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MY BHW brethten, I need help with e-commerce

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by Techxan, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    My forte is websites for small local service providers and marketing these sites. I have built a lot of websites but I have never built an e-commerce site.

    I have been asked by a local merchant to build an e-commerce site to sell t-shirts and consumer goods. Initially the site will have less than 100 products, but looking for the future, then want scalability.

    I know from magento that I can teach them how to enter prices and products, this mechanism is there already. There are modules that allow for sizing/color options, shipping, shopping cart,etc.

    I also know that there are a lot of other platforms out there for e-commerce.

    What I do not know and need to educate myself is:

    How much maintenance is required for an e-store on a weekly/monthly basis? Aside from product listing, what else has to be monitored or kept updated.

    How exactly does a shopping cart work? Is it a module that does all the information gathering then forwards completed transaction details to your merchant account for payment after the order is complete, or are all transactions data transferred to your merchant account and all the details worked out there for payment with your payment gateway, or is it a self hosted solution, that forwards completed transactions to your merchant account for payment after the order is complete?

    I know that there are shopping cart modules, but I have always used a shopping cart service, like Romancart. All this requires is for me to put HTML code in my site and all the customer interaction takes place on the Romancart platform, saving me the cost and maintenance of a secure server.

    Is using a service like that preferable to building a shopping cart and hosting the transactions on their own server? If I have to get a secure server, how much do I need to have them allow for this purpose?

    If I get a server, should I put the site on the server too? An I correct that this must be a very secure server? Is there a reasonable way for a serious e-commerce site to avoid having their own physical server, or is that a bad idea?

    For my own information, how much is a reasonable price to build such a site, considering that I will not be loading up product details, just building the framework for them to take over.

    Is that even a realistic expectation? If they are running their business, will they need a dedicated person to manage the website, or can one of the owners do it in their spare time?

    For the site itself, they are allowing a budget of $2000 and asking me if they need to budget more.

    How do you secure an e-commerce site against hackers, and is there any ongoing maintenance in that regard? How big a problem is this.

    How do you deal with different languages? Houston is very diverse, and they want a Spanish version, and possibly one for Pakistani customers. Is that Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, or what? (sorry, I am an ignorant American) Is that a duplicate site, or can you do different language pages within one site?

    If I have to call on a magento or other platform specialist to help me fix something, what is a normal cost per hour for their service?

    If I sub this out, a very distinct possibility, what can I get the store built for, price wise?

    Please don't tell me to search the forum. I have read much more of this forum than many of you, and if this specific information is here, I have been unable to find it. Due to the general nature of titles and content in posts, when I search for something specific, I get a ton of unrelated results. I am researching this, but I haven't found someone really explain how to put together an e-commerce site. If you know of such a post, please send me the link, and I thank you for it.

    If I need a mentor on this one, what would you charge to walk me thru these two sites.e doing the work, you checking it.

    I really appreciate all you help, and if I can repay you for your trouble, let me know.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  2. TonySe

    TonySe Junior Member

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    Have you checked services like shopify?
    They do all the hosting and offer great themes and apps. I have a shop running on shopify and I am very satisfied with this company.
    To set up a nice looking shop takes around 2 hours, it's really simple and very secure.
    if this is an option for you you can send me a pm and I can help you with further questions
     
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  3. Panther28

    Panther28 Elite Member

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    yeah, i would second that, unless your a regular ecommerce store builder then it will be too much of a learning curve for you for your first attempt, bank the money, and use a commerce host, and spend a bit of time playing with magento yourself before you think of offering your services on it.
     
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  4. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    I need to do what is best for this customer, not me.
     
  5. Getwhatchuwant

    Getwhatchuwant Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Based on your questions, outsourcing and managing the project IS best for the customer. Find someone that knows how to do it act as a middle man to get the project complete to the customer specs....
     
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  6. TonySe

    TonySe Junior Member

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    Why shouldn't shopify be good for your customer?
    There is a large number of big brands which run their online stores with shopify
     
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  7. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    I did not say it wouldn't, I have no idea if it is good or a dog. All I said was I need to do what is best for my customer.

     
  8. el_capitan

    el_capitan Junior Member

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    I would also suggest Shopify, especially because it's super easy to use - your client can handle all the pricing/uploading.
     
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  9. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    Do any of you actually use shopify?
     
  10. TonySe

    TonySe Junior Member

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    Yes I use it, if you have any questions you can pm me