue to be this way, a full ecommerce system may be overkill. In this case, a couple options come to mind:
    1) Use paypal “Buy it Now” buttons. These are free to implement. In this case you do without a shopping cart completely, create the products simply as “pages” on your site, and then the button links to paypal so people can pay (with paypal OR just credit card). Paypal does also offer a basic shopping cart system as well but it’s a bit more tricky and has some limitations.
    2) Sign up as part of Etsy. This is basically as site for hand made, craft, art, unique clothing etc. Etsy allows you to have your own shop within their system, which you can link to from your main site.

    Finally, if you are somewhere in the middle – where you want a “proper” online store on your own site, but want to still keep it simple to set up, there are a couple services that may help you. Do bear in mind that the disadvantages of these systems are the fact they are based on ongoing monthly costs that can add up, and don’t allow you to customise your site functionality to a high degree.
    1) Shopify – from $29/month for up to 100 products.
    2) BigCommerce – from $24.95/month for up to 100 products.

    In both cases you may need professional assistance to put everything together – don’t take the “set it up yourself in 5 minutes” type claims literally as they are basically marketing hype.

    If you would like any further help with this either development wise or just someone to talk it over with, please let me know via pm. Remember also, that building the site is only half the battle – you then need to get potential customers to visit. And that’s where the real fun starts!

    Best of luck with your venture,
    Matt

    #1099875
    wbw
    Member
    • Total posts: 34
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    Thank you for your suggestions, have done the pay pal buttons before and was wanting a bit more. I think open cart looks good had a look around their demo site.

    #1099976
    wbw
    Member
    • Total posts: 34
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    Thank you for your suggestions, have done the pay pal buttons before and was wanting a bit more. I think open cart looks good had a look around their demo site.

    #1099877
    elliottbailey
    Member
    • Total posts: 34
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    Hi Kym, I would recommend shopify too. For less than 100 products it’s quite cheap and there’s an extensive range of plugins that let you sell items through your facebook page etc…

    It’s quite easy to use and having used it for one client can very happily say that the tech support is actually very good (which I was quite surprised at).

    I’d personally give this a go yourself, as it’s quite easy, and if you get stuck just email the tech support for answers. (If you hit too many walls someone liek markettingweb or myself can to do it for you, but it’s quite easy so worth a shot yourself).

    All the best Kym!

    #1099978
    elliottbailey
    Member
    • Total posts: 34
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    Hi Kym, I would recommend shopify too. For less than 100 products it’s quite cheap and there’s an extensive range of plugins that let you sell items through your facebook page etc…

    It’s quite easy to use and having used it for one client can very happily say that the tech support is actually very good (which I was quite surprised at).

    I’d personally give this a go yourself, as it’s quite easy, and if you get stuck just email the tech support for answers. (If you hit too many walls someone liek markettingweb or myself can to do it for you, but it’s quite easy so worth a shot yourself).

    All the best Kym!

    #1099878
    Tiggerito
    Member
    • Total posts: 362
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    elliottjbailey, post: 112857 wrote:
    Hi Kym, I would recommend shopify too. For less than 100 products it’s quite cheap and there’s an extensive range of plugins that let you sell items through your facebook page etc…

    It’s quite easy to use and having used it for one client can very happily say that the tech support is actually very good (which I was quite surprised at).

    I’d personally give this a go yourself, as it’s quite easy, and if you get stuck just email the tech support for answers. (If you hit too many walls someone liek markettingweb or myself can to do it for you, but it’s quite easy so worth a shot yourself).

    All the best Kym!

    Just to counter the balance, if you go for a hosted solution I would recommend BigCommerce over Shopify. I’ve recently had one client switch and she’s amazed with the difference.

    The downside of both is that you can only do superficial changes to them. No major functionality changes.

    The up side is out of the box they are both very powerful.

    #1099980
    Tiggerito
    Member
    • Total posts: 362
    Up
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    elliottjbailey, post: 112857 wrote:
    Hi Kym, I would recommend shopify too. For less than 100 products it’s quite cheap and there’s an extensive range of plugins that let you sell items through your facebook page etc…

    It’s quite easy to use and having used it for one client can very happily say that the tech support is actually very good (which I was quite surprised at).

