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Looking for some ecommerce advice

  • # December 15, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Hi everyone! I’ve got a potential project coming up where someone wants to sell between 100 and 200 products online. They don’t want to go paypal and want to integrate with something more professional like Authorize.net.

    They want a fully functional website on the front end and a shop on the back. The only carts I’ve done completely by myself have been basic paypal shops for maybe 15 to 20 products max. So I’m kind of looking for something that can do “the whole nine yards” so to speak.

    I’ve had some experience with Magento, but I’d really like to keep it in WordPress. Has anyone tried to use the Shopp solution? Is it flexible enough to fulfill what most people want out of a cart? Or possibly WP Ecommerce? I’m not looking for free solutions as much as I’m just looking for a very good, flexible solution with longevity for these guys.

    Then again maybe someone has gone down that road and thinks that staying out of WP is the best way to go. In any case, thanks in advance for any feedback!

    # December 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    WP-Ecommerce does most things a full cart can do however it’s not perfect. It’s got its bugs and learning curve. I’ve never tried Shopp. Check out the free version of WP-Ecommerce and see if you like it.

    # December 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hello JoshWhite,

    I suggest staying away from WP plugins. They are only integrated with a few of the top gateway providers which limits your choice in a gateway provider, and because WP shouldn’t be the software of choice when hosting a full cart with 100-200 products.

    The first thing you should do, is decide on a Gateway provider (which is who your shopping cart or custom cart will integrate with.
    When you are shopping around ask about contracts, termination fee’s, what the top shopping carts they are integrated with, and what platforms they work on, and of course what their fee’s are.

    Here is a list of common processing fee’s.
    – Setup – Average is $99
    – Monthly – Average is $29 – 39
    – Per Transaction – Average $0.20 – $0.15 (depends on your estimated volume)
    – Discount Rate (% fee) – Average is 2.9% or so

    *IMPORTANT*
    When a merchant provider quotes you the discount rate, it should not be lower than 2.4%. If it is then that means they are not including the “Interchange Rates” and you will be charged an additional 1% or more when your statement arrives.
    When you are shopping around, make sure to question their discount rate, and ask if it is “all in” or not which means if the interchange rate is bundled in the quoted discount rate they are offering.

    Again,
    1. Choose gateway provider
    A good gateway provider will have many integrations into good shopping carts and offer your good rates and no termination fee’s
    2. Once you have a gateway, either develop a cart or look for a good pre-developed shopping cart that is already integrated into your gateway.

    There is more detail that we could go into, but I think this is good enough for now.
    If you have more questions, let me know and I should be able to help answer them. I am very familiar with most of the shopping carts and providers out there.

    Regards,

    # December 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks for the detailed overview Vessel! It appears that we’re going to go through Authorize.net. These guys already have a standing account at a brick and mortar that they run through Wells Fargo and the two connect pretty easily.

    From the surface it looks like Shopp can handle it, but I’m hesitant to just dive in. I’m also considering going with something like cscart, which is it’s own CMS as well as a catalog and a cart. With my limited skills in Magento I might try to go one of those routes instead.

    I feel like when it comes to ecommerce, the biggest issue is option paralysis :)

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