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Advice on picking an e-commerce solution

Posted on 2013-12-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I am trying to decide which e-commerce solution to go with for one of my clients. The site in the future has potential to be very big so I just want to make sure the decision is correct at this stage so I will not have to migrate in the future.

My initial preference is http://www.bigcommerce.com

I am also tempted by http://www.shopify.com however I didn't like the idea of paying them per transaction fee, but saw with the top unlimited account there is no transaction fee. The main thing I like about Shopify is the great choice of themes when compared to big commerce.

I love the fact that these two sites have lots of Apps that integrate with other major software companies easily.

There will also be some bespoke development that I need to do this site. I assume this can be done via the API for each solution.

Any advice is appreciated? Is there anything else I should consider?
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Question by:petewinter
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by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 1200 total points
ID: 39711305
Consider also Magento.  It's well integrated with PayPal and has a strong developer community.  Depending on where you live and work, the availability of a developer community, maybe one that uses Meetup to get together occasionally, could be valuable.
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by:petewinter
ID: 39711356
Ray_Paseur - Thanks for the suggestion, but I have read so many negative points about Magento. Many people says it is not very using friendly and is hard work to learn when compared to the others.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
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If you want free, there is http://www.opencart.com.  The only fees you pay are your own hosting and credit card transactions.  

You will find the easier a solution is for you, the more expensive it will be.  If you read the reviews or FinalCut (a mac software for editing videos) you will have found a lot of negative reviews. However, it was the software used by many professionals.  It is far from intuitive and hard to use and requires a lot of RAM to be fast.  So the many novices that wanted a "prosumer" product were frustrated and gave it bad reviews.

I think you will find the analogy the same for Magento.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 800 total points
ID: 39711652
As far as fees, here are some threads on credit card fees.  Typically, you will be around 3% of the transaction plus about 25 cents per transaction for website sales.  When you find lower rates then this, it is because there are other fees you are not counting.  Getting a merchant and finding the best deal can be like buying a used car.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Internet_Marketing/Q_27959713.html

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Services/Q_27947921.html

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Internet_Marketing/E-Commerce/Q_28088612.html
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Ray Paseur earned 1200 total points
ID: 39711664
Agree with @padas analogy to FinalCut.  This article may be useful.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_shopping_cart_software

Whatever you choose, be sure that its support for mobile is at the leading edge.  I see people walking around stores looking at products and ordering them with their iPhones.  I think the amount of swing from brick-and-mortar retail to online retail is going to blindside a lot of businesses and investors this holiday season.  It's a trend that will define the decade, in the same way that Google more or less put the newspapers out of business.
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by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 1200 total points
ID: 39711745
This might be worth a look.  I don't pretend to know how mainstream it is, or how widely accepted it is.  But if you're looking to cut fees, they seem to have a formula.
https://www.dwolla.com/

And there is this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_on-line_payment_service_providers
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Author Closing Comment

by:petewinter
ID: 39715973
Thanks for the advice.
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