    I’d personally give this a go yourself, as it’s quite easy, and if you get stuck just email the tech support for answers. (If you hit too many walls someone liek markettingweb or myself can to do it for you, but it’s quite easy so worth a shot yourself).

    All the best Kym!

    Just to counter the balance, if you go for a hosted solution I would recommend BigCommerce over Shopify. I’ve recently had one client switch and she’s amazed with the difference.

    The downside of both is that you can only do superficial changes to them. No major functionality changes.

    The up side is out of the box they are both very powerful.

    #1099881
    Rocka
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
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    Hi Kym,

    I hope your business is running well.

    If you want to focus more on your business rather than spending time in web development, you may want to try hosted shopping cart solution.

    Check out http://www.shoppingcart2012.com/ or see this list in google search
    http://www.google.com.au/search?q=shopping+cart

    #1099982
    Rocka
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
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    0
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    Hi Kym,

    I hope your business is running well.

    If you want to focus more on your business rather than spending time in web development, you may want to try hosted shopping cart solution.

    Check out http://www.shoppingcart2012.com/ or see this list in google search
    http://www.google.com.au/search?q=shopping+cart

    #1099883
    Tiggerito
    Member
    • Total posts: 362
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    eStrategyPro.com, post: 0 wrote:
    What did your client say about the difference between Shopify and BigCommerce? I’m curious to know.

    It’s hard to remember exact sentiment. A general feeling that it solved the problems she was having with shopify and that some things were easier or more powerful.

    One negative was the complex product options that took a while to get used to.

    I managed to automate a lot of the data transition, but there was (and still is) a lot of manual work needed to transfer the data over and create a smooth switch over.

    #1099984
    Tiggerito
    Member
    • Total posts: 362
    Up
    0
    ::
    eStrategyPro.com, post: 0 wrote:
    What did your client say about the difference between Shopify and BigCommerce? I’m curious to know.

    It’s hard to remember exact sentiment. A general feeling that it solved the problems she was having with shopify and that some things were easier or more powerful.

    One negative was the complex product options that took a while to get used to.

    I managed to automate a lot of the data transition, but there was (and still is) a lot of manual work needed to transfer the data over and create a smooth switch over.

    #1099885
    Hartley
    Member
    • Total posts: 9
    Up
    0
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    Hi Kym,

    I would also like to send my praise for OpenCart.

    OpenCart is an incredibly user-friendly & free to use shopping cart. I have had my site running for close to 6 months & am yet to run into a problem I couldn’t easily get myself out of. From day one I have been able to make use of most of the features of the shopping cart & the back-end is very, very straightforward.

    Try it out here: http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=demonstration/demonstration

    While the cart itself is free, I would greatly recommend buying yourself a template. The reason for this is that you don’t want your website looking like every other OpenCart website out there!

    Another shopping cart that receives a lot of praise is Zen Cart. I am not familiar with Zen Cart & will therefore cannot comment, though I have heard good things. Definitely do some research on both Zen Cart & OpenCart.

    If I can help you with anything else please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Lee.

    #1099986
    Hartley
    Member
    • Total posts: 9
    Up
    0
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    Hi Kym,

    I would also like to send my praise for OpenCart.

    OpenCart is an incredibly user-friendly & free to use shopping cart. I have had my site running for close to 6 months & am yet to run into a problem I couldn’t easily get myself out of. From day one I have been able to make use of most of the features of the shopping cart & the back-end is very, very straightforward.

    Try it out here: http://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=demonstration/demonstration

    While the cart itself is free, I would greatly recommend buying yourself a template. The reason for this is that you don’t want your website looking like every other OpenCart website out there!

    Another shopping cart that receives a lot of praise is Zen Cart. I am not familiar with Zen Cart & will therefore cannot comment, though I have heard good things. Definitely do some research on both Zen Cart & OpenCart.

    If I can help you with anything else please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Lee.

